Spain gives expats extension for driving licence exchange

The ‘grace period’ when UK driving licences will be eligible for British expats residing in Spain has been extended to 28 February 2022, the British Embassy in Madrid has confirmed. The extension follows negotiations between London and Madrid to ease the post-Brexit transition for British residents in Spain. But an agreement that would see British residents able to exchange their licences for Spanish licences without taking a test remains unclear at this stage. “As you know, the UK Government is committed to reaching a long-term agreement with Spain so that residents can exchange their UK driving licences without taking a test. Negotiations are continuing and we stand ready to conclude that agreement as soon as possible. But unfortunately we are not there yet,” the embassy posted on its Facebook page. “We recognise that the extension is relatively short, and therefore it is important that – if it is imperative for you to drive – you consider all your options, which may include looking into taking a driving test now,” the embassy wrote. Holidaymakers will be able still to use their UK licence to drive in Spain without the need for an International Driving Permit (IDP). Bill Anderson, a British councillor in the town of Mijas told The Express: “If they [expats] haven’t got their application in to exchange their licences, then they’re going to have serious problems. They’re not going to be able to drive down here, and they [the police] will be checking that.” He added: “My understanding is that they are checking up on British-registered vehicles and it will be up to the owner of the vehicle to demonstrate how long it’s been registered here, not up to the Guardia Civil to prove that they’ve been here over the time allocated.”

Registered before 30 December 2020?

If you lived in Spain before 1 January 2021 and registered your details and intention to exchange with the DGT before 30 December 2020, you should have requested an appointment with the DGT (traffic authority) to exchange your UK licence by 31 December 2021. If you didn’t complete the exchange before the deadline and need further information, contact the DGT.

Registered after 30 December 2020?

If you did not register with DGT before 30 December 2020 and wish to obtain a Spanish driving licence now, you should follow the DGT process for non-EU nationals. This includes taking a driving test.

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