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Having trouble swapping your UK driving licence for a Spanish one before Brexit? Don’t panic

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Having trouble swapping your UK driving licence for a Spanish one before Brexit? Don’t panic
Photo: AntonioGuillemF/Depositphotos
15:10 CET+01:00
One of the preparations Brits have been advised to do before Brexit is to make sure they had renewed or exchanged their DVLA licence for a Spanish equivalent. But many have been having issues.

Many readers have complained that they have been unable to exchange their British driving licence for a Spanish one before the Brexit deadline of March 29th.

A huge surge in last minute applications has meant it is now virtually impossible to get an appointment at the DGT (Direccion General de Trafico) before March 29th.

Some people have tried to get appointments in other cities where there are less foreigners requesting the service and reportedly it is still possible to secure an appointment at the Bilbao office within a week.

But the Spanish government has recognised the backlog and are giving Brits nine months after Brexit to get their licences in order.

READ MORE: Spain guarantees residency for 400,000 Brits even with Hard Brexit

Spain’s Royal Decree on Brexit contingency measures, which was signed by Pedro Sanchez’s government last week and now appears on the Official State Bulletin, specifically mentions the issue of driving licences.

The new law states that those issued with driving licences by the DVLA will have a transitional period of nine months from the day the UK exits the European Union to swap theirs over for a Spanish one -a legal requirement if you have lived in Spain for two years.

After the 9 month grace period, which will end on December 31st 2019, British licences will be subject to the regulations for ´third countries´ and British driving licences will NOT be able to be swapped for Spanish ones unless a new bilateral agreement between Spain and UK has been drawn up.

Failure to swap your licence could, in the worst case scenario, mean that in order to drive legally in Spain one would have to sit the Spanish driving test.

Don’t worry about the exchange being permanent either. If you return to the UK permanently then it is simple enough to request a replacement British driving licence from the DVLA:

And on visits back to the UK it should still be possible to drive with a Spanish licence as it is now, although check the insurance policy of the car you are using back in UK.

For more about how to exchange your driving licence for a Spanish one, read our guide HERE

Exchanging your British driving licence for a Spanish one: What you need to know 

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