British citizens residing in Spain who failed to exchange their licence will now be able to exchange it for a Spanish licence without a test, and drive on their current licence for a temporary extention period of 6 months. The agreement, embodied in the form of an Exchange of Verbal Notes between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, also establishes the exchange of information on traffic offences in terms of road safety.


Thanks to the agreement approved on Tuesday by the Spanish Government, holders of a valid driving licence in one of the two States may request the exchange in the country where they have established their residence without the need to take an additional practical or theoretical test.

The Council of Ministers approved the agreement by which Spain and the United Kingdom will proceed to the reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licences, as well as resolving one of the issues that had prevented progress, 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 Brexit 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 United Kingdom, or Spain, may request the exchange of their equivalent driving licence where they have established their residence, without being subject to any additional requirement of practical or theoretical test 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 legal residence.

With this pact, those British citizens residing in Spain who had not exchanged their driving licence 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 permit while they process the exchange. In other words, you must act NOW to exchange your licence, as this new transition period is to allow for delays caused by the backlog. Do not delay this time.

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.

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