Exchanging a UK or EU driving licence for a Spanish one

Exchanging Your UK or EU Driving Licence for a Spanish Driving Licence

If you hold a UK or EU driving licence from outside of Spain are expected to exchange it for a Spanish one when you become resident in Spain.

[creativ_toggle icon=”” heading=”European Union website information on exchanging licences” onload=”closed”]

Exchanging your licence

If you change your residence to another EU country, you don’t usually have to change your driving licence. You can use your current licence as long as it remains valid.

If you wish, you can voluntarily exchange your licence for an equivalent one in your new country of residence.

You will have to prove that you are a resident of that country and that you meet the conditions for having a driving licence (e.g. you have reached the minimum age, your state of health permits you to drive, etc.).

Before the authorities exchange your driving licence, they will contact the authorities in your previous country of residence to check that your driving licence has not been restricted, suspended or withdrawn.

Obligatory exchange

When living abroad, you will have to exchange your driving licence for a local one:

  • if your licence is lost, stolen or damaged
  • after 2 years of usual residence, if you have a driving licence valid for life (only if required by the country where you live)
  • if you commit a traffic offence in the country where you live

Many non-EU countries, UK included, have a reciprocal agreement with Spain to exchange licenses.  Where this is the case, you follow the same procedure as a EU citizen when you become resident and exchange your licence.   The only difference is, driving licences from non-EU countries are only valid to use for 6 months from the date of getting residency, so the exchange of licence needs to be done within that time.