The Spanish DGT (Directorate General of Traffic) has set up a protocol to facilitate the exchange, replacement and renewal of foreign licences under the same conditions prior to BREXIT provided applications are submitted before January 31, 2020.
If BREXIT goes ahead, the United Kingdom will cease to be part of the European Union and as such, traffic agreements within the EU will no longer apply to citizens of the United Kingdom. This means, among other things, that UK licences will only be valid for driving in Spain during the first 9 months after BREXIT, provided they have not expired.
If you want to continue driving in Spain, you will have to validate, renew or replace your UK permit for its Spanish equivalent as well as relinquishing the original.
The DGT has set up a protocol that allows you to exchange your UK driving licence to a Spanish equivalent under the same conditions prior to BREXIT, without having to wait for the signing of a new agreement between countries, or having to obtain a new Spanish driving licence.
To do this you must hold a United Kingdom driver’s licence, live permanently in Spain and submit the application before January 31, 2020. If you follow these steps – and whatever happens that day – you will be guaranteed the validation of your permit for a period of 9 months from the official BREXIT date.
During the application process your original licence will be removed and replaced with a provisional permit. In approximately one month and a half you will receive your final licence. You will not have to go to your nearest Traffic Office again as they will send your licence to you by mail.
You can check the status of your application online.
Remember: You must apply for the “extraordinary” validation before January 31, 2020.
The processing will be carried out in two steps.
First, you must apply for your licence to be exchanged online.
After that you have 9 months to finalise the process in person.
The steps you must follow to exchange your UK permit in pre-BREXIT conditions are the following:
Important: You must request your prior appointment at Traffic Office of your choice two business days later selecting procedure type: “European driving license exchange” and then select United Kingdom.
If BREXIT should not go ahead, the United Kingdom would continue to belong to the European Union, so it will not be necessary to carry out any type of exchange or approval of your permit in order to continue driving legally in Spain. You will not have to do anything. If you don’t request an appointment to formalise the exchange process, your request will be deemed cancelled.
If BREXIT takes place, the United Kingdom will cease to belong to the European Union, so all traffic agreements within the EU will no longer be valid for citizens of the United Kingdom. Therefore, from the moment BREXIT becomes effective, United Kingdom’s driving licences will only be valid for driving in Spain for 9 months and it will be compulsory during this grace period to exchange them for a Spanish permit.
The grace period of 9 months and the possibility of obtaining your exchange, replacement or renewal of your permit if you so request before January 31, 2020 guarantee you will be able to drive in Spain as long as you formalise the procedure in the 9 months period provided for this.
If BREXIT doesn’t take place, the United Kingdom would continue to belong to the European Union, so it will not be necessary to carry out any type of exchange or approval of your permit in order to legally continue driving in Spain. You will not have to do anything, if you don’t request an appointment to formalise the exchange process, your request will be deemed cancelled.
Proceeding with this out-of-the ordinary exchange requires the verification of equivalence and authenticity of all driving licenses in the United Kingdom. The completion of the exchange requires confirmation of the validity of your permit by the authorities of the United Kingdom.
Yes, you can drive for 3 months with a provisional permit you will be given at the time of the application.
If you’re renewing your licence, this will be done by the medical centre where you had your check-up done.
The normal place of residence is the place where a person usually lives – that is, for at least one hundred and eighty-five days of each calendar year
In Spain, normal place of residence is understood as a permanent living situation that must be duly accredited in accordance with the provisions of Organic Law 4/2000, of January 11, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration.
The licence exchange request must be made by the permit holder or by any other person authorised by him/her.
So, if all this paperwork sounds far too complex and time consuming for you, talk to us.
Our multilingual legal consultants will advise you and look after all administrative steps with zero hassles for you, exchanging your UK driving licence to drive in Spain.
We want to help you navigate all the legal complexities that come with your home buying in Spain, but this article is legal information and should not be seen as legal advice.