You can drive in Spain using a foreign driver’s licence for a set period, after which all overseas nationals driving in Spain must obtain a Spanish driver’s licence.
If you want to drive in Spain, you can use your foreign driving licence for the first six months if you are from outside the European Union (EU) area, or for up to two years if you’re from the EU or EEA area (European Economic Area).
After these periods have passed, foreign residents driving in Spain must obtain a Spanish driver’s licence,
How to change your licence
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. 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.
To renew your licence 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)
• Padron (proof of your address from the town hall) renewed within the last three months
• Driving licence card and counterpart
• A recent photograph 32mm x 26mm
• Payment of 23.50€
You may also require a medical examination depends on area and must find a designated clinic where you will be tested for eyesight, hearing, pulse and blood pressure, speed of reaction and judgement of speed.
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 license from another country. This can sometimes hold up the process, but you should still have your original license which won’t be taken off you until a later date. When you do have to submit your license then you receive a form which authorises you for driving in Spain whilst you wait for your actual license to arrive.
from Spanish speaking countries with a convenio can legally drive in Spain, provided their licence is in date. After registering as resident, they have 6 months to arrange for either a canje/exchange or a renewal (if close to expiration date).
Non-EU citizens from countries without a convenio with Spain (like USA, Australia, Canada) can only drive in Spain with an international driving permit, provided their regular license is still in date. After registering as resident, their international license will only be valid for 6 months and they will have to obtain a Spanish driving permit. This will involve having to take both theory and practice exams.
Personally I change min e some time ago and have used it all around the world and never had any problems with it.
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