The latest “non-update” on the driving license exchange

by Lorraine Williamson
driving license exchange

MADRID – British Ambassador for Spain and Andorra, Hugh Elliot has Tweeted the latest update on discussions over the exchange of your UK driving license for a Spanish one.

In a video update, he confirmed that further discussions took place yesterday. And that they continue to work hard to reach a conclusion that suits both the UK and Spain. Furthermore, Elliot stated that as part of the agreement, they were hoping for the immediate reinstatement of the right to drive on a UK license as long as you are going through the process of exchange. However, talks on this, and other aspects will continue early next week.

Provision of data

Elliot said, “one of the outstanding issues is around data provision”. He continued, “as part of their efforts to improve road safety, Spain have asked that we provide them with the vehicle keeper details of UK registered vehicles who commit traffic offences in Spain”. Moreover, he stated that this was one of the main questions that continue to be asked by expats.

He also advised that he could not give any indications or promises as to how or when negotiations would end. Furthermore, he stressed the Spanish authorities are aware of the impact not being able to drive is having on people.

Help with transport

Moreover, Elliot has suggested that for those who need help or advice to get in contact with their local town hall or charities as they may well be able to help with transport issues. This is particularly the case for those with medical issues.

Questions on social media

Recently, there has been much discussion regarding driving licenses on various social media platforms. As is usual, there are many opinions, but it is always better to check the facts with the official websites. One question recently asked that received a variety of responses was for people wanting to keep a UK driving license whether or not they also have a Spanish one. The official answer is, no you cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, or Isle of Man licence if you live in Spain. If you are resident in Spain, you must have or exchange for a Spanish license.

Valid driving license

The UK governement website states the following with regard to the validity of your UK driving license

From 1 May 2022:

  • if you were living in Spain before 1 January 2021, your valid UK driving license will no longer be valid for driving in Spain
  • if you moved to Spain after 1 January 2021, your valid UK license will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence

Talks will continue early next week, and we will continue to update you as we learn more. But in the meantime, you can also check the official UK government website, get in touch with your nearest British Consulate, or contact Support In Spain.

Also read:

Previous update

Drivers over 65 in Spain

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