Here is a contribution from David Ruiz, the owner of Torrevieja Translation as well as a specialist on driving licences, interpreting and translation. He and his group, are every other day in the Traffic Office in Alicante doing paperwork so we have asked them to write an article about changes/renovations driving licences in the Alicante Traffic Office.


Still confused with the new regulations on EU driving licences in Spain?

Did you know that you can either “renew” or “exchange” your EU driving licence?

Let me briefly explain the difference of both procedures.

Although I believe you’ve already read the following, you must renew your EU driving licence in Spain if you:

• Drive using an EU licence other than Spanish.
• Have Spanish residency.
• Obtained your Spanish residency on or before the 19th of January 2013.

In addition, you will have to renew it if you (any or all four of the following):

• Have a licence which never expires.
• Have a driving licence which expires in 15 years or more for Group 1 (AM, A1, A2, A, B Y BE).
• Have a driving licence which expires in 5 years or more for Group 2 (BTP, C1, C1E, C, CE D1, D1E, D, DE).
• Have a driving licence which has already expired or is close to its expiration date.

Do you fall into any of the previous? Then “renewal” is what you have to do.

However, if renewal does not apply to you, as long as you have Spanish residency (even if you became resident today) you can still do a voluntary “exchange” (canje).

Both “Renewal” and “Exchange” are essentially the same, as the final outcome is obtaining the Spanish driving licence.

There are some minor points to note:

• The fee is slightly different (Renewal is 23.50€ and Exchange is 27.70€)
• Both procedures have different application forms.
• In Alicante province you always need to provide a medical certificate for “Renewal”.
• For the “exchange”, at least in Alicante province, a medical is not necessary if your EU licence expires in a year or more.

I hope this short article has shed some light on both procedures.

Click on the link below and read my article “9 facts you must know about renewing your EU driving licence in Spain”. I clarify some important aspects in this article on renewing your EU licence:


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