The Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) has warned drivers with British driving licences that they’re running out of time to exchange them.
With the UK leaving the EU on the 31st of December all existing mutual accords, they explained, will expire. However, there will be a grace period of six months.
For this reason, British drivers resident in Spain should request to change their UK licence for a Spanish one before the 30th of December.
We quote from the DGT’s website:
The European Union has negotiated with the United Kingdom a Withdrawal Agreement that enables a transitional period during which the rights of citizens are maintained in accordance with the acquis communautaire, an agreement that has already been approved by both the European and British institutions.
Therefore, European regulations on driving licences will continue to apply to those issued by the United Kingdom until the end of the transitional period, scheduled for December 31, 2020.
Consequently, valid, current driving licences issued by the British authorities will enable their holders to drive in our country until that date. As of the 1st of January, 2021, the general regulations on licences from third countries (non-EU countries) will apply and the licences issued by the British authorities will enable you to drive in Spain for six months from the entry of the holder in Spain or from the date of obtaining legal residence.
If you are the holder of a British permit and you plan to reside in Spain after the end of 2020, we recommend that you request the exchange, renewal or replacement of your licence for an equivalent Spanish one. To do so, you must make an appointment through the following link.
You can also find out more information on how to go about exchanging your licence here.
Will Spanish driving licences be recognized in the UK?
Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, European driving-licence regulations will continue to apply in the UK until the 31st of December, 2020. Therefore, it is possible to continue driving and redeem the Spanish license until that date. As of the 1st of January, 2021, the treatment that the British authorities give to our driving licenses will change. At the moment, we have the information that appears in the following link.
Referring to driving in the UK with a Spanish licence, it would seem that as long as you do not spend more than six months there, you will have not problem.