EU Driving Licence Law in Spain

From January 2015, anyone applyiing for Spanish residency is now required to exchange their driving licence for a Spanish one. This new law enables the Spanish authorities to check the health and driving ability of foreign drivers in Spain.

Note: The EEA includes all European Union countries, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Foreign drivers from within the EU still need to register with the traffic authorities within six months of moving to Spain. Details must be registered with the Central Register of Drivers and Minor Offenders (Registro Central de Conductores e Infractores) of the Provincial Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico) of their place of residence.

Once registered, applicants will need to undergo a medical examination at an Authorised Drivers Check Centre (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores Autorizado) to show mental and physical fitness. The standards that apply to Spanish drivers will also apply to them.

EU driving licences are legal anywhere in the world. Within the EU, they are easy to understand whatever the language because the data and coding is in exactly the same place on each card.

Exchanging a EU or EEA licence for a Spanish licence

Application must be made at the Provincial Traffic Headquarters of the applicant’s province of residence and an application form issued by the Provincial Traffic Headquarters must be completed.

Documents required:

Application form (in Spanish)
Proof of identity (passport original and copy)
Proof of residence (Certificate of Registration in the Central Aliens Register – the NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero)
Valid driving licence to be exchanged (original and photocopy)
Two recent photographs (32 by 25 mm)
Declaration in writing stating that the applicant has not been banned or suspended from driving
Declaration in writing stating that the applicant does not hold another driving licence of the same class in another country
Note: To exchange a UK licence for a Spanish licence, a certificate of entitlement from the DVLA is needed. It can be obtained by calling the DVLA.

The licence issued will be credit card sized and include photo identification.

The driving licence will be sent by ordinary post.

The licence will need regular renewal. A standard Spanish driving licence for a private car or bike is valid for ten years when the holder is under 65 years of age, and will need renewing every five years from the age of 65.

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