British Residents in Spain Now Offered an Additional Six Months to Exchange Their Driver’s Licenses

If you were living in Spain before the end of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement period, and applied to exchange your UK driving license for a Spanish one before 30th December 2020, then there is good news if you’re still waiting for an appointment to exchange your license: this deadline has been extended by an additional six months. Here’s everything you need to know:

Who is Eligible for this Extension?

This application extension is suitable for anyone who registered their intention to make the change before 30th December 2020, and was announced officially on the Facebook Page of the British Embassy in Spain. Those who had registered their intention to switch their license were set to complete this process by 30th June 2021, but now you will have an extension to 31st December 2021, giving Britons living in Spain more time to complete this process.

What Documents Can You Use?

There has been some confusion about what documents Britons could use as their proof of residence whilst exchanging their driver’s license, and the British embassy also stated that the DGT (Spain’s traffic authority) have clarified that either the green A4 residence certificate or the new TIE remains valid proof of residence when completing the process, despite the fact that some Britons have reported difficulties in using the green residency certificate in the past.

The full text regarding this from the British embassy is outlined below: “If you have attempted to complete the exchange of your license since 1 January but your application was rejected due to your TIE being dated to 2021, the DGT office will get in touch with you directly to arrange for the completion of the exchange. If this is your situation, and you do not hear anything after a few weeks, you should request an appointment with the DGT.

The current date for recognition of UK licenses for driving in Spain for those who are resident in Spain remains the 30 June 2021, however. This applies whether you registered before 30 December 2020 or have not yet started the process to exchange your UK license for a Spanish license.

What if I Didn’t Request to Exchange my License Before 31st December 2020?

In brief, if you didn’t announce your intention to exchange your license before the end of the Brexit Withdrawal period then you cannot apply to do this now: if you wish to continue driving in Spain then you will need to take your Spanish driving test to secure a Spanish driving license. The official DGT page says: “For holders of a British driving license who have requested the exchange, replacement or renewal before December 31, 2020, it is recalled that they will be processed provided they have been verified by the United Kingdom authorities before January 1, 2021.”

It’s worth noting that whilst this is the position now, the British Embassy have confirmed that they are in negotiations with the Spanish government to make an arrangement that will amend this policy, so that Spain and the UK have reciprocal driving license agreements, making life easier for Britons driving in Spain. At present though, these are not in place and the above rules apply.

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