Just to be clear at the time of writing this article, on 19th December 2022 there is no agreement between the UK government and the Spanish government for a UK citizen to be able to exchange their driving licence for a Spanish licence. There has been some encouraging news from the British Ambassador to Spain but to date, an agreement hasn’t been reached, hopefully, there will be one soon or at the very least in 2023.
So where do you stand? Well, if you´re coming to Spain on holiday from the UK then you can drive on your UK licence. If you move to Spain and obtain residency, then you can drive for 6 months on your UK licence. Note at the time of writing you need to do a test but hopefully, an agreement will be reached before then.
So let us be optimistic that there will be an agreement in the near future so you can exchange your licence. At Just Law Solicitors we think you can do this yourself and there is no need to pay a lawyer, consultant, ex-pat advisor, consultant etc.
So how would you go about this? You will need to have the following.
- Complete the exchange request using the official form which we will be available once the agreement is reached.
- Your passport and your residence card as it´s only Spanish residents who can exchange their UK licences.
- Your UK driving licence
- Medical certificate, it´s more like a fitness to drive examination, you need to make an appointment and go and do some tests, you have your eyesight, hearing and coordination tested. The coordination test is a bit like a 1970s computer game, but don’t worry you get to have a practice before you have a go for real. There is a list of places where you can take this test here; https://www.dgt.es/conoce-la-dgt/con-quien-trabajamos/centros-reconocimiento-conductores/
- A recent photograph, 32×26 size
- Then you must prove that you have paid the fee, the fee could change in the future so keep an eye out but at the time of writing it is 28.30 euros. Payment can be made by card at trafico when you do the exchange but you can pay online and the link is here; https://sedeclave.dgt.gob.es/WEB_Tasas7/
You will then need an appointment, at trafico, there used to be a link but of course, there is nothing in place at the present time. There is a link for the countries which currently have a driving licence exchange agreement with Spain and the link is here; https://www.dgt.es/nuestros-servicios/permisos-de-conducir/permisos-extranjeros-y-de-fuerzas-y-cuerpos-de-seguridad/canjes-de-permisos/paises-con-convenio-de-canjes/ We will notify you once a new link is present.
When you have attended the appointment, you will be given a temporary licence for 3 months, you will be sent your Spanish driving licence to the address you gave. Note that with the temporary licence you can´t drive outside Spain.
As always this isn’t legal advice. If you´re moving to Spain and need help with any visa for example the Non-Luctrative Visa ´NLV or the Golden Visa. We can also act for you in your Spanish property purchase. Like in the UK there is no legal requirement for a lawyer but it´s advisable to instruct your own lawyer who has no connection with the Spanish Estate Agent or private seller. Just agree on the price verbally and we will do the rest. You only deal directly with a regulated, qualified, Spanish lawyer. At www.justlawsolicitors.com we´ve been advising clients since 1992.
Thanks to Ana Liabina Lawyer with Just Law Solicitors for her assistance with this article
Marisa Moreno Castillo Senior lawyer and Consul for Denmark
Malaga – Fuengirola – Marbella