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Last update 15-02-2021

Validity and exchange of an EU driving licence

Validity of an EU driving licence

Your European driving licence will be valid in Spain as long as it is current. Any exchange of your valid EU licence (Abre en nueva ventana) is therefore entirely voluntary. Exchange means we replace the driving licence you used to hold with an equivalent Spanish driving licence.

If your European licence expires, you must renew it in order to continue driving. This renewal involves exchanging your licence for a Spanish one.

Also, if the driving licence has an indefinite period of validity (no expiry date), or is valid more than 15 years for group 1 (AM, A1, A2, A, B and BE), or more than five years for group 2 (C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE), you must renew it two years after establishing your ordinary residence in Spain.

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Exchanging driving licences

Exchanging a licence involves approval of the driving licence you already hold. The licence you held is exchanged for the equivalent Spanish licence. The procedure is much simpler to follow than obtaining a new licence.

Driving licences issued in any Member State of the European Union (EU), in the United Kingdom (UK) until 31.12.2020 and in the European Economic Area (EEA – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) are valid for driving in Spain as long as they are current and have not been withdrawn for any reason. The only proviso is that the age required for driving must be the same as required to obtain an equivalent Spanish driving licence.

As long as your EU, EEA or UK driving licence is current, exchanging it is entirely voluntary. The exchange means we replace the driving licence you held with an equivalent Spanish licence.

During this procedure, your original licence is withdrawn and we issue you with a provisional licence. You will receive your definitive licence in approximately one-and-a-half months. You do not need to visit your police station or DGT office; we will post your licence to you at home.

Important: Now that the UK has left the EU, British driving licences cease to be valid for driving in Spain from 31 December 2020. If you are resident in our country and wish to continue driving on our roads, you must exchange or renew your licence or replace it with a Spanish one before that date(Abre en nueva ventana) .

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  • What do you need to exchange a licence?

    To exchange your licence, you must attend in person and hand in all the documentation at any main police station or traffic office.(Abre en nueva ventana) You need to book an appointment(Abre en nueva ventana) using the application form for renewal of EU/EEA licences. Make sure you request the option ‘Driving licence renewal (EU/EEA only)’ (renovación de permisos de conducción: solo UE/EEE). A fee is payable for this procedure.

    On the day of your appointment, please bring

    • Your completed official application(Abre en nueva ventana) form for the exchange. This includes a declaration that you are not disqualified by court order from driving motor vehicles and mopeds and that you do not hold another EU, UK or EEA licence of the same category as that for which you are applying, and that none has been restricted, suspended or withdrawn.
    • The applicant’s identity document: the original, current document proving identity is required: current identity card, residence permit or passport.
    • Proof of residence is required.
      • For non-EU citizens, this is a: current residence permit;
      • And for EU citizens: certificate of entry in the register of foreigners.

    On the official form, you can expressly authorise the DGT to verify your address on the electoral roll and for economic activity tax (IAE) online. However, if the DGT cannot trace valid information, you must bring corroborating documentation.

    • Bring your current foreign driving licence for exchange.
    • Bring the number or proof of payment of fee 2.3, EUR 28.30 for the year 2020. You can pay by credit card, not cash, at our offices.
    • Bring an original current colour photograph, size 32 x 26 mm, on a plain background, taken from the front, with the head uncovered and no dark glasses or any clothing which might make it difficult or impossible to identify you.

    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.

  • Who can do this?

    Anyone who holds a driving licence from:

    • An EU Member State;
    • The UK (until 31.12.2020);
    • The EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway); and is ordinarily resident in Spain.

    The licence holder or any appointed proxy must lodge the renewal application.

    Through our authorisations register, you can appoint someone else as a proxy to act on your behalf.(Abre en nueva ventana)

    If someone else is going to complete the procedure on your behalf, please state the applicant’s and the proxy’s identity card numbers when you telephone 060 to book the appointment.

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Authority responsible for the information

Ministry of the Interior
Directorate-General for Traffic