Are you a Spanish resident with a UK driving licence


Posted and filed under Legal Paperwork (NIE, Residencia, Padron).

Are you a Spanish resident with a UN driving licence?

We have good news for all clients who have a UK driving licence. There is a new agreement between the UK and Spain, after all extensions.

The agreement was signed on 14th March 2023 and puts an end to all extensions we had in the last two years. This is definitive. You now have 6 months to swap your UK driving licence for a Spanish licence, without any driving tests. This agreement is also in place in the UK, you can exchange a Spanish driving licence for a UK licence.

Please note your UK driving licence must be dated before 14th March, this is an unavoidable requirement.

So for British citizens who are Spanish residents and did not apply for the change before Brexit or the previous extensions, they can do it from 16th March.

You will be able to drive with your UK driving licence in Spain for 6 months from 16th March 2023 while you are waiting for the new driving licence.

It is important to highlight the fact that Spain and the UK will share information of vehicles and their owners to deal with fines in both countries in a better way.

Do you need help?

Spanish Solutions can help you with this and most importantly offer you a service where you do not need to visit trafico. You simply submit the required documents to us, and we do the rest.

Should you have any queries or would like to proceed please email or call 966761741.


  • Torbjorn Sundkvist

    I am a Swedish citizen with a UK driving license expired Feb 2023.I am 72.I moved from UK to Spain July 2022.There is a problem for those with expired license and over 70 can’t be verified by Spanish authorities using DVLA software is my information from DGT.They are waiting for a solution from the Brits. before exchanging license,waited 4 weeks.Any information about this problem?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Morning Torbjorn,

      We have not had any clients in this category so have have not heard about this problem, we are sorry.

      Kind regards

  • Ian Goymer

    I am a British citizen with Spanish residencia. I live in both countries for varying times during the year. I do not own a car but rent when I’m in each country. I have a UK driving licence and an International driving permit. Do I need to do anything to comply with these new regulations?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Ian,

      If you are a Spanish resident and driving in Spain with a UK licence you will receive large fines. There is a 6 months grace period just now for 6 months starting 14/03/23, after this time the UK licence will no longer be valid to drive in Spain. We would recommend that you exchange your UK licence for a Spanish licence as soon as possible. We can help you with this, no problem.

      Kind regards

  • Tracey Moore

    Hi. My husband is 73 and a Spanish resident since December 2022. His driving licence expired in March 2023. He has been unable to exchange his licence because the categories on the back of the card have expired also. The DGT are saying that they are waiting for the DVLA to resolve some kind of technical issue. In the meantime there is no information from the DVLA regarding this. Can you help? My query is similar to Torbjorn’s above.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Morning Tracey,

      We have not been made aware of this issue. You could contact the DVLA to ask what else can be done and the timescales to have this fixed. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Raymond Speller

    Hi. My query is similar to Tracey’s.

    I am 76. I have been a Spanish resident since April 2022. My UK licence expired in January 2023.

    I have been unable to exchange my licence with the DGT. They say they must be able to see the categories I was able to drive on the computer screen when they input my DVLA check code. This information does not come on the screen because the the licence has expired.

    Also, the DGT will not accept a ‘Certificate of Entitlement’ which the DVLA sent me and I presented to the DGT.

    The DGT say nothing more can be done by them, it is up to the DVLA to update their system, to show categories allowed to drive for expired licences when DGT input the DVLA check code.

    DVLA say they can only send the ‘Certificate of Entitlement’, which the DGT will not accept.

    I have been 9 weeks trying to deal with this situation.

    Please could you help.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Morning Raymond,

      You should be able to get a replacement UK licence which will then allow you to make the exchange.We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Gemma Carruthers

    Hi. I’m waiting for my Spanish driving licence to arrive in the post. In about a week I’ll be going to the UK, I’m wondering if it hasn’t arrived by the time I go, can I still drive in the UK? Thanks in advance

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Gemma,

      If you do not have your Spanish licence, you would need to apply for an international Spanish licence. You can apply for this as long as you have your temporary Spanish licence. You can obtain this in around 7-10 days. If you are local to La Zenia, we can help you with this. We hope this helps.


  • Salim

    Hi hope you are well , I’m wondering if I obtain the uk driver license now I can exchange in the future for a valid Spanish one ? Thanks

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Salim,

      You can only apply for a Spanish licence if you are a Spanish resident and the licence is dated before you became a Spanish resident. We hope this helps.


