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DRIVING IN SPAIN UPDATE MARCH 2023

The Council of Ministers has approved on Tuesday 14th March 2023 the agreement by which Spain and the United Kingdom will proceed to the reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licenses as well as the exchange of information on traffic offenses in terms of road safety.

This agreement puts an end to the successive extensions applied to the exchange of permits between the two countries that had been applied since the end of the transitional period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

From now on, holders of a valid and current driving license issued by either of the two States may request the exchange of their equivalent driving license where they have established their residence, without being subject to any additional requirement of practical or theoretical test.

The agreement establishes that all valid permits or licenses of current residents issued prior to its entry into force may be exchanged, while for permits issued after said entry into force it will be an essential requirement to access the exchange that the permits have been issued in the country where the applicant had his legal residence.

British citizens residing in Spain who had not had their driving license recognized before Brexit, nor in the successive extensions granted, will be able to do so as of Thursday, March 16.

To facilitate administrative processing at the provincial traffic headquarters, a period of six months has been granted during which British citizens can circulate in Spain with their original permit while they process the exchange.

In addition, Spain and the United Kingdom undertake to provide each other with information on the data of the vehicles and their owners for the purpose of investigating traffic offenses related to road safety, especially in cases of speeding, not wearing a seat belt, failure to stop at a red light, driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of drugs, not wearing a crash helmet, driving in a prohibited lane, or illegal use of mobile phones