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UK driving licences in Spain: extension to 28 February 2022

Kimmy11Posted by Kimmy11 on Wed Dec 29, 2021 9:43am in Driving, hiring, buying and owning a car
23 replies2259 views5 members subscribed


Hi all,


The UK Government has announced this morning a further extension for UK citizens, resident in Spain, driving on their UK driving licences:


"Driving in Spain

"Read our guidance for UK licence-holders about:

"The British and Spanish governments are negotiating on long-term arrangements for exchanging driving licences without needing a practical test. Sign up for email alerts to get notified when we update this page.

"If you were living in Spain before 1 January 2021, your valid UK driving licence will be recognised for driving in Spain until 28 February 2022.

"If you moved to Spain after 1 January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence, or until 28 February 2022, whichever is later.

"If you live in Spain, you must exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish one. You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead.

Article continues below

"Read the Spanish Traffic Authority’s (DGT) guidance on using and exchanging licences in Spain (in Spanish, with English translation).

If you registered your details with the Spanish Traffic Authority (DGT) before 30 December 2020

"If you lived in Spain before 1 January 2021 and registered your details and intention to exchange with the DGT before 30 December 2020, you should have requested an appointment with the DGT to exchange your UK licence by 31 December 2021. If you did not complete the exchange before the deadline and need further information, contact the DGT. **

If you did not register your details with DGT before 30 December 2020

"If you did not register with DGT before 30 December 2020 and wish to obtain a Spanish driving licence now, you should follow the DGT process for non-EU nationals. This includes taking a driving test."

Link to announcement on Gov.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=3185ec9b-fa1d-4640-9af5-7616f9b0c2c1&utm_content=immediately

EDIT:  The section which I've marked ** has now been updated by Spain's DGT - the extension to 28 February 2022 DOES now apply to those people who pre-registered their intent to exchange.  (I queried the original publication with the British Embassy, as it appeared to penalise those who had proceeded correctly by pre-registering prior to 31 December 2020, but have not been able to complete the exchange because of DGT delays outside of the applicants' control.)

Kind regards, 

Kim


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Kimmy11

Kimmy11

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Kimmy11

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:33am

Kimmy11

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Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:33am

The British Embassy in Madrid has also issued the statement below.  It's worth noting their emphasis on not leaving it to the last minute to progress the option of taking a Spanish driving test, if it's essential for you to be able to drive in Spain:

"Further to the Ambassador’s message last week, we are pleased to let you know that the Spanish Government has today confirmed the extension of the grace period during which you can drive in Spain using a valid UK licence until the end of February 2022.

"As you know, the UK Government is committed to reaching a long-term agreement with Spain so that residents can exchange their UK driving licences without taking a test. Negotiations are continuing and we stand ready to conclude that agreement as soon as possible. But unfortunately we are not there yet.

"We recognise that the extension is relatively short, and therefore it is important that – if it is imperative for you to drive – you consider all your options, which may include looking into taking a driving test now."

"We will be updating gov.uk/livinginspain shortly. Please sign up for alerts so that you receive the latest news.

"This message only applies to UK Nationals living in Spain. Visitors can continue to use their UK licence to drive in Spain without the need for an International Driving Permit."

Kind regards, 

Kim

Darro

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:53pm

Darro

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Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:53pm

"If you moved to Spain after 1 January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence, or until 28 February 2022, whichever is later"

Surely that has to be 'whichever is sooner' not later?

Kimmy11

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 2:43pm

Kimmy11

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Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 2:43pm

Darro wrote on Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:53pm:

"If you moved to Spain after 1 January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence, or until 28 February 2022, whichever is later"

Surely that has to be 'whichever is sooner' not later?

Hi Darro,

I agree, and "sooner" was certainly the stipulation for the previous extension.  That's why I added the update from the British Embassy, as it doesn't differentiate.  If it's correct, it suggests that the UK and Spain are negotiating a perpetual agreement that differentiates UK citizens from other Third Country Nationals.  I've emailed the Embassy and asked for clarity 🙄

Kind regards, 

Kim

DavidDJL

Posted: Mon Jan 3, 2022 11:46am

Posts: 4

Location: Gandia

Joined: 23 Aug 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 3, 2022 11:46am

Darro wrote on Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:53pm:

"If you moved to Spain after 1 January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence, or until 28 February 2022, whichever is later"

Surely that has to be 'whichever is sooner' not later?

