Driving in Spain after BREXIT
As there are many rumours flying around regarding what will happen with regards to driving licences and driving in Spain after Brexit, with or without a deal, we have obtained information from the DGT in Santa Cruz which they have asked that we pass on to our readers. We must stress that at present this is not official, but what the staff have been advised at local level.
At present the position regarding driving licences is, that if you hold a Green Residencia and have held this for 2 years or more then you are legally obliged to exchange your licence for a Spanish (European) one. Up until you have held the Green Residencia for this period (2 years) the exchange can be done but it is voluntary; unless the license is due to expire for the photo or age then you have to renew in your country of residence NOT the country of issue. If you currently hold a Spanish license then this is valid for driving in all other European countries and an inter-national license is not necessary, unless visiting a country outside of the EU or when you have not received a renewed or exchanged license.
However, after the 29th March 2019 when Brexit should/would be enforced this whole situation regarding driving will, quite naturally change. We are advised that up until the 29/3/2019 Tráfico will continue to verify licenses with the UK, i.e. starting the verification process (as an exchange is a two-part process) HOWEVER although they will continue to accept applications to verify UK licenses and send them to the DVLA they are unaware as to whether they would receive any responses from the UK. The assumption, and quite an obvious one, is that a deal would be agreed with the UK similar to that currently held with NON-EU member countries such as Switzerland and South America for example. Please note that not all licenses are in fact exchangeable.
So, for people who hold a UK license, after the 29th March 2019, in order to be able to drive in Spain they would be required to obtain an International Driving license which would then permit them to drive legally in Spain for 6 months, during which time it is hoped that a deal will have been agreed. Of course, this would have to be obtained from the DVLA.
Sadly, there are many people who hold a Green Residencia and have done for, in some cases many many years and they have refused to exchange their licenses despite being told that this is illegal under not only Spanish but UK law (refer to the DVLA web site which states the situation quite clearly of what must be done when living abroad). With this in mind we strongly recommend that people who fall into the above category start the exchange process without delay or face, perhaps, not being able to drive here in Spain.
It is also highly likely that persons who hold a Spanish license and visits the UK to drive will need an International Drivers license to drive in the UK as of course the UK will no longer be a European Country (Renting a car for example)
We are not politically biased either way and are just as Official Tráfico collaborators passing on information to our current or future clients and readers of this newspaper.