The deal comes into force this Thursday.
After a nearly a year of waiting, Spanish and British citizens who hold a valid driving licence in either of the two countries will now be able to apply for an exchange in the country where they have established their residence without the need to take an additional practical or theoretical test.
The Council of Ministers in Madrid this afternoon approved the agreement whereby Spain and the United Kingdom will proceed with the reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licences, as well as the exchange of information on traffic offences , the Ministry of the Interior has announced.
This agreement puts an end to the successive extensions applied for the exchange of licences between the two countries that had been in place since the end of the transitional period provided for in the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
From now on, holders of a valid and current driving licence issued by either state will be able to apply for the exchange of their equivalent driving licence where they have taken up residence, without being subject to any additional practical or theoretical test requirements.
With this agreement, those British citizens resident in Spain who had not had their driving licence recognised before Brexit, nor in the successive extension periods, will be able to do so from Thursday 16 March.
A period of six months has been granted during which British citizens can drive around Spain with their original licence while they process the exchange.
In addition, Spain and the United Kingdom with share information on driving offences.
The British Embassy in Madrid advised British residents in January of the pending agreement and advised those still needing to exchange their licences to take a psicotécnico test as a certificate showing you have passed the test will be needed in order to exchange your licence.
Certificates are valid for three months and if you fail it you can retake as many times as you need.
If you haven’t done it before, the psicotécnico is a short test to check your eyesight and reactions.
You may also have a brief interview with a doctor. These are the official locations listed by the DGT (https://www.dgt.es/.../centros-reconocimiento-conductores/).
Further details will be forthcoming.
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I passed my Spanish driving test in June last year - but never received physical evidence. Like many others I live al campo - outside the reach of the Correos for Home Delivery. I have a post box some 8km distance. I've been to Traffico on several occasions but to no avail - "it has been posted look here is the proof." In vain I have tried to explain the situation. In my life I have never seen anyone as disinterested as receptionists for Traffico in Palma! I now have it on my phone at least.
Morgan WilliamsAs per ysual I can't make heads and tails of your comments, not the first time and I'm sure not the the last time either. Have a nice weekend.
The nightmare is only just beginning- the DGT site only lists locations for the psicotécnico test in Ibiza and Formentera, none in Mallorca. The DGT link to make the Cita Previa for the licence exchange is down (probably crashed) and responds with a 404 error message. The 6 month window will prove a challenge for all that need to do this to actually get it done!!
Ulla JacksonIn the words of a British bloke I used to know (one of those who couldn't stand how "unBritish" it is here) : "Lookidat! Gotta be a German or Spaniard. That'd be illegal in England!" (as he drives 65kmh in the center lane on the via cintura, complaining that "foreign" drivers are passing him on the left and right). Same bloke claimed that the reason why foreigners are all such bad drivers is because the "natural" side to drive on is the left. Driving on the right is bloody dangerous! Morale: naturally you wouldn't want foreigners to simply exchange their licence for a British one - (bloody dangerous) - but a "proper" Brit with a "proper" licence shouldn't even need to swap. Naturally. And of course, we all know why Spaniards are all unemployed and starving. Would you hire somebody who doesn't speak proper English? Thankfully, he moved back to blighty - it was just too stressful for him here. But he wasn't the only one. I've heard nonsense like this from other Brits for years. I can only chalk it up to tabloid bullshit.
Morgan Williams"And we all know how foreigners drive"! Do "we"? If that is true in your world I guess it means "we do know" that must be the same here = British, or is it only in the UK "we do know how foreigners drive"? Here the UK licence was perfectly ok to swop to a Spanish within six months, but some couldn't be bother as some seems to regards the UK a better one. Yes you could swop your licence from another EU country (when the UK was part of it) without a test when permanent living in the UK.
Ulla JacksonOk, but what's your point? Foreigners being allowed to get a licence in the UK without some kind of test? Kind of makes UK licences no better than a foreign one. And we all know how foreigners drive. And you still can't live and drive in Spain without having a Spanish licence. Just doesn't seem fair to have to trade a perfectly good UK licence for a foreign one, regardless of where you live. But if UK licences are reduced to same as foreign ones, then it doesn't matter anyway. Why bother?
I can’t really understand the “worry and heartache “ aspect of this headline. Absolutely no sympathy for those residents who couldn’t be bothered to get their finger out and change their licenses before the initial deadline. This was a situation of their own making.
Morgan WilliamsThis is no news with exchanging driving license. Most other countries have 5 or 10 years before the licence has to be renewed, if you live in the UK, you automatically had to swap to a UK. Nothing new whatsoever.
Great. But you still have to prove you're not crazy. Since you could've gotten a licence all along, it does seem questionable whether you'd pass that test. But now foreigners can simply exchange their licence in the UK. Jeezus, imagine the chaos from that 🙄 Boris warned us about this.