It's correct to say whichever is later. 

Think about it. If it was the other way round... 

Kimmy11

Posted: Mon Jan 3, 2022 1:50pm

Kimmy11

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Posted: Mon Jan 3, 2022 1:50pm

There has been an amendment to the original publication, which I've updated above and also posting here to draw attention to the change:

The section which I've marked ** has now been updated by Spain's DGT - the extension to 28 February 2022 DOES now apply to those people who pre-registered their intent to exchange.

I queried the original publication with the British Embassy, as it appeared to penalise those who had proceeded correctly by pre-registering prior to 31 December 2020, but have not been able to complete the exchange because of DGT delays outside of the applicants' control.  Apparently, a further amendment had to be made to the relevant law.

Kind regards, 

Kim

Darro

Posted: Mon Jan 3, 2022 9:22pm

Darro

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Posted: Mon Jan 3, 2022 9:22pm

DavidDJL wrote on Mon Jan 3, 2022 11:46am:

It's correct to say whichever is later. 

Think about it. If it was the other way round... 

I disagree.

If someone arrived on an NLV on let's say August 1st. that would mean they had until the end of January obtain a Spanish licence, for them that is SOONER than February 28th.

That's my logic, what's yours?

AndrewM

Posted: Tue Jan 4, 2022 10:50am

Posts: 14

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Joined: 20 Apr 2021

Posted: Tue Jan 4, 2022 10:50am

This isn't just about UK citizens. It's about the many Spanish who since Brexit happened have left the UK to return to Spain since the start of this year. They previously exchanged their Spanish license for a UK license when they went to live in the UK and now find themselves in the situation that they cannot exchange it back again. Soon an exchange agreement will be reached but until then the ability to drive in Spain on a UK license will keep being extended...and "whichever is the later" makes sense.

DavidDJL

Posted: Tue Jan 4, 2022 11:57am

Posts: 4

Location: Gandia

Joined: 23 Aug 2020

Posted: Tue Jan 4, 2022 11:57am

Darro wrote on Mon Jan 3, 2022 9:22pm:

I disagree.

If someone arrived on an NLV on let's say August 1st. that would mean they had until the end of January obtain a Spanish licence, for them that is SOONER than February 28th.

That's my logic, what's yours?

"If you moved to Spain after 1 January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence, or until 28 February 2022, whichever is later"

The subject in your example arrived Aug 1st. They initially had 6 months so the validity of their UK licence in Spain would have expired Jan 31st which is before Feb 28th.

But the latest extension to validity now applies.They now have until 28th Feb which is a later date. 

Now think of someone arriving say Dec 1st. They have 6 months from then. That gives them until May 31st  which is a later date than Feb 28th.   

Word it your way and the subject in your example would not get the extension. The subject in mine would suffer a reduction.

Kimmy11

Posted: Tue Jan 4, 2022 1:16pm

Kimmy11

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Posted: Tue Jan 4, 2022 1:16pm

AndrewM wrote on Tue Jan 4, 2022 10:50am:

This isn't just about UK citizens. It's about the many Spanish who since Brexit happened have left the UK to return to Spain since the start of this year. They previously exchanged their Spanish license for a UK license when they went to live in the UK and now find themselves in the situation tha...

...t they cannot exchange it back again. Soon an exchange agreement will be reached but until then the ability to drive in Spain on a UK license will keep being extended...and "whichever is the later" makes sense.

Hi AndrewM,

You may, or may not, be correct to assume that the UK and Spain will reach agreement over licence exchanges.  In the meantime, where does it state that a Spanish citizen, who passed their driving test in Spain, moved to the UK and exchanged their Spanish licence for UK, "cannot change it back again"?

Kind regards, 

Kim

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