Changing your UK Driving Licence for a Spanish one

Changing your UK Driving Licence for a Spanish driving Licence 

How to change your Licence

Out of all the things you need to do when moving to Spain this is one of the easiest and nothing to get stressed out about…

If you need to change your Licence you have two options. You can either do it yourself or you can pay someone to do it for you.

If you choose to do it alone then you can expect to have at least two trips backwards and forwards to Trafico. As i did and my Spanish is pretty good.

First of all you must make an appointment (cita previa) which can be made either on the DGT site http://www.dgt.es or by calling the free 060 hotline.

Then you must take in the correct paper work.

What you will need

 An official application form which can be downloaded from the Traffic Department and is on the website of the DGT   Proof of identity (passport) Residencia (and copy) take 2 some ask for 2 god knows why… Padron (proof of your address from the townhall) renewed within the last three months   Driving Licence card and counterpart    A recent photograph 32mm x 26mm loads of print shops here offer this service just ask.Payment of 23.50€

You may also require a medical examination and must find a designated clinic where you will be tested for eyesight, hearing, pulse and blood pressure, speed of reaction and judgment of speed.

Most times this is just a really easy test that a child could pass and  when i did it a few years ago it took just 15 mins and they didnt ask for a medical.

Once you have applied, the Spanish authorities will need to obtain a certificate of entitlement from the DVLA if you are a UK resident, or the equivalent for those holding a licence from another country. This can sometimes hold up the process, but you should still have your original  won’t be taken from you until a later date. When you do have to submit your licence then you receive a form which authorises you to drive in Spain while waiting for your Spanish licence to arrive. 

If you pay someone to do it for you, the process overall is the same but you will need to sign a form giving your representative permission to apply for a Spanish driving licence on your behalf. You will have to pay but it certainly makes things simple to have someone fluent in the language and the  process for you. Go along with them to make sure its all ok.

Your Spanish driving licence will then be sent out in the post and can take anything from a few weeks to a few months to arrive. Mine took 10 days. Once it does come you can at last rest assured that whatever the gossip is about driving licences in Spain, yours is the real deal.

I have used my Spanish driving license all over the world and never had a problem. I also use it as id in shops and when buying things as many places now ask for photo id and its really  handy if you have the Spanish one. Last year I hired a car in the UK and there was no problem at all. Last year in USA i used it there and they looked at me a bit funny being British with a spanish license in USA but again no problems.

Expats from outside Europe

Citizens of many countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, will have to take the full Spanish driving test to get a Spanish Licence.

You must apply at the Provincial Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico).  You’ll need:

a certificate of mental and physical fitness from the Authorised Drivers’ Check Centre (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores Autorizado);

 An application form  Two passport-sized photographs  Your residence permit  Proof of address in Spain  A declaration that there are no suspensions or legal cases preventing you from driving;   A declaration that you don’t already hold a similar Licence.  

You must take lessons through a recognised driving school (ie. a family member does not qualify). Look online or in the Paginas Amarillas (Spain’s Yellow Pages) under ‘autoesceula’.

The test is divided into two: a written theory test and a practical test. Both are usually taken in Spanish although you can take a translator with you and in some areas of Spain there are English-speaking examiners. 

For more information visit www.dgt.es 

More things you need to know about Driving in Spain .Click here

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