British driving licences are no longer acceptable for people who are resident in Spain. / GOV.UK

British Embassy in Madrid issues update as driving licence deadline of 30 April approaches

Many British citizens living in Spain are concerned that their Spanish licences will not be issued on time, and they will end up having to take a driving test


It's mid-April and many British citizens who are resident in Spain are becoming increasingly concerned at the delays in issuing their Spanish driving licences because the deadline - or rather, the end of the period of grace - has been set for 30th of this month, and negotiations between the British and Spanish authorities are still ongoing.

The British Embassy in Madrid, via its Brits in Spain page on Facebook, says it recognises the anxiety the situation is causing for those who had not already exchanged their UK licence for a Spanish one (or registered their intention to do so) before 30 December 2020 or who arrived after that date, and has issued an update.


"We have asked Spain for an extension that will give us enough time to reach a final agreement and avoid a further cliff edge in the future. What we cannot do is guarantee when or whether an agreement will be reached. Therefore, if it is essential for you to drive, you may not want to wait for the outcome of the ongoing negotiations and you may decide to apply for a Spanish driving licence now. This involves taking both a practical and theory test," it says.

Brits in Spain also explains that this only applies to UK nationals who are living in Spain. Visitors can continue to use their UK licence to drive in Spain without the need for an International Driving Permit.