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UK drivers in Spain urged to exchange permits before September 16th

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
UK drivers in Spain urged to exchange permits before September 16th
The September 16th deadline is now fast approaching, which explains the UK Embassy’s latest message. Photo: Adrien Olichon/Pexels

The UK Embassy in Madrid has reminded UK driving licence holders living in Spain since before March 16th 2023 to exchange their permits for Spanish ones or they won’t be able to drive in Spain after September 16th. 

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“Calling all UK driving licence holders!” read the message posted on the Embassy’s Brits in Spain group on Facebook on Wednesday morning.

“If you lived in Spain before 16 March 2023, you can only drive on your UK licence until 16 September 2023. If you need to keep driving here, please exchange your UK licence for a Spanish one as soon as possible.

“If you need to keep driving here, please exchange your UK licence for a Spanish one as soon as possible.”

 

In mid-March 2023, Spain's Interior Ministry confirmed that the long-awaited post-Brexit UK-Spain driving licence deal had been approved and that those with UK licences could get back on the road while they waited to exchange it.

This put an end to an arduous ten-month wait for tens of thousands of UK licence holders in Spain (UK nationals, Spaniards and other foreign nationals residing in Spain), many of who faced great difficulties because they were unable to drive in their country of residence.  

In order to make the process easier, Spanish traffic authorities granted a period of six months during which UK licence holders could drive in Spain with their original permit while they underwent the process of exchanging it. 

This September 16th deadline is now fast approaching, which explains the UK Embassy’s latest message.

READ ALSO: UK driving licence deal - How to exchange yours for a Spanish one

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As gov.uk explains, “UK or Gibraltar licence holders who moved to Spain before 16 March 2023 and fail to make the exchange by 15 September will no longer be able to drive on their UK licence and will need to wait until their licence exchange has been completed to drive after that”.

If you're a UK or Gibraltar licence holder who moved to Spain after March 16th 2023, you can drive using your valid licence for six months from the date you acquire Spanish residency. 

Exchanging your UK licence for a Spanish is possible after six months of residence, but your UK licence will not be valid for driving in Spain while you await your exchange to be completed, and Spain’s DGT traffic authority is prone to delays and time-consuming bureaucracy.

The DGT will exchange your expired UK or Gibraltar licence for a Spanish one if it was valid when you entered Spain.

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