By Sally Underwood •
Updated: 15 Mar 2023 • 17:01
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The period the government has given to allow Brits already living in Spain to exchange their licence will be six months. Anyone moving to the country after March 16 will also be given six months.
Announced by the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, March 14, the news puts an end to travel misery for thousands of expats left in limbo after the Spanish government abruptly ceased extensions allowing anyone who hadn’t exchanged their licence before December 31 2020 to continue using their UK licence to an end last May.
Brits will now be able to exchange their UK licence with the DGT for a Spanish one. Existing category permissions (for example, ability to drive heavy goods vehicles or motorbikes) will also be honoured.
Spanish living in the UK will similarly be able to exchange their licences under the agreement.
The government’s statement said: “The Council of Ministers has approved this Tuesday the agreement by which Spain and the United Kingdom to offer reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licenses as well as the exchange of information on traffic offences.”
The news means that existing traffic offence information will also be exchanged between the two countries.
Those wishing to exchange their licence can now contact the DGT directly to arrange an appointment to do so. They will first need to check they have their relevant paperwork in order, including proof of residencia, and take a short ‘psycho-physical’ test. This includes basic health tests (including eyesight, blood pressure) a psychological test and a mobility test.
The full statement from the government said: “The Consejo de Ministros has approved this Tuesday the agreement by which Spain and the United Kingdom can offer reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licenses as well as the exchange of information on traffic offences.
“This agreement puts an end to the successive extensions applied to the exchange of licences between the two countries that had been applied since the end of the transitional period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
“From now on, holders of a valid and current driving licences issued by either of the two countries may request the exchange of their equivalent driving licence wherever they have established their residence, without being subject to any additional requirement of practical test or theoretical and according to the categories of permits from both countries.
“The agreement establishes that all valid permits or licenses of current residents issued prior to its entry into force may be exchanged, while for permits issued after said entry into force it will be an essential requirement to access the exchange that the permits have been issued in the country where the applicant had his legal residence.”
The Euro Weekly News previously revealed that following months of delays by the Spanish government, in January the British Embassy said the next announcement would be one surrounding the date to exchange.
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