The Government approves the reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licences between Spain and the United Kingdom
- 11 April 2023
- Business Consultancy
CINC can submit applications for the exchange of UK driving licences of persons who are residents of Spain.
• The agreement, in the form of an Exchange of Notes Verbales between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, also provides for the exchange of information on traffic offences in the field of road safety.
• In this way, holders of a driving licence valid in either of the two States will be able to apply for an exchange in the country where they have established their residence without the need to take an additional practical or theoretical test.
On 14 March 2023, the Council of Ministers approved the agreement whereby Spain and the United Kingdom will proceed with the reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licences, as well as the exchange of information on traffic offences in the field of road safety.
This agreement puts an end to the successive extensions applied for the exchange of licences between the two countries that had been in place since the end of the transitional period provided for in the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
From now on, holders of a valid and current driving licence issued by either state will be able to apply for the exchange of their equivalent driving licence where they have taken up residence, without being subject to any additional practical or theoretical test requirements and by the equivalence tables between the licence categories of both countries.
The agreement establishes that all valid licences or licences of current residents issued before it entered into force may be exchanged, while for licences issued after it enters into force, it will be a prerequisite for access to the exchange that the licences were issued in the country where the applicant was legally resident.
With this agreement, British citizens resident in Spain who had not had their driving licence recognised before Brexit, nor in the successive extensions granted, will be able to do so from Thursday 16 March.
To facilitate the administrative process at the provincial traffic police stations, a period of six months has been granted during which British citizens can drive around Spain with their original licence while they process the exchange.
In addition, Spain and the UK undertake to provide each other with information on the details of vehicles and their owners to investigate road safety-related traffic offences, in particular in cases of speeding, not wearing a seat belt, failing to stop at a red traffic light, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, not wearing a crash helmet, driving in a prohibited lane or illegal use of mobile phones.