Do I need a Spanish driving licence?

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After recent confusion over the legality of driving in Spain on a UK licence, the Directorate General of Traffic has now clarified the full letter of the law concerning this complex matter.

Q.

I am a British resident in Spain. Do I need a Spanish driving licence by law?


A.

If you are the holder of a Group 1 licence (AM, A1, A2, A, B and BE) with a period of validity greater than 15 years – and this includes permanent licences – or a Group 2 licence (BTP, C1, C1E, C, CE D1, D1E, D, DE) with a period of validity greater than five years, then you must exchange the licence for a Spanish equivalent once you have been resident in Spain for two years.

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If you are the holder of a standard UK 10-year photo licence you do NOT need to exchange the licence for a Spanish equivalent until it expires, although you CAN do so voluntarily at any time.

However, if you are resident in Spain and your driving licence expires then you MUST renew it for a Spanish licence.

In a recent Legally Speaking Column article in EWN Issue 1683 some information given by David Searl on this topic led to social media users publishing contradictory views, some of those additionally incorrect.

Confusion over a long period according to the Directorate of Traffic has arisen due to various translations into English as to the law as outlined in Spanish.

The EWN – as a responsible newspaper – in publishing the above report, believes this to be an accurate translation and interpretation in English of what the law states in Spanish.

Send your questions for David Searl through lawyers Ubeda-Retana & Associates in Fuengirola at [email protected], or call 952 667 090.

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