Exchanging UK driving licences for Spanish ones – it’s good news!
It has been well publicised that as from 1st January 2021, UK driving licences will no longer be recognised by the Spanish authorities if the holder is a legal resident in Spain. To quote the DGT (Direccion General de Trafico)
“If you are the holder of a British permit and you plan to reside in Spain after the end of 2020, we recommend that you request the exchange, renewal or replacement of your permit for an equivalent Spanish one.”
However, even the best-laid plans can go awry, and due to the delays resulting from the Covid pandemic, many British residents in Spain have found it extremely challenging to get appointments with the relevant authorities (whether this is Trafico or Immigration) and find themselves approaching the cut off date with the prospect of having to take a driving test and exam in Spanish in order to continue to drive legally in Spain.
Pre-booking your licence verification.
Before the DGT can register your licence exchange they need to be able to verify your details with the DVLA. The problem is that after 31st December 2020, the DGT will lose access to DVLA records. This, combined with the lack of remaning appointments this year, has resulted in the DGT setting up a pre-verification system specifically for UK nationals. This system allows you to phone them or use your Digital Certificate to “register your intention to exchange” and then attend an appointment within the first 6 months of 2021 to complete the exchange process.