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

British Embassy issues update on driving licence exchange in Spain

There has been some progress towards allowing British residents to swap their UK licence and be able to drive in Spain without taking a test and agreement is said to be close

SUR IN ENGLISH MALAGA.

The British Embassy in Madrid has issued an update on its negotiations with Spain, where British residents who were unable to exchange their UK licences for Spanish ones within the allotted time period are currently not permitted to drive. Posting on the Brits in Spain Facebook page, the message was as follows:

“This is a brief update on progress towards driving licence exchange coming into force and some more information on what to expect once that happens.

"The UK’s legal checks have now been completed and a final version is with Spain for agreement on their side. When the British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Spanish Foreign Minister Albares met this week, they both agreed that we are close to completing this process. We will update again before the Christmas break and work with Spain will continue between Christmas and New Year.

"In the meantime, here are provisional answers to some more of the questions you have been asking us:

My UK licence has expired. Will I be able to exchange it without taking a test?

Yes. The text includes provision for expired licences to be accepted for exchange, provided they were valid at the time you began living in Spain.

Do I have to give up my UK licence? Why can’t I keep both?

Once an exchange agreement is in force, you can drive in Spain on your UK licence for the first six months of living here, during which time you must exchange it for a Spanish licence. It is not possible to hold licences issued by the UK and Spain at the same time. If you return to live in the UK at any point, you will be able to exchange your Spanish licence for a UK one without taking a test.

I'm in my 80s/90s. Is there any age restriction on who can exchange their licence?

There is no age restriction and your driving licence remains valid until it expires. However, in general, once you reach 65, your licence will only be issued for five years, rather than 10. Validity periods are different for driving different categories of vehicles.

You can find more information here."