Spanish Driving License Points Explained

Whilst the public transport links in Spain are excellent, one of the easiest ways to get around is to drive your own car. A car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. But with great power comes great responsibility: or more simply, with a Spanish driving license comes the opportunity to lose points from your license!

When you are issued with your Spanish driving license it starts with 12 points on it (unless you are a new driver who has had their license for less than three years: if this applies then you will start with just 9 points). But how can you lose points from your license? And what are the implications of losing points from your Spanish driving license? Here’s everything you need to know:

What Can You Lose Points For?

When you commit a driving infraction, you can either be subjected to a fine, the loss of points from your license, or both. There are many different things that you can lose points from your license for, but some of the most common of these are:

  • Driving over the legal alcohol limit (6 points lost)
  • Driving whilst using a mobile phone (6 points lost)
  • Driving without due care and attention and causing danger to other vehicles (4 points lost)
  • Driving over the legal limit by more than 40 km per hour (4 points lost)
  • Failure to overtake legally (4 points lost)
  • Driving without a seat belt or safety helmet if riding a motorcycle (3 points lost)

The most points you can lose in any given day is 8 points, but if you commit a driving offence that is considered to be extremely serious, or harmful, you could temporarily lose you license in the interim. If you lose all twelve of your points over the course of more than one incident then at that point you will have to return your driving license to the provisional traffic headquarters closest to you and you won’t receive it back until your ban is over.

Choosing not to return your license doesn’t mean you aren’t still banned from driving: in fact, if you have lost your Spanish driving license and are then caught driving again whilst still serving your ban, then this is considered a crime that  is punishable by either a prison sentence of between three to six months, or up to three months community service.

Can You Have More than Twelve Points On Your Driving License?

The short answer is, yes! As an incentive for good driving, Spanish drivers are given two extra points if they don’t lose any points on their license after three years of driving. If you are a clean driver for four years, then you would receive another point. This means that you could have a maximum of 16 points on your Spanish driver's license at any given time.

Just as points can be earnt, they are also taken away as a deterrent, once you have committed a driving offence. Once you have lost your license (either because of a big offence, or because you have lost all of your points) then when you are eligible to have your license reissued once the ban is expired, your new license will start with just 8 points rather than twelve.

Getting Your License Back

So, you’ve lost your driving license, or been issued points on your driving license? How and when you can get it back will depend on how many points you’ve lost.

If you have lost some of your points (a partial loss of points) then, in a system that is similar to the one in the UK, you can gain up to six points back by attending a road awareness and reeducation course. The course takes around 12 hours to complete, but you can only attend one of these courses every two years.

If you choose not to take this course, then in most cases you will recover all of your points after two years. The exception to this rule is if you lost your points for a very serious offence, in which case you ay have to wait three years to recover your points.

If you have lost all your points, and therefore lost your license, then you won’t be able to regain your license until you sit a road awareness and reeducation course which will last 24 hours in total. You can attend this course at any stage during your ban period of 6 or 12 months. You will also have to take your driving theory test again before you license can be reissued.

Not sure how many points you have on your license? Its surprisingly easy to check: simply visit the DGT website and enter key information, such as your NIE number and your driving license details. You will also need to create a password in order to access the website, which will be sent to your email address.

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