As you know, one of the key actions for UK Nationals living in Spain is to exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish one, but recently a lack of appointments has made this difficult. Therefore, to speed up the licence exchange and ensure UK Nationals can begin the process before the end of the year, the DGT has put a new system in place which went live on their website yesterday.
It is a two-step process. The first step is to make an application to the DGT before 30 December. You can do this via their online portal if you have a digital certificate/CLAVE or by calling 060. In some provinces it may also be possible to do so by downloading the form and taking it to your local office, though you may wish to ring ahead to confirm this. You can also ask a representative (eg a gestor) to do this on your behalf. We understand that for this part of the process you do not need to have a residency certificate or TIE, but you will need a NIE.
If you do not hear anything from the DGT in the meantime, three days after submitting your application you can request an appointment with the DGT to do the exchange. This should be booked on the DGT’s website.
As long as your application has been submitted before 30 December, and the UK authorities have verified your licence by the end of the year, your appointment to exchange your licence can be after 1 January 2021, provided it is within the first 6 months of next year. Please note that you will need a residency certificate/TIE to do final exchange, so if you are in the process of applying for residency you may want to choose a later date for your appointment.
Irrespective of whether a UK licence has been verified for exchange by the end of the year, you will be able to drive in Spain using your UK licence for 6 months from 1 January 2021. The future rules on exchange and recognition of UK licences are still subject to negotiation.
For more information and a link to the online application form visit: https://sede.dgt.gob.es/es/permisos-de-conducir/canje-permisos/canje-permisos-extranjeros/canje-renovacion-sustitucion-uk/index.shtml?Reino%20Unido. Please note that you can change the site’s language to English by selecting it in the drop-down menu in the top right hand corner of the page.
To keep up to date with the latest information on driving, please sign up for alerts to the Living in Spain guide on gov.uk.