End of July driving license exchange update

by Lorraine Williamson
July driving license exchange update

It is now almost the end of July, and we bring you the latest official update from the British Embassy in Madrid regarding the current situation with the ongoing negotiations for the driving license exchange agreement.

Last week, the British Embassy posted a list of the most common questions that people still had regarding the outstanding agreement to change to a Spanish driving license. This week, there have been more questions, and here are the official answers.
Unfortunately, however, they cannot go into all details as seemingly, “that could run the risk of derailing the negotiations”. However, the Embassy are being as transparent as possible. can and we hope this post is helpful.

What has happened this week? – July driving license exchange update

Intensive talks continued this week, which concluded in a productive meeting between UK and Spanish officials today (Friday). However, there still remains some outstanding work to be done to agree the annexes.
Also this week, Hugh Elliott, the UK Ambassador for Spain and Andorra met with citizens’ rights groups representing UK Nationals from across Spain. At the meeting, he listened to their perspectives on local issues and answered questions from the members.

Will negotiations go on into August?

Yes. A couple of weeks ago, Elliot said that he’d sought assurances on this and that, on the UK side, there is a full negotiating team available. Furthermore, Spain have now confirmed that they can continue negotiations with us over August.
However, as they continue to state, it is impossible to give an exact date on when the agreement will be finalised.

What happens once the agreement is final?

Once the negotiation teams have agreed the text, it will then go forward for final legal and political approvals. On the Spanish side, this means going through the ‘Consejo de Ministros’ (Spanish Cabinet). Whereas, on the UK side, it will be approved by the relevant Ministers.
Then it will be published in the BOE (state bulletin) and should therefore come into force the same day. Therefore, you will then have six months to exchange your UK licence for a Spanish one (without having to take a test). Moreover, during that six-month period, you will be able to drive using your UK license.

Will there be enough exchange appointments?

The Spanish Government will be responsible for the administration process to ensure the provision of appointments. The UK have advised Spain regarding the number of appointments that may be required during that six-month window.
However, in saying that, it is obviously better to attempt to make an appointment sooner rather than later. Furthermore, according to the official post, you do not have to make the appointment in the area where you are resident if there is greater availability elsewhere.

My UK licence has expired. Will I still be able to get a Spanish licence?

This has been taken into account by the negotiating team. Therefore, expired licences shall be accepted provided they were valid at the time that the licence holder entered Spain.

Will the agreement only apply to those who were here before the end of 2020 and registered their intent to exchange?

No. The agreement will apply to anyone holding a UK licence. This means whether they were here before the end of 2020 or whether they move here in the future.

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