Age in Spain – Rules of the Road

When I got my Spanish driving licence nearly five years ago, it was difficult to go back to the beginning and take the theory test like I was 16 years old again.

Even though I’d been driving for 35 years. But the US and Spain have no agreement on driving licences. Well, each state in the US determines their rules regarding driving licences in their state. We have no national driving licence there.

I studied and took all the practice tests online. And I passed the test the first time, after sweating bullets. The rules of the road here are very different than where we are from. And it took some memorisation and serious focus to track all the subtleties. When Jeff took the exams a year later, he was even more nervous than I was. And frustrated. Especially after riding in taxis and observing the difference between the law and the practicalities of everyday driving in the narrow warrens of the streets in most Spanish cities. But now, that has all changed.

Recently, we were picking up something in our local town. Jeff stopped the car in the narrow road, put on the emergency flashers, then ran inside to collect our order while I stayed in the car. I noted this bold move but said nothing. And then, he committed the quintessential move of Spanish drivers everywhere and I knew he had finally settled in to driving in his adopted country. Jeff needed to unload something in the city. In the past he would have secured parking and struggled with it for a few blocks. But not on that fateful day. He pulled up onto the sidewalk and parked. No flashers. Like we owned the place. Suddenly, everything shifted, and I knew that we are locals now and we’d never move back to the US.

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