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UK-Spain driving licence issue

Posted by Saydo Parks on February 5, 2023

Information supplied by – Southern Spain Questions & Answers Facebook Page – Ray Farmer – 05-02-2023

By all accounts, both the UK & Spain have now agreed the terms of the driving licence exchange, but this now has to be passed by both the UK & Spanish governments … and that could easily take some time (or could happen tomorrow, no one really knows).

Now, with this in mind … when it is finalised, you will need to arrange an appointment with the relevant Spanish authority to complete the swap over (details of which will be released nearer the time) and YOU WILL NEED TO COMPLETE A VERY SIMPLE MEDICAL.

When completed, this medical certificate will have a 3-month validity, so you are advised not to arrange this before you have an appointment for the actual licence exchange > SO DON’T DO IT YET.
The cost of the medical seems to be around €45+/- and the cost of the licence exchange hasn’t been stated as yet but won’t be much money.

You will also need a picture to be added to your new Spanish licence … which will likely be the same format as the TIE card (32mm x 26mm, light coloured clear background).

Expired UK licences will be accepted … but any UK licences that have been re-newed since you obtained a Spanish TIE card will not be acceptable.

When the licence agreement is formally accepted and released … you will be able to drive straight away (except for expired licence holders) but will also need to complete the exchange to a Spanish licence within 6 months of that exchange start date.

This does now sound like it will happen fairly soon now, so just keep checking and act once you see official proof that it has started > but do nothing as yet.

The medical is VERY EASY and can`t really be described as a medical … but rather a dexterity test (makes sure you have control of both hands and your eyes), a sight test (similar to a normal optical test) and maybe a blood pressure check. ALL Spanish drivers have to have this test which will be repeated each time you renew your Spanish driving licence.

Make a note of the categories that you have on your UK licence and make sure they are all included in the exchange licence.

#expired licences. When you became resident in Spain, you agreed to leave the UK and live legally in Spain … which means if you subsequently renewed a UK driving licence in the UK, your declaring you are UK resident, which means you lose your Spanish residency. This is why UK licences that have been renewed since you became a Spanish resident cannot be honoured, as they both contradict each other.

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