We have received a number of questions regarding an article posted by the CAB (Citizen´s Advice Bureau) in Spain which states “Drivers with Valid UK Driving Licences Fined Illegally”.
In view of the number of questions received, we have visited our associates from the Guardia Civil Trafico who run the N332 Facebook page in order to help to solve the doubts that article has generated.
Question 1. Can I be fined if I have a VALID UK driving licence?
YES, if you are RESIDENT and your licence complies with one of these two cases:
The holder of a European driving licence with an INDEFINITE DURATION or GREATER than 15 YEARS (or five years in the case of group permissions 2) with legal residence in Spain acquired on January 19, 2013 or before that date – You must renew your driving licence from January 19, 2015.
The holder of a European driving licence with an INDEFINITE DURATION or GREATER than 15 YEARS (or five years in the case of group permissions 2) with legal residence in Spain obtained dated after January 19, 2013 – You must renew your driving licence from the moment two years of residence in Spain has been met.
NO, if you are a holiday maker.
In conclusion, having a Valid European Driving Licence does not mean that you cannot be fined. It sounds rare, we know, but the law changed in Spain and if you are living PERMANENTLY in Spain, your European Licence must be renewed. We have published above what conditions must be met for licences to be renewed.
Question 2. As a European citizen, can I get a 500 euro fine if I do not renew my licence?
NO, you cannot. According to the “Reglamento de Conductores” there are 2 types of fines for Residents who are driving with “Non Valid Driving Licences.”
1- When the driver is living in Spain and there is no agreement between their country and Spain to change the licence, you must get a NEW ONE in Spain, which means carrying out an exam again. Once they are resident, their licences are not valid. This is what happens with drivers from non-European Countries such as Russia, Senegal, Canada, etc. You can check the list of the countries with agreements on the DGT website.
In this case, the driver is fined 500 euro if there is not an agreement between both countries, and 200 euros if there is an agreement and the licence has not been changed.
2- European Drivers who must renew their licence under the new DGT instructions, if they do not do it, they will be fined 200 euro, because this licence can be changed.
Therefore if you have a European Licence and you receive a 500 euro fine, you must complain to the DGT because there has been a mistake with the fine.
Question 3. As a resident, can I be fined if I do not hold a Spanish driving permit?
NOT in all cases. You can hold your European Driving Licence and BE A RESIDENT IF your licence is not among those that should be changed, so you can keep driving with it until it expires (see conditions above).
Question 4. As a holiday maker, if I own a Spanish vehicle, can I be fined if I do not hold a Spanish driving permit?
NO, you can own a house or a vehicle, but this does not mean you are resident. Many foreigners have a holiday house in Spain and they have a vehicle with Spanish plates which they use on their vacations here.
To avoid being fined unfairly, please download the document EX-15 and fill it in. See the point 4.1 and make a cross in the option “CERTIFICADO DE NO RESIDENTE” and take it to the NATIONAL POLICE. Once they have legalized the document, take it with you in the car and…. PROBLEM SOLVED!
If you would like to download the EX-15 “Non Resident Certificate” document, you can do so at the end of this article.
We hope that these questions have solved all your doubts. Remember to call 060 for more enquiries.
From the N332 Facebook Team
Please remember also that although other articles you may have read may seem drastic, you may not have been made fully aware of the situation or the facts and therefore you may not have been able to make a fully informed opinion on the situation. The points above are from law, to which there is no interpretation.