A sample UK licence, still with the EU flag. / SUR

Sticking points resolved in UK-Spain driving licence agreement, says ambassador

The bilateral deal that will allow British licence holders to exchange them for Spanish ones still has to go through several bureaucratic processes before drivers can get back on the road

SUR IN ENGLISH

The British ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, said in a video message this Friday, 18 November, that an agreement has been reached on the two points that were holding up the bilateral deal that will allow residents in Spain to exchange their UK driving licences for Spanish ones.

Since May this year thousands of residents in Spain, including British expats who were unable to swap to a Spanish licence before Brexit, or who came later and have been living in Spain for more than six months, were forced to stop driving. After the UK left the EU, a bilateral agreement between the two countries was necessary to allow an exchange of driving licences for residents, who otherwise would have to take a Spanish driving test.

"We have made a significant step forward, said the ambassador in the video posted on the embassy's Brits in Spain Facebook page, explaining that the two "outstanding, complex issues" that had been holding up the deal have been resolved.

Elliott went on to explain, however, that there are still numerous steps the process has to go through before UK licence holders can get back on the roads, including "securing ministerial approval on both sides and the necessary treaty processes and formal exchanges", adding that he was unable to say how many weeks that process will take.

Once the agreement has been published in the BOE, the official state gazette, explained Elliott, residents will have six months to exchange their licences. "During that time, valid UK licence holders will be able to drive in Spain," clarified the ambassador.

"I hope that this latest news brings you some reassurance and helps you consider your next steps," Elliott added.