  • Belinda Bonaccorsi

    Hi, I am a British resident but own a property and car in Spain and use them following the Schengen calendar of 90 days out of 180 days. Am I allowed to continue using by British licence during the time I live in Spain?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Belinda,

      As you are not resident in Spain, you can drive with your UK licence, no problem.


  • Mike

    Hi, I am resident in Spain but hold a UK licence. I don’t drive in Spain and have no intention of driving here, as the public transport is enough. Can I just hold on to my UK licence and use it when I go back to the UK? I don’t visit the UK often, maybe once a year for a short period. I still have property and my address on my UK licence is still my UK address.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Mike,

      If you are a Spanish resident, your UK licence will not be valid in the UK as you would need to change to a Spanish licence. You would only be able to drive in UK with a UK licence if you are a UK resident. We hope this helps.


  • Jay Muller

    I have an uk license but I’m an irish citizen living in Spain with a NIE card. I haven’t driven in Spain yet but have only just noticed the new ruling which means I won’t be able to exchange license within 6 month period. Is there any leeway on this or do I need to apply for Spanish license and do tests as I’m looking to buy a car and drive in Spain now.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon James,

      You can exchange the UK driving licence for a Spanish licence after 15th September 2023. However, the law states any UK licence holders can not drive in Spain after 15th September 2023 unless they are in possession of a temporary Spanish licence or the Spanish licence itself. There is no way around this, unfortunately.

      We note that you have the NIE, please note you need to be a Spanish resident to exchange your driving licence.

      We hope this helps.


  • James Mullen

    Hi I cannot get through to DGT for 6 weeks now to get my uk license exchanged to Spanish license. Can you help?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry James,

      We received your enquiry via email and have answered via this channel.


  • Neil Higgs

    Has anyone else been refused the exchange because they lost the license photocard, despite having paper counterpart, DVLA check code and everything else required? I can’t be the only one being punished for having my wallet stolen.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Neil,

      It is true that trafico will only allow you to apply for a Spanish licence if you have a valid, physical UK licence.


  • Simon

    I was starting the process of applying for a Spanish driving license when I realised I had lost my green residency card. As I have been living/working in Spain almost exactly 5 years, I initiated the process to get the 10 year TIE card (submitted the documents at the police station last week) but that (or whatever the grant me) won’t arrive for around a month or so. I would like to speed things up to get the license, if possible. I can quickly sort out the other relevant documents, forms and get the medical test etc, to apply but can I get the Spanish license with only a photocopy of the lost green card and the denuncia from the police (both of which I have), or do I really need to wait for the TIE card to arrive?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Simon,

      It is with regret that you will need to wait until you have the new TIE card to submit the file for the licence exchange. Trafico will not accept a copy of the green residencia and denuncia.They will need an active residencia/TIE card. We hope this helps.


  • Luke

    Hello, I’m from the UK but have a NIE card from 2020. I was living in Spain, but I moved back to the UK for one year only, and I’m returning to Spain soon.

    If I get a UK drivers licence here now, will I be able to exchange it for when I return to Spain?

    I have read that you’re unable to exchange a drivers licence if you obtained that while being a resident of Spain, and I’m not entirely sure what level of residency the NIE is when it comes to this situation?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Luke,

      The NIE is the tax identification number, not the residencia. The residencia would be a green residencia card or certificate or TIE card. If you are unsure, please email a copy of the NIE to us, to check.

      If for instance, you are a resident, and this is your first driving licence you will not be able to exchange this to a Spanish licence as the licence date is after the date of residencia. In this case, you will need to sit a Spanish driving test.

      Kind regards

  • Jimmy

    Hi, I am currently in the process of trying to obtain a spousal/family visa through my German partner. Unfortunately my application was declined as certain information was missing from my application. I am now appealing the decision but it could take a long time before I get a resolution. I have been in the country since June 2023. Can I continue to drive using my UK driving licence?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Jimmy,

      As you are non-resident at the moment, you can drive on your UK licence.

      However, please note; that you have 6 months from the date on your TIE card to obtain the Spanish licence. After 6 months the UK licence will not be valid and you can not drive. We hope this helps.

      Kine regards

  • Norman Barker

    Hi, i think i have a problem!! I got my temporary spanish residency in February 21 however renewed my uk driving licence in November 23. I dont think i will be able to exchange ?? Where do i go from here? I am 70 years old and need my car.

    • Tracie Miles

      Hi Norman, I have replied directly to your email.

