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Brexit and UK driving licences 

We are trying to keep our clients informed as much as possible regarding the exchanges of UK licences to a Spanish one and how Brexit is likely to or will affect those who have not yet exchanged their UK licences. Last week we posted information on our Facebook page (having been verbally informed of the situation as seen by the DGT) but now the DGT has posted this information officially on their web page. As this is of course in Spanish and as many of our clients do not read or speak Spanish we feel it necessary to inform all readers of the Tenerife News of the situation, which of course by the time this is printed may have changed.

First and foremost, if the UK leaves the EU on the 31/10/2019, without a deal, then a UK licence would cease to be valid to drive in Spain. This has far reaching implications as of course it may well affect also your insurance, and whilst it’s the car not the person who is insured in Spain, the driver must hold a valid in date drivers licence, for the insurance to be valid. The DGT have in place the same conditions at the moment for exchanges which remain in place until the 31/10/2019 but which will cease to be valid from the 1/11/2019 as the situation regarding Brexit stands.

The protocol in place currently remains the same for exchanges in so much as to exchange a EU member state licence a person must be a member of a EU country (i.e. hold an EU passport which the UK citizens currently have but this MAY change), hold a Residencia in Spain and present and complete the exchange before the 31/10/2019. There is however a slight change or shift in DGT information in so much that there is the possibility for what is called now Homologation of one’s licence. This entails presenting your verification application licence before the 31/10/2019 and whereby Tráfico would then allow an exchange to be carried out after the deadline. We are currently seeking clarification on this from Tráfico here, so please watch our Facebook page for updates after this edition has been published. We have been verbally advised that the police here have been instructed that anyone stopped driving on a UK licence after the 31/10/2019 are to be fined for not holding a licence valid for driving in Spain, and Tráfico are stating the same in the emails we receive from them. Again, we are seeking to have this confirmed locally, as this differs to the information posted on the DGT site. However as, many will be aware the situation in the Canary Islands quite often, sometimes wrongly, differs from that in the mainland.

To continue to drive without any issue regardless of the above an international driver permit would be required for any British licence holders. This is obtained from the Post Office in the UK as is valid for 1 year from the date of issue.

Just to clear up any typical Tenerife rumours if you hold a valid Spanish driver licence regardless of whether you initially held a UK one this is valid and will still continue to be valid as it is now. The rumour that any exchanged licences will cease to be valid is just that A RUMOUR.