Subject: An update from the British Embassy: driving licence exchange
I wanted to let you know about a couple of updates that may be of interest to your members/communities.
– As you know, exchanging your UK licence for a Spanish one is one of the key actions for UK Nationals living in Spain to carry out before the end of the Transition period. However, we know how difficult many people have found getting an appointment to do so in recent months. The Spanish Traffic office – the DGT – yesterday activated a new protocol to streamline the process for UK driving licence holders who have not yet exchanged their UK licence for a Spanish one. Further information is available on their website here. (Please note that you can change the language to English using the dropdown menu in the top right of the page).
– We put out a facebook post on this, which we would be grateful if you would share on your social media channels.
– The main points are:
– UK licence holders who wish to exchange must present an application to the DGT before 30 December, either via a form on their online portal (this requires a digital certificate or CLAVE), or by calling 060. It may also be possible to take the form into the DGT in person, but we would recommend people check with the office by telephone ahead of doing so, particularly due to ongoing COVID-restrictions in many parts of the country. We understand that for this part of the process you do not need to have a residency certificate or TIE but you will need a NIE.
– You can also engage a third party (eg a gestor) to do this part of the process on your behalf.
– If they have not been contacted by the DGT in the meantime, after three days of presenting the application the licence holder can request an appointment with the DGT. This should be booked on the DGT’s website.
– As long as the application has been submitted within the timeframe, and the licence has been verified by the end of the year, the appointment to exchange with the DGT can be after 1 January 2021. It must be 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, UK licence holders will be able to use the licence for 6 months to drive in Spain from 1 January 2021.
– The future rules for recognition and exchange of licences are still subject to negotiation. Our advice remains that UK nationals sign up for the email alerts on the Living in Spain guide to ensure they keep up to date with the latest.
– If a person already has an appointment booked with DGT, their website states that the person does not need to go through the process above and can attend their appointment as scheduled with all their supporting documentation.
– Hopefully, this process will allow those who have been struggling to get an appointment to start the exchange process before the end of the year and be reassured that they can still exchange their licence for a Spanish one as per the process for EU licences.
– Whilst most UK nationals living in Spain will not see any change to their banking arrangements, some UK nationals living in the EU have been contacted by their UK banking provider as there will be changes to their accounts or financial products after 31 December.
– For those UK nationals who have been affected and contacted by their banks, there is now further guidance available on the Money and Pensions Service which may help them in considering their options. We are now linking to this guidance from our Living in Spain guide.
– If a UK national is not sure or is concerned about whether there will be any changes to their UK account or financial products, they should contact their bank or an independent financial advisor.
I hope these updates are useful. Please note that I am not in a position to answer questions from individuals on these issues, so would appreciate my emails being shared without my contact details.
Debbi Christophers | Consular Communications Officer | Communications Team | British Embassy Madrid
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