  • Oliver

    Hi. I’m from the UK but now resident in Spain. I need a car in the UK and in Spain because I often work in the UK from time to time as well as all over europe. I also require a car in the UK for family visits.
    Can I keep my UK licence AND acquire a Spanish licence as I have the need for vehicles in both countries? Or is there another solution such as keep the UK licence and have an international licence for Spain?

    Many thanks

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Oliver,

      As you are a Spanish resident, you need to exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish driving licence. You only have 6 months from the date on your residencia/TIE card to do this. After 6 months, you can no longer drive with your UK licence in Spain.

      You should be able to drive in the UK with your Spanish licence, no problem. However, we would recommend that your insurer is aware you no longer hold a UK licence. We hope this helps.


  • Reece

    HI, I obtained my car driving license before I became a Spanish resident. but I then got my motorcycle license while I was a resident of Spain but BEFORE the license agreement, will this exchange over with my car license as it is on the same card? thanks

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon Reece,

      Trafico will not transfer the UK bike licence to a Spanish licence as it was obtained after the date of your residencia. Trafico will argue that you should have sat a Spanish bike licence and not a UK one. We hope this helps.


  • Jason Godfrey

    Hi I wondered if you could help please .
    We lived in Menorca for 18 yrs and in March 22nd 2022 with our son to study at college in the Uk for 2 years .our son was born in Menorca but holds a Uk passport because myself and my wife are British he naturally got a Uk passport but is birth certificate is Spanish he went to school and studied in Menorca and because of little opportunity to study in Menorca we moved back .
    We have a permanent resident card renewal every 10 yrs .
    Our son whilst he was here he took his driving test here in the Uk and passed,he has now returned to Menorca as a barber and seeking work and interviews ,he went to tráfico after he had is medical exam to start the process to exchange his Uk license which he made a appointment to exchange with a fee which was paid but the lady said he wasn’t allowed to exchange the license because he was a resident already and his Uk license was invalid .
    Obviously he was upset and as been told he as to re sit the whole process she wasn’t very helpful and refused to help anymore by saying he should have de registers as a citizen of Spain but he was born there and as a address in Menorca and with the current situation if he had de registered as a residence it would be very complicated to reapply as he’s only 18 .he was a minor at the age of 16 when we returned to Uk to study .
    We are in a crazy situation can you help please .
    We have proof he was a student here and all his certificates to prove he was studying in Uk.
    Thankyou for your time in reading this ,any advise or if you think you could help in exchanging his license would be appreciated.Kind regards
    Jason Godfrey

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon Jason,

      Unfortunately, this is correct. If you are a Spanish resident, you need to sit a Spanish driving test to obtain your driving licence. A driving licence dated after the residencia will not be exchanged. We are sorry.


  • Joshua

    Hi, I am Spanish citizen that moved to UK. I exchanged my Spanish drivers license for UK’s because of work. As am planning to move back to to Spain, can I use UK’s license while am there and can I change it back to Spanish license when am back. Thanks

    • Nicola Ryan

      Thank you for your enquiry Joshua,

      We replied via email as we received your enquiry via this channel also.


  • Becky

    My father in law was born in the UK but moved to Spain over 10-years ago and is now a Spanish resident. He has his Spanish/EU driving licence. He visits us on a regular basis and normally borrows one of our cars and has alway been on our insurance policy as a named driver. Our insurance company is now telling us that as he is over 70 and does not have a UK licence that we will be unable to insure him. Is this the case with all UK insurance providers? Does this mean that he can never drive in the UK again?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Becky,

      We would not be able to answer this, we are so sorry. We can only comment on Spain. It may be best to contact a UK insurance broker who may be able to help you with this, or find an insurer who will insure your father.


  • Julian Herbert

    Can you help me… I have lost my Spanish driving license but I am in France at the moment and need to either renew my Spanish license, which me and returning to Spain or renew my British one for the time being… How do I get a certificate of entitlement to renew a British driving license?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Julian,

      If you have MiDGT, you should be able to access a certificate of entitlement via this channel.

      If you are renewing your UK licence, you will not be able to convert the UK licence to a Spanish licence at a later date, as the issue date on the UK licence will be after the date of your Spanish residencia.

      Please note, as a Spanish resident you only have 6 months from the date on the residencia to get your Spanish licence. After 6 months the UK licence will not be valid for use in Spain and if caught driving, the fines are high. We would recommend that renew your Spanish licence if possible. We will contact you directly to discuss this matter further.


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