Spanish driving license exchange

by Lorraine Williamson
Spanish driving license

Following BREXIT, UK nationals were required to hold a valid Spanish driving license if resident in Spain. There were various extensions given to allow more time for the changeover. However, from 1 May 2022, this was stopped.

From May 1, those Brits resident in Spain prior to 1 January 2022 without a valid Spanish driving license were not permitted to drive. Those who became resident after the turn of the year, with a UK driving license, were only permitted to drive for 6 months.

Negotiations have been ongoing since then to allow an exchange period without the need for taking a physical driving test. In the interim period, that was the only other option available to those without a Spanish driving license. However, even that was problematic in places due to lengthy waiting lists, and other difficulties.

Update on Spanish driving license

A video update was given by the British Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, Hugh Elliot just before Christmas regarding the driving license exchange negotiations.

At that time, Elliot confirmed work would continue over the holiday period.

The official Consulate & Embassy Facebook page has now advised that the legal checks have now been completed on both sides. Consequently, the final processes required for an international treaty are now underway.

State bulletin (BOE)

The Agreement will now go forward to the Consejo de Ministros for approval. Although these meetings take place on a weekly basis, the UK Embassy obviously has no control over the scheduling. Therefore, an exact date cannot be given as to when the driving license exchange Agreement will be included in the agenda.

As soon as it is, there will then be a formal exchange of notes, and the Agreement will apply once it is published in the state bulletin (BOE).

Psychophysical aptitude test

In advance of this happening, the Embassy now recommend you get your psicotécnico test (psychophysical aptitude test) in place. You will need this certificate showing you have passed the test in order to exchange your licence.

Certificates are valid for three months. If you fail the test, you can retake as many times as you need.

For those don´t know what the test entails, the psicotécnico will check your eyesight and reactions. You may also have a brief interview with a doctor.

Where to take the test

To find out where you can go to book the test, the DGT have listed the official locations.

During the 6-month window to allow you to make the driving license exchange, you will be able to drive on your UK licence. After that period has ended, you can still complete the exchange. However, you will not be able to drive on your UK licence while waiting to do so.

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