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Changing your UK Driving Licence to a Spanish Licence

Changing your UK Driving Licence to a Spanish Licence

Changing your UK Driving Licence to a Spanish Licence - This can be a complex subject to work through.  We recommend you contact Cowles Hollingworth for Assistance

January 2021 Upates

If you are resident in Spain and have not exchanged your UK licence for a Spanish one, you should exchange it before 30 June 2021.

If you were resident in Spain before 1 January 2021 and registered your details with the DGT (Spanish Traffic Authority) before 30 December 2020, you must make an appointment with the DGT to complete the exchange of your UK licence by 30 June 2021. You will have to show proof you are registered as a resident at the appointment.

You will have to give your UK licence to the Spanish Traffic Authority at your appointment. They will provide you with a temporary driving permit (‘autorización temporal para conducir’) to use until your Spanish licence is processed. This document is only valid in Spain and not in any other country

Read the Spanish Traffic Authority’s guidance on how to get an appointment and the documentation you must provide (use the option in the top-right hand corner to translate page to English).

Updated 16th November 2020 - One of the key actions for UK Nationals living in Spain is to exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish one, but recently a lack of appointments has made this difficult. Therefore, to speed up the licence exchange and ensure UK Nationals can begin the process before the end of the year, the DGT has put a new system in place which has gone live on their website today.

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

It is a two-step process.

To start the process of exchanging your UK driving licence for a Spanish one by 30 December 2020, follow these 2 steps:

Step 1

Submit your application to exchange to the DGT (Spanish Traffic Authority) before 30 December. You can do this:

electronically via the DGT’s online portal (if you have a digital signature ‘firma digital’ or

by using the Cl@ve app or

by calling 060

In some provinces, you may be able to submit your application in person at your local office. Check with your local office before you go.

Check you have requested the correct exchange option on the application form:

if your licence has expired, or is due to expire in the next few months, you should choose ‘renovación’

if you have lost your licence, or it has been stolen, you should choose ‘sustitución’

for all other requests, choose ‘canje’

Step 2

three days after you submit your application, request an appointment, using the DGT’s website, to complete the final exchange

if you submitted your application before 30 December, and the DGT has verified your licence by the end of 2020, your DGT appointment to exchange your licence can be after 1 January 2021. It must, however, be before 30 June 2021

you will have to give your UK licence to the Spanish Traffic Authority at your appointment. They will provide a temporary driving permit (‘autorización temporal para conducir’) to use until your Spanish licence is processed. This document is only valid in Spain and not in any other country

You can exchange your driving licence in a different province to the one you live in. You can also instruct a representative (such as a registered ‘gestor’) to complete the process for you.

If you live in Spain but are not yet registered as a resident, you may be able to submit your application to exchange if you have a foreigners’ identity number (NIE). However, you must have a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) when you attend your appointment to complete the licence exchange.

Whether your UK licence has been verified for exchange by the end of 2020 or not, you will be able to drive in Spain using your UK licence until 30 June 2021.

Read full information on the special measures for UK licence holders on the Spanish Traffic Authority website (use the option in the top-right hand corner to translate pages to English). Future rules on exchange and recognition of UK licences are not yet agreed.

Driving in the UK with a Spanish licence

Until 31 December 2020, you can still use your Spanish licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test.

These rules may change from 1 January 2021. We will update this page once more information is available.

Lost, stolen or expired UK licences

If you live in Spain, you will not be able to renew your driving licence in the UK. If your UK licence is lost, stolen or expired, you will need to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for a ‘certificate of entitlement’ to be able to apply for a Spanish driving licence.

 

As long as your application has been submitted before 30 December, and the UK authorities have verified your licence by the end of the year, your appointment to exchange your licence can be after 1 January 2021, provided it is within the first 6 months of next year. Please note that you will need a residency certificate/TIE to do final exchange, so if you are in the process of applying for residency you may want to choose a later date for your appointment.

Irrespective of whether a UK licence has been verified for exchange by the end of the year, you will be able to drive in Spain using your UK licence for 6 months from 1 January 2021. The future rules on exchange and recognition of UK licences are still subject to negotiation.

Good News! There appears to be a new web page set up today on the DGT for the exchange of your UK driving licence for a Spanish one. i.e. specifically for post Brexit compliance.

