Driving in Spain
Valid UK driving licences are recognised for driving in Spain for 6 months from the date you enter Spain or from the date you obtained residence.
Negotiations are underway between the British and Spanish Governments to agree long-term arrangements for exchanging driving licences without needing a practical test.
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If you were resident in Spain before 1 January 2021
As a temporary measure, your valid UK driving licence will be recognised for driving in Spain until 31 October 2021.
This also applies to you if you were resident in Spain before 1 January 2021 but did not obtain your residence document (TIE or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) until after this date.
If you wish to exchange your UK licence for a Spanish one, the process to follow depends on whether you registered your details and intention to exchange with the Spanish Traffic Authority (DGT) before 30 December 2020.
If you registered your details with the Spanish Traffic Authority (DGT) before 30 December 2020
If you were resident in Spain before 1 January 2021 and registered your details and intention to exchange with the DGT before 30 December 2020, you should request an appointment with the DGT to exchange your UK licence by 31 December 2021.
To exchange your licence you will need:
- proof you are registered as a resident in Spain (eg. TIE – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero; green EU residence certificate)
- your UK licence
Read DGT’s guidance on how to get an appointment (in Spanish with English translation).
The DGT will exchange your UK licence for a temporary driving permit (‘autorización temporal para conducir’) until your Spanish licence is processed. This document is valid in Spain only.
If you did not register your details with DGT before 30 December 2020
If you did not register with DGT before 30 December 2020 and wish to exchange your UK driving licence, you should follow the DGT process for non-EU nationals. This includes taking a driving test.
Driving in the UK with a Spanish licence
You can use your Spanish licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test.
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.
For information on driving in Spain, read our guidance on:
Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Spain
Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.
If you register as a resident or spend longer than 6 months of the year in Spain, you must register your vehicle with the Spanish authorities and you may need to pay some taxes.
You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.