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Last update 18-06-2021

How to obtain a new Spanish driving licence

What you need to know

The Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) is the authority responsible for issuing driving licences in Spain. Our aim is to ensure that drivers have the necessary skills and aptitude to handle vehicles with the least possible risk.

We administer tests to satisfy ourselves that you have the necessary ability, knowledge and skill to drive the vehicle in question.

There are different licence categories(Abre en nueva ventana) according to the type and class of vehicle you need to drive: mopeds, motorcycles, cars, goods vehicles, agricultural vehicles, etc. Each requires specific tests to be taken.

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What requirements must you meet to obtain a licence?

  • What requirements must you meet to obtain a licence?

    To obtain a Spanish driving licence you must meet the following requirements:

    • Reside in Spain. If you are a foreign student from outside the European Union, you must demonstrate that you have been residing in Spain for a minimum period of six consecutive months.
      • If you belong to a European Union or European Economic Area country, or your country has a bilateral agreement with Spain and you hold a driving licence, you do not need to obtain a new one. You can exchange the one you already hold.(Abre en nueva ventana)
    • You must not be disqualified by a court order from driving motor vehicles and mopeds, or suspended or under an administrative ban from doing so.
    • You must meet the mental and physical fitness requirements for the category of licence you are applying for.
    • You must be of the age required for each licence.(Abre en nueva ventana)
  • What do you need to get your licence?

    The following documentation must accompany your application to take the driving tests and, if you pass, obtain your licence:

    • Official application(Abre en nueva ventana) form for the fitness tests, to apply to take the tests. By signing this form, applicants also declare that they have not been disqualified from driving by court order, are not suspended or under an administrative ban, and do not hold a licence of the same category issued in another State.
    • A report of mental and physical fitness issued by an authorised driving test centre (Abre en nueva ventana) (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores) is required. Remember: this certificate is valid for 90 days.
    • Proof of payment, obtained in advance, is required, showing the applicable fee. Or bring a credit card if you are going to pay at our offices.

    When attending the practical test, you must bring:

    • A signature-positioning template (talón-foto) with current original colour photograph, size 32 x 26 mm, on a plain background, taken from the front, with the head uncovered and no dark glasses or clothing which might make it difficult or impossible to identify you.
    • The driving school with which you register to take the practical test will give you the photo template which you must sign and stick over the photograph. This will only be necessary if this is the first time you are applying for a given driving licence.
    • If you keep your head covered for religious reasons, photographs with a veil are allowed, but the oval of your face must be fully visible uncovered from the hairline to the chin, so that it is not difficult or impossible to identify you.

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Points-based driving licence

The points-based licence is a system which credits a number of points to every driver’s licence. As offences are committed, points are progressively deducted from the licence, until you reach zero points. This triggers a procedure for the loss of validity of your licence.

You have a period of 10 days to submit pleas. If you finally receive notice that the loss of validity is final, you have to hand in your driving licence to any main police station or traffic office. You cannot drive from now on.

Important: remember that the points are specific to the driver, not to a category of licence. Therefore the points are common to all the driving licences you hold. If your licence ceases to be valid, it follows that you cannot drive any type of vehicle.

How many points do I have?

Drivers generally begin with a balance of 12 points. However, new drivers and any driver who obtains a licence again after having had a licence withdrawn start with eight points.

This is not a fixed figure and can increase or decrease according to whether you are a good driver or not.

See how many points you have on your licence via our points checking service.(Abre en nueva ventana)

How do you lose points?

Points are deducted after you are penalised for committing any offence classed as serious or very serious. You can lose two, three, four or six points per offence, depending on its seriousness.

As a general rule, you cannot lose more than eight points in one day. However, exceptions are possible when several very serious offences have been committed.

Warning! You can lose all the points on your penalty-points driving licence in a single day:

  • If you drive over the permitted limit for alcohol, or with traces of drugs in your body;
  • If you refuse to take alcohol and drugs tests;
  • If you overtake while exceeding the speed limit by more than 50%;
  • If your driving is obviously reckless;
  • If you drive a vehicle fitted with radar jammers;
  • If you go against the prescribed direction of traffic (wrong-way driving);
  • If you participate in unauthorised races;
  • If you are a professional driver and breach the compulsory driving time limits and rest and break hours by more than 50%.

How can I get my points back?

If you have lost a few points, but still have some left on your licence, you can get them back by being a good driver.

If you lose no more points in the two years after your last serious offence, your original points balance of 12 is restored. If very serious offences (six points) led to your points loss, you have to wait three years to restore the initial balance of 12.

Nevertheless, if you do not want to risk invalidating your licence and being banned from driving, you can opt to go on a roadcraft awareness and refresher course. This will give you up to a maximum of six points back, but can never give you more than your initial points balance.

These courses last 12 hours. You can take one every two years, or annually if you are a professional driver.

If you have no points left on your licence, you cannot get them back. You have to obtain a new licence as described in the next section.

What if I lose all my points?

If you have used up your points credit, you will receive notice of the agreement starting the loss of validity of your driving licence.

You have 10 days to submit pleas. If you end up receiving notice that the loss of validity is final, you must hand in your licence at any main police station or traffic office(Abre en nueva ventana) . From then on, you cannot drive.

To obtain a new driving licence, you have to wait for a six-month period, during which you cannot drive. For professional drivers, the period is three months. On completion of this period, take the following steps:

  • Attend and pass the roadcraft awareness and refresher course. This is a 24-hour course, and you can attend during the period of your driving ban.
  • At the end of this period, once you have passed the awareness and refresher course, you must take a theory test on the contents of the course you have completed. We administer these tests at the DGT.

Apply for a test appointment through your test centre or driving school, or directly from your DGT office.

When you pass the test, remember you have to apply for your new licence to be issued. It will be sent to your home address.

Remember, your new licence comes with a balance of eight points.

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Authority responsible for the information

Ministry of the Interior
Directorate-General for Traffic