FIND THIS LINK HERE

 

 

Changing your UK Driving Licence to a Spanish Licence  - Paperwork required

An official application form which can be downloaded from the Traffic Department and is on the website of the DGT - link above
Proof of identity (passport)
Residencia/TIE (and copy)
Padron (proof of your address from the town hall) renewed within
the last three months
Driving Licence card and counterpart
A recent photograph 32mm x 26mm
Payment of 23.50€

Booking the medical 

We would advice you book your appointment 1st before getting your medical as this is only valid for 3 months.

Imed Levante Hospital this is the cheapest place to go in the area. call into the hospital and speak to the reception staff (most speak English).  Appointments are made between the hours of 11am - 2pm and 6pm and 8pm the current cost (August 2018) is 43.70€.  It may be possible to get an appointment for the same day.

When you return for your appointment 1st go to the reception desk and they will check you in and take payment you will then be directed to level -2 (lift right opposite the reception desk), when you get out of the lift turn left and follow the corridor to a door marked "Reconocimiento Medico" and wait to be called, make sure you have your residencia and passport with you.

Europa clinic Benidorm - Fees are 48€ if you wish your new licence to just be for car and bike and 53€ to include everything on your existing licence.  There is no need to make an appointment just turn up and wait to be seen, take with you your, residency and current driving licence.  Here you will only be expected to take one test for your reaction times.

The medical examination

The first thing they will do is take your photo, you will then be asked a few standard questions about your medical and psychological health, and details from your residencia taken, you will then be asked to sign an electronic key pad. When answering these questions be honest if you wear hearing aids say so and if you have a pacemaker make sure you mention this.  If you do not and a licence is granted and you have an accident you will not be covered by your insurance and may lose your licence.

Test 1 - Eye site, both eyes will be tested individually and then together, this is a simple test and just requires you reading back a few registration numbers.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you’re tested with these and your licence with be marked to indicate this (remember, you must carry a spare pair when driving).

Test 2 - Hearing test, you will be placed in a sound proof booth and asked to press a button when hearing a sound.

Test 3 - You will be sat in front of a screen this part is in 2 tests  in some areas, if you are lucky it is just the one test, this is to check reaction times etc, the first test is quite simple you will be asked to follow a red ball along a blue line, this then goes into a blank space you have to press the button when you think the ball will have left the blank space.

The 2nd part of this test is much harder, you will see two red wavy lines with a white ball, these red lines will move and you have to keep the white ball in-between the red lines, go outside these lines and the machine will beep, dont be alarmed, we had quite a few beeps and still passed. the only way to describe this test is imagine playing the old fashioned pac man video game but playing 2 games at once.

If you wear hearing aids it will be mentioned on your licence that you MUST wear these when driving, if you have a pacemaker the time of you new licence will be reduced and you will have to go back and renew it more regularly for example a regular licence for 5 years will be reduced to 3.

The medical certificate is valid for 90 days, to enable you to make your application for a licence (or a renewal).

Where to go

Calle Catedratico Ferre Vidiella, 4, 03005 Alicante

You will find blue zone parking on the streets in this area.

Upon arrival of the DGT office

As you walk in the door there will be a security guard on the front desk who will point you in the direction of a ticket machine, enter your NIE number into the machine and take the ticket, then wait for your number to be called and go to the appropriate desk.

Payment is made by card.

You will then be given a temporary licence which will permit you to drive until your new licence is delivered, this is valid for 3 months, but some licences are taking longer than this to be processed, be patient

Renewal

A full Spanish driving licence is valid for 10 years between the ages of 18 and 45; between the ages of 45 and 70 it remains 5 years; and beyond 70 years old the validity period remains 2 years. (this may be changed for medical reasons as stated above)

You 'should' receive a letter advising you of the need for renewal as long as your address details are current, but do not rely on this being sent.

To renew your Spanish driving licence you will need to present all your documents at your nearest ‘Jefatura de Trafico’ at least 3 months before the old licence expires, including a new ‘solicitud’ (download as before), your old licence, your residencia, NIE and ‘empadromiento’ (proof of address from town hall) three photographs, and a Certificate of Aptitude from an Authorised Drivers Check Centre (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores Autorizado) in your province. (medical as above).

To Check the progress of your Driving Licence applications use this webpage, entering your nie number and date of birth.

