The governments of the UK and Spain have reached a deal on driving license negotiations, the UK Embassy in Madrid said on Thursday. Starting on March 16, holders of a valid UK license will be able to exchange it for a Spanish one without having to take a practical or theory test. The agreement was greenlighted by the Spanish Cabinet on Tuesday.
One of the effects of Brexit on the large community of British citizens living in Spain was that UK driver’s license holders could no longer legally drive in Spain after an extension period ended on April 30, 2022 and their licenses were no longer recognized. The restrictions came into force on May 1, after the Spanish and UK governments failed to reach an agreement by the deadline. Instead, from that date drivers had to obtain a Spanish license by passing a theory test and a practical test, which often entailed taking classes at a local driving school.
The new agreement works both ways, so that holders of a Spanish license may also trade it in for a UK license without the need for additional tests.
“I am delighted that these negotiations have come to an end and UK license holders will now be able to exchange their UK license for a Spanish one without having to take a driving test,” said Ambassador Hugh Elliott.
The driving licence agreement, to enable 🇬🇧licence holders resident in 🇪🇸to exchange their licences for a 🇪🇸one without taking a driving test, has been approved by 🇪🇸Consejo de Ministros. Watch my full message for more details, including next steps here: https://t.co/3vob9AOi13 pic.twitter.com/0sC3hldmYJ— Hugh Elliott (@HughElliottUK) March 14, 2023
Starting on Thursday, UK license holders can legally drive for six months on their UK license, during which time the Embassy is urging them to exchange it for a Spanish one as soon as possible.
“I know this process has taken a lot longer than we all would have liked and has been very difficult for those affected,” said the ambassador.
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