Mid December driving licence exchange update

by Lorraine Williamson
license exchange update

The British Embassy in Spain has issued a brief update regarding the driving license exchange negotiations. They have also answered some common questions as to what to expect when the agreement becomes official.

License exchange update

The UK has now completed the legal checks on their side, and a final version is now with Spain for agreement. The British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly and Spanish Foreign Minister Albares met earlier this week, and both agreed that the license exchange process is close to completion.

Negotiations will continue between Christmas and New Year, but the embassy has advised we should receive a further update again before the Christmas break.

In the meantime, they have given answers to some common questions that have been asked.

Questions and Answers

If my UK licence has expired, will I be able to exchange it without taking a test?

Yes. The text in the agreement includes provision for expired licences to be accepted for exchange. However, this is provided it was valid at the time you began living in Spain.

Do I have to give up my UK licence, or can I keep both?

Once an exchange agreement is in force, you can drive in Spain using your UK licence for the first six months of living here. During which time you must exchange it for a Spanish licence.

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It is not possible to hold two licences. If you return to live in the UK at any point, you will be able to exchange your Spanish licence for a UK one without taking a test.

I am over 65, does my age still allow me to exchange my licence?

There is no age restriction. Therefore, your driving licence remains valid until it expires. However, in general, once you reach 65, your licence will only be renewed for five years at a time, rather than 10.

Also read: DGT wants to shorten the 5 year renewal period for over 65s

The validity of your driving license also depends on your health. As stated by the DGT, if during the medical examination, the doctor verifies that you suffer from an illness or deficiency that, although would not prevent renewal, but is likely to worsen, then the length of renewal will be shorter.

The DGT has answered some more general frequently asked questions about driving licenses in Spain.

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