Comments  

0 # Stephen Adams 2021-01-11 09:55
Hi,
I cannot seem to find any advice on the following situation ... my wife is Spanish and we have a flat here but I also live in the UK as my businesses are there. I spend approx 7 months of the year in the UK and 5 months in Spain although that could change to 7 months in Spain and 5 months in the UK. What do I with regards to driving licence so that I can drive in both countries. My stays are not consecutive e.g. 2 weeks in UK, 2 weeks in Spain then 3 weeks in UK, 1 week in Spain etc. etc. ?
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0 # Tracy Ann 2021-01-11 10:45
Hi Stephen, you dont state if you have Spanish Residency or not? If you do then you are legally required to change your licence to a Spanish one. There is no problem using a Spanish licence back in the UK and you can easily swap it back when need be ie moving back on a permanent basis. Also worth remembering the new Schengen rules if you are not a resident here ie you can only stay for 90 days in any 180. You will find a Schengen visa calculator here https://www.benidormseriously.com/schengen-visa-calculator
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0 # Aftab 2021-01-06 06:00
Hi,I failed to book appointment with DGT now the the dadate was ended I called to DGT they told me wait for new upcomings of Brexit between countries have any way to exchange UK driving licence to Spanish one now there are many people's who could not approached to appointment so what we have to day
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0 # Tracy Ann 2021-01-06 08:02
You will find a link on the page above "how to get an appointment and the documentation you must provide" That will provided more information for you. If you have problems contact Cowleshollingworth who can help you with the process - https://www.benidormseriously.com/business-directory?view=companies&companyId=6352
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0 # Lewis 2020-11-19 17:55
Awesome blog, thanks for all the information! I need to convert my license, but I only have the NIE and hope to be on the Padron next week. But I have no residencia(the green card) or the TIE card. I am in the process of getting the TIE, but will probably not receive the card until after the deadline of 30th December 2020. Is there a way around this?
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0 # Tracy Ann 2020-11-19 18:05
Hi Lewis, our advice would be to contact the experts, ie the people that deal with problems such as yours on a daily basis, contact CowlesHollingworth - https://www.benidormseriously.com/business-directory?view=companies&companyId=6352 They may be able to make an appointment for you on the basis of you being in the system for your TIE card, or at least get you in the system for the driving licence exchange which is quite a timely process. Hope you get everything sorted out, let us know.
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0 # helen marshall 2020-11-13 15:10
This article is excellent thanks. When will you publish and update on how we can access the new form to apply to DGT as we cannot get an appointment easily at all.

Thanks

Helen
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0 # Tracy Ann 2020-11-13 19:25
Hi Helen all links are on the page above, if you are having difficulty getting an appointment use a company to get one for you as they have appointments available as they do this work all day every day. Contact CowlesHollingworth for help and advice https://www.benidormseriously.com/business-directory?view=companies&companyId=6352
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+1 # Rachael 2020-11-08 21:56
Any update yet on the process/form to be completed BEFORE 25 December? I can't find any information anywhere and we're quickly running out of time. Still absolutely impossible to get in touch with dgt either by phobe or through the web.
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0 # Tracy Ann 2020-11-09 08:24
as time as you say is running out and appointments difficult to get contact a professional as they have appointments available try talking to CowlesHollingworth, they will do the whole process for you without you even going to Alicante.
The only other thing you will need to organise is your medical but they will tell you when to get that done https://www.benidormseriously.com/business-directory?view=companies&companyId=6352
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0 # AnitaBair 2020-11-02 17:15
My UK driving licence expired many years ago because I have been living in the US (I'm British). I've just got Spanish residency but will my expired UK driving licence be accepted? How do I renew it when I do not have a UK address? Any advice greatly appreciated!
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0 # Tracy Ann 2020-11-03 08:05
Hi, my advice would be to contact the experts, people that deal with applications every day I am sure they will be able to advise you, contact CowlesHollingworth, contact details can be found here https://www.benidormseriously.com/business-directory?view=companies&companyId=6352
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0 # Graham Letts 2020-07-08 20:09
If i change my licence to Spanish and i get resideciain Spain.When i go to my house in England can i drive my English car and will i still be able to get insurancein England , with the spanish licence and residencia?
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0 # Derek 2020-07-14 14:59
I would suggest you redirect this question to your insurance company in the UK.
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0 # MayMay 2020-06-09 02:50
Hi

I am a New Zealander with a UK drivers licence which I exchanged for (Code 70NZ in section 12). I have been driving for over 20+ years.
My passport is NZ, while my drivers licence is UK.

