Deadline approaching for UK driving license exchange

by Lorraine Williamson
driving license deadline

For Brits residing in Spain who are still holding onto their UK or Gibraltar driving licenses, there is a crucial deadline approaching. You have only two weeks left to exchange your license or potentially face legal consequences.

The Spanish authorities have issued a final warning to UK motorists living in Spain. They must change their driving licenses before the looming deadline.

Resident in Spain before 15 March 2023?

It’s essential to understand that UK or Gibraltar driving licenses must be swapped for Spanish licenses by September 15. This requirement applies exclusively to individuals who were living in Spain before March 15, 2023. Failure to comply with this regulation will mean you are breaking the law if you continue to drive.

This directive forms part of the BREXIT deal, and stems from an agreement reached in March between the UK and Spain governments, facilitating the license exchange without the need for a Spanish driving test. However, it was explicitly stated in the agreement that this transition must be completed by September 15. Consequently, those who have not yet done so, for whatever reason, have just 12 days to secure a new license.

Cogesa Expats

British Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, Hugh Elliott, emphasised the importance of this process. He stated, “It is very important that UK license holders who lived in Spain prior to March 15, 2023, and wish to drive here, exchange their licenses on or before the September 15 deadline. We want this message to reach as many UK license holders as possible. So please spread the word and refer to our Facebook page (@BritsInSpain) and the official UK government website for information.”

Recently moved to Spain?

If you moved to Spain from 16 March 2023 or after, you can drive using your valid UK or Gibraltar license for six months from the date you acquire residency. However, it is recommended you start the exchange process as soon as possible.

Exchange is still possible after six months. But your UK license will not be valid for driving in Spain while you await your exchange to be completed.

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