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In March, an agreement was finally reached for the exchange of United Kingdom issued driving licences held by residents in Spain for the Spanish equivalent, without the need to sit a test, as per the rules following Brexit.

The agreement meant that those UK licence holders who are resident in Spain were again allowed to drive, but only until the exchange had been carried out. It should be noted that residents should have already exchanged their licence once Spain became their habitual residency.

The temporary agreement established 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 legal residence.

With this pact, those British citizens residing in Spain who had not had their driving licence exchanged before Brexit, nor in the successive extensions granted, would be able to do so as of Thursday, March 16. However, a timeline had been put on doing this, as, again, this is just another, albeit final, extension period.

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 permit while they process the exchange. We are now halfway through the transition period, so if you havn’t already, you must act NOW to exchange your licence, as this new transition period is to allow for delays caused by the backlog.

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.

UK driving licence

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