Driving Licence Exchanges

Thanks to a deal approved by the Central Government, British residents holding UK driving licences can soon exchange their licence for a Spanish one.

British Ambassador

British Ambassador

This comes into affect today and not only affects British drivers needing Spanish Driving licences but also Spaniards who need British ones, without the need of passing a driving test. However, it also includes both governments exchanging information on traffic offences.

For those residents who missed the opportunity to exchange their licence in May, this will come as a relief, if they haven’t already opted to sit a Spanish driving test.

The agreement also includes a 6-month, grace period in which British resident can use their UK licences until they are exchanged. However, it is best not to hang about and rather get it done immediately, which is the advice of the British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott.

Soon, the DGT (Traffic Department) website will include information about how to make appointments at your nearest DGT office. In the case of British drivers residing in Granada, we’re talking about the city of Granada.

He also explained that more information about making appointments with local traffic offices would be provided on the DGT (Spain’s directorate-general for traffic) website. The embassy would also be offering advice and information about the steps to take, he added.

Here follows the complete press release from the Spanish Government:

“The Council of Ministers has approved this Tuesday the agreement by which Spain and the United Kingdom will proceed to the reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licenses as well as the exchange of information on traffic offences in terms of road safety.

This agreement puts an end to the successive extensions applied to the exchange of permits between the two countries that had been applied since the end of the transitional period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

From now on, holders of a valid and current driving licence issued by either of the two States may request the exchange of their equivalent driving licence where they have established their residence, without being subject to any additional requirement of practical test or theoretical and according to the equivalence tables between the categories of permits from both countries.

The agreement establishes that all valid permits or licences of current residents issued prior to its entry into force may be exchanged, while for permits issued after said entry into force it will be an essential requirement to access the exchange that the permits have been issued in the country where the applicant had his legal residence.

With this agreement, those British citizens residing in Spain who had not had their driving licence recognised before Brexit, nor in the successive extensions granted, will be able to do so as of Thursday, March 16.

To facilitate administrative processing at the provincial traffic headquarters, a period of six months has been granted during which British citizens can drive in Spain with their original licence while they process the exchange.

In addition, Spain and the United Kingdom undertake to provide each other with information on the data of the vehicles and their owners for the purpose of investigating traffic offences related to road safety, especially in cases of speeding, not wearing a seat belt, failure to stop at a red light, driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of drugs, not wearing a crash helmet, driving in a prohibited lane, or illegal use of mobile phones.”

Here is a link to the Ambassador’s message on facebook.

(News: Spain)

  5 comments for “Driving Licence Exchanges

  1. Patrick Barry Storey
    March 17, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    I think Mike that you would have to get a renewal via the UK. Then present the renewal to the Spanish DGT. ?!

  2. March 16, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Mike: an expired licence is an invalid licence therefore I think you would have difficulties exchanging it. The British Embassy can best advise you on what course to take.


  3. Toby
    March 16, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    ‘as of 16th March’ they say.

    No way, I say..this is Spain remember.

    Today, 16th March, me and probably thousands of expectant Brits eagerly entered the DGT website to make an appointment et voila!!…NADA!!

    All they have to do is add Ingles, UK, Reino Unido or United Kingdom and we could all book our appointment.

    Ah, well…I suppose it is still early in the day so best give them time to wake up!!

  4. Mike Smith
    March 16, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Good afternoon

    I’m a resident of Spain. My UK driving licence recently expired on 3 March 2023. I hope it’s still valid for exchange. Can you please confirm?



  5. Stephen Barry
    March 16, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    Thank goodness. At last common sense has prevailed.

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