On Tuesday, 14th March 2023, the Spanish Government signed off on the agreement to allow the exchange of UK driving licences without taking a driving test. For all those UK driving licence holders who have been “grounded” since May 2022 as well as people planning to move to Spain in the future, this is fantastic news.
You can make the exchange in one of the Spanish traffic authorities offices known as the DGT or you can use a registered professional to complete the exchange on your behalf.
What documents do you need to prepare?
Before you can run off to the DGT and make the exchange, there are a few documents you’ll need to prepare beforehand to take with you:
Take your original passport (valid and in date) plus you’ll need a copy of the photo page.
UK driving licence
You’ll need to take your original UK driving licence – you’ll be handing this over, so no harm in making a copy for your records (we have made notes below regarding the validity of licences).
You either need to register or get an updated Padron certificate for everyone applying to exchange a licence. You can find out how to do this HERE. Remember the Padron certificate has a validity of 90 days when used as proof of address at the DGT.
This is a “Certificado de aptitud psicofísica” – Medical Certificate specifically for a driving licence exchange/application.
You’ll need to make an appointment and visit a recognised medical centre (not all medical centres can produce the relevant certificates). You can find a full list HERE and be sure to tell the Medical Centre which categories you want to include on the licence exchange. The medical certificate has a validity of 90 days.
You’ll need photos for your lovely shiny new licence, and we have published information on how to get these HERE
DVLA verification code:
This is a code issued by the UK DVLA proving the validity of your UK licence and you’ll need your UK National Insurance number.
To get your code you’ll need to go online and visit HERE (licences issued in England, Wales or Scotland) or HERE for licence holders from Northern Ireland.
Licences issued in Gibraltar (DVDL) don’t need a verification code.
What’s the process?
There DGT have updated their information about UK driving licence exchange which you can read HERE
Once you’ve gathered your documentation, you’ll need to book an appointment with the DGT traffic authorities via their website HERE
As well as the documents mentioned above, you’ll need to download and complete an application form which you can find HERE
How much does it cost?
You can either pre-pay the taxes using the DGT website HERE or take a credit/debit card with you to pay the fees, which are:
€28.87 (Rate 2.3) for straightforward exchange.
This is the most common and will cover the car and motorcycle categories.
€94.05 (Rate 2.1) for categories that require additional testing.
Once you have completed your appointment if everything is correct the DGT will retain your UK licence s, and you will be issued with a temporary one.
Who can exchange their licence?
Already resident in Spain:
If you have a valid UK driving licence (current or expired) and are resident in Spain, then you have 6 months from 16th March 2023 to make the exchange
Moving to Spain in the future with a UK licence:
You will have 6 months from the date of entry to exchange your UK licence for a Spanish licence without the need to take a Spanish driving test.
Licences from the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, which make up the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man will not be exchangeable.
UK driving licence expired?
You can’t drive straight away, you need to get your documents processed at the DGT. Once the documents are in process, you’ll be able to drive with the temporary authorisation you’ll be given at the DGT appointment..
Renewed your UK licence AFTER your first entry date into Spain i.e. after becoming a resident in Spain?
Not only should you not drive, but you also may not be able to exchange and must be prepared to take the Spanish driving test if your request to exchange is refused.
The DGT website states the following:
The exchange will not be possible:
If you obtained your foreign permit while you were already a legal resident in Spain.
That being said, there have been various media reports from around Spain, about people managing to successfully exchange expired licences. So for the time being it seems to be a bit of a lottery!
How to check the progress of your licence.
Hints and Tips!
- Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment at the DGT
- Don’t wear glasses or face coverings when taking the photo. We always advise using professional photoshop rather than a kiosk, photobooth etc
- Keep a check on the expiry date of the time sensitive documents (the medical certificate and Padron certificate )
- Remember the temporary document you receive is NOT valid to drive outside of Spain or hire a car
- Ensure your address is correctly written on the application form as the DGT will post the licence to you
- If you can’t exchange your licence and need to take a test, the client experiences section in our news feed is where our clients have shared their experiences of how they passed a Spanish driving test – check it out
Upsticks have teamed up with a trusted service partner to offer an end-to-end UK driving licence exchange service – no need to make appointments or visit the DGT, as the whole process is managed for you.
If you’d like more information about this complete UK Driving Licence exchange, click the button below!