Are all these acceptable for me to exchange my UK licence for a Spanish one? Would it matter?
Thanks.
May
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0 # Derek 2020-06-09 08:15
You haven't stated if you live in Spain. If you do, it is compulsory to change over. If not a Spanish Speaker that can be quite difficult, without the added problems you may be expecting. I would suggest you see assistance from Cowles Hollingworth http://www.benidormseriously.com/business-directory?view=companies&companyId=6352
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0 # MayMay 2020-06-09 13:13
Living in Spain.
Wasn't sure if the passport needs to match the driver's licence when its exchanged. Or they just look at the licence really.
I'll reach out to the link above. Thanks.
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0 # Tracy Ann 2020-06-09 13:32
To our knowledge your passport would need to match, this is used for proof of identity. but contact https://www.benidormseriously.com/business-directory?view=companies&companyId=6352 for clarification.
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0 # john hunter 2019-10-15 19:34
What size photos do i need_
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0 # Tracy Ann 2019-10-16 00:03
if you get them done in the Kodak shops they know what sizes are need for all the documents, think these are just standard passport sized ones
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0 # Terry constant 2019-10-13 17:01
Hi, we are trying to book the appointment now for the license renewal, but UK/Reino Unido/England etc doesn't appear on any list of countries to exchange or any type of activity?
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0 # Mark Teruel 2019-10-14 20:10
After several hours of searching the reason the UK is no longer in the list is that special arrangements have been made in case brexit occurs on 31st October 2019 with no deal, for those needing to exchange a UK licence for a Spanish one.. If you haven't yet started this process, you need to move quickly as it needs to be started before 1st Noveeber 2019 and it may take you a few days to get the necessary access code.
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0 # Mark Teruel 2019-10-14 18:19
I'm having the same problem. And only 17 days to get this underway. (I am trying to exchange my UK licence for a Spanish licence)
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0 # Tracy Ann 2019-10-13 21:15
are you renewing a Spanish licence or exchanging your UK one, two different things x
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0 # Mark Temple 2019-06-09 14:31
So I am filling out my application form and reading the notes on here but it's a little unclear which dates I am supposed to write down and also the Class of Licence, any help appreciated thanks
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0 # Tracy Ann 2019-06-09 14:58
you just need to take the information off your current driving licence
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0 # David Murphy 2019-05-10 15:49
David Murphy Medical for changing driving licence in Clinica Europa this morning, no appointment necessary, between 10 and 1, 48 euros, take your residencia and driving licence, eye test, hearing test, heart rate checked and a co-ordination test done, all done in about 10 minutes maximum, book your appointment with trafico before you go for medical as the certificate only lasts for 3 months
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0 # Tracy Ann 2019-05-10 16:24
Thanks David glad it went well, how much do they charge at Clinica Europa?
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0 # David Murphy 2019-05-10 17:28
I put price above hun €48
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0 # Celia Walker 2019-03-27 10:49
Gary Walker and I received our Spanish driving licences yesterday - 5 weeks from our appointment - 7 weeks start to finish!!!
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0 # Marcel Turnbull. 2019-03-01 13:21
My wife went to traffico in Alicante and put her paperwork in to exchange her licence 6 weeks ago how long should it take?
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0 # Tracy Ann 2019-03-01 13:43
These can take 4 - 5 months at the moment.
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0 # Marcel Turnbull. 2019-03-01 16:22
Her licence runs out on the 29th of March what does she do then.?????
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0 # Julie Taylor 2019-02-26 10:42
Hi, does it matter that I only have 2 months left on my English license when I apply for my spanish license. Thanks
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0 # Tracy Ann 2019-02-26 12:00
No that should be fine.
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0 # Celia 2019-02-18 12:27
Gary Walker and I have just been to change our UK driving licences to Spanish ones....we followed the instructions on the Benidorm Seriously website after being quoted €170 each - including medical We booked an appointment with DGT online - only a 2 week wait We had the medical at the IMed hospital in Benidorm last week Drove to Alicante this morning with all the required paperwork and half an hour later it's all done! Costs Medical €43.70 X 2 = €87.40 Driving licence €24.10 X 2 = €48.20 Parking and petrol €20 Total cost €155.60 Thanks for the help and advice Tracy Ann Essex xx
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0 # Jill Shail 2019-02-18 15:05
Glad to have helped xx
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0 # Gary Edgar 2019-02-03 02:09
Do i need a medical to exchange my eu licence to spanish? As far as i have seen a medical is only required to renew.
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0 # Admin 2019-02-03 08:18
Yes, you do. The terms exchange and renew are being used here to mean the same thing.
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