Changing UK driving licence to a Spanish One 2023
*Updated 15 March 2023
UK to Spanish Driving Licence Approved at Last!
Spanish ministers have finally approved the exchange of UK to Spanish driving licences for residents.
From the 16th March, residents with a UK licence can drive legally in Spain again. They have six months to exchange their licence without taking a Spanish driving test. After this time you can still exchange your licence but you won’t be able to drive in Spain with a UK driving licence.
Contact us if you want to exchange your UK driving license for a Spanish one. There is going to be a high demand as we have clients who have been waiting for this day for a long time, so don’t wait and miss your exchange window.
Here is Hugh Elliott, Ambassador to Spain delivering the news.
Here is the full text from the cabinet meeting on the 14th March 2023, where the driving licence exchange was finally approved.
*Quoted from SUR in English.
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.
Can you drive in the UK with a Spanish Licence?
Yes, you can use your Spanish licence when driving in the UK. If you move back to the UK permanently, you can exchange your Spanish licence for a UK one without taking a test. To drive outside of the EU, you would have to apply for an IDP (International Driver’s Permit).
If you are living in Spain or plan to reside here, we advise you to swap your UK driving licence for a Spanish driving licence as soon as possible. You have six months from 16th March 2023 to legally drive your car with a UK license. Many learned the hard way when Spain banned UK license holders from driving in Spain, don’t get caught out again.
Alternatively, if you want to import a car to Spain, or transfer ownership of a car, we can help, contact us today.
UK driving licence exchange in Spain
If you want to swap your UK licence for a Spanish driving license then contact us today. We charge €150 including taxes. We will take care of all the paperwork for you, book appointments and make the trips to the DGT office. Email us for more information.