Valid Drivers License in Spain
All valid EU (European Union) and EEA (European Economic Area) driving licenses are valid in Spain if the possessor is of legal age to drive.
EU licenses can only be renewed in the nation where the holder resides. In addition, the terms of their residency country’s license will apply. This means that if a driver with a license from another EU or EEA country lives in Spain, they must renew their license every ten years if they are under the age of 65, and every five years if they are over 65. When an EU/EEA license is renewed in Spain, it is effectively converted into a Spanish EU license. Several EU countries grant lifetime licenses, but they will only be good for five or ten years in Spain. Fines may be imposed on those who do not renew their licenses. The driver’s license must be renewed within two years of the driver’s formal arrival in Spain.
Those who move to Spain for the first time must exchange their license for a Spanish one. Spain can now verify the health and ability of foreign drivers in the country under the new rule. All European Union countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, are included in the EEA.
The EU license used by a foreign resident in Spain is subject to all Spanish license regulations. These are some of the conditions:
- the duration of the license’s validity
- medical examinations are required
- taxes to be paid
Penalties and Restrictions
If a driving infraction happens, Spanish authorities have the authority to demand the holder of a license from another EU country to change their license to a Spanish one in order to erase points.
Within six months of arriving in Spain, foreign drivers from the EU must register with the traffic authority. Details must be registered with the Provincial Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico) of their place of residence’s Central Register of Drivers and Minor Offenders (Registro Central de Conductores e Infractores). To demonstrate mental and physical fitness, applicants must undertake a medical examination at an Authorised Drivers Check Centre (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores Autorizado). They will be held to the same standards as Spanish drivers.
Addresses and EU Drivers Licence
While it is perfectly lawful to use an EU-issued license until it expires, changing the address on the EU license to a location outside of the issuing country is not possible. The address on the license is generally considered within the laws to be from the issuing country and may not be the drivers’ actual living address.
A driver’s license issued by the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA) can be exchanged for a Spanish license. When a driver’s license has no expiration date or has been expired for more than 15 years, it can be renewed two years after establishing residency.
An application must be sent to the applicant’s province’s Provincial Traffic Headquarters, along with a completed application form provided by the Provincial Traffic Headquarters.
Documents Required For UK – Spanish License Exchange
- Form of application (PDF in Spanish)
- Identification proof (passport original and copy)
- Proof of residency (Certificate of Registration in the Central Aliens Register – NIE number)
- To be exchanged is a valid driver’s license (original and photocopy)
- Two pictures taken recently (32 by 25 mm)
- A written declaration declaring that the applicant’s driving privileges have not been revoked or suspended.
- The applicant must sign a written declaration declaring that he or she does not hold another driving license of the same class in another nation.
- €28.30 is the fee (2020 rate)
The DGT and the Ministry of Interior both have guides on how to exchange a license. The license will need to be renewed on a regular basis. When the possessor is under the age of 65, a regular Spanish driving license for a private automobile or motorcycle is valid for ten years, after which it must be renewed every five years. The DGT maintains a list of countries with which Spain has a reciprocal driving license exchange agreement.
Appointments With The DGT
If you applied for a redemption, replacement, or extraordinary renewal of a British driving license before December 31, 2020, you will be able to get your permit back under the same terms before BREXIT. In person, at the Headquarters or Traffic Office, where the preceding request for extraordinary redemption will be submitted. You will be able to schedule your appointment three business days after completing your application and during the first six months of 2021.
The appointment must be sought at the Headquarters or Traffic Office where you submitted your redemption request, with the ‘Type of procedure’ set to ‘Office procedures’ and the ‘Area’ set to the area of your head office referring to drivers. On the day of your appointment, you must come to our offices in person and produce all of the needed documentation. A pre-check will be performed to ensure that the request was submitted on time.
At your appointment, you will be required to present your UK driving license to the Spanish Traffic Authority. They will issue you with a temporary driver’s license (‘autorización temporal para conducir’) to use while your Spanish driver’s license is processed. This document is only valid in Spain; it is not valid anywhere else.
You can swap your driver’s license in a province other than your own. You can also appoint a representative (such as a registered ‘gestor’) to carry out the process on your behalf. If you hold a foreigners’ identity number and live in Spain but have not yet registered as a resident, you may be entitled to file an application for exchange (NIE). You must, however, bring a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) to your appointment in order to complete the license exchange.
Whether or not your UK driver’s license has been verified for exchange by the end of 2020, you will be eligible to drive in Spain until 31 October 2021. On the Spanish Traffic Authority’s website, you may find detailed information on the specific measures for UK license holders (use the option in the top-right hand corner to translate pages to English). Future procedures for the exchange and recognition of UK licenses are still being worked out.