Deadline To Exchange British Driving Licence Extended by Four Months

Deadline extended to exchange driving licences. Image: Pixabay

The Spanish Government has agreed to extend the deadline to exchange a British driving licence for a Spanish one from June 30 to October 31, with negotiations underway between Madrid and London to achieve “mutual recognition” of British driving licences in Spain and Spanish driving licences in the UK.

ON December 29, 2020, Spain approved Royal Decree-Law 38/2020 to compliment the UK Withdrawal Agreement, article two of that law allows the Spanish government to adjust times lines in order to protect the rights of British citizens in Spain.

The Council of Ministers on June 22 agreed to push the deadline on driving licences back by four months.

“Article 15, which establishes a transition period during which time holders of a driving licence issued by the British authorities can continue to drive in our country, will be extended for four months. Negotiations are currently under way on an agreement between Spain and the United Kingdom to regulate the mutual recognition of driver’s licences and procedures to recognise them, and hence, until such time as these requirements and procedures can be agreed upon for this mutual recognition, it is considered necessary to extend the term of validity of British driving licences in Spain,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On their popular Facebook page, the British Embassy in Madrid, clarified some points.

“We know that many of you have been anxious that the recognition of UK driving licences was set to end on June 30. We are pleased that the Spanish Government yesterday announced that UK licences will continue to be recognised until October 31, 2021 for those of you who were resident in Spain before 31 December 2020 – even if you did not get your residency document until after the end of the Transition Period. This extension applies whether you registered your intention to exchange your licence with the DGT before December 30, 2020 or not. Please note that if you arrived after January 1, your licence will only remain valid for six months from your arrival in Spain,” the Embassy wrote.

“This does not affect the current arrangements for driving licence exchange. If you did not register to exchange your licence with the DGT before December 30, 2020 and wish to exchange your UK driving licence now, you would need to follow the DGT process for non-EU nationals, which includes taking a driving test. However, negotiations are underway between the UK and Spanish governments on arrangements for the future exchange of UK driving licences without the need for a practical test,” it added.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


    • Wendy Milne

      23 June 2021 • 23:38

      Does this mean as we were resident in Spain before 2021 . But did not register our intent to exchange our driving license, we can now exchange with out a test. Thank you. Wendy Milne

    • Alan Bowman

      24 June 2021 • 12:25

      Why? All Brits who were here before and many who have been here for decades have had plenty of time to make the exchange. Most either couldn’t be bothered or wanted to try to have the best of both worlds.

      • Mike Stamp

        24 June 2021 • 15:16

        Well said

    • Wendy Marian Guthrie

      24 June 2021 • 13:01

      Can you advise me if Portugal has any plans to do the same re driving licence application by holders of British Driving licences as the Pendemic has delayed everything to do with travel and moving.

    Comments are closed.