British driving licenses

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Heston
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British driving licenses

Postby Heston » Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:41 pm

Hi all can anyone clarify what the score is! My husband and i both live here and are waiting for our residencia and both drive British plated vehicles.
Yesterday my husband was fined by the lovely boys in green (Guardia) for failing to stop at a stop sign...he did stop as he was Turning into a busy road so you really do have to stop or die! But anyway as you know you cant really argue and this morning we trotted off to the post office to pay the 150euro fine.
The nice man also said that he has to change his license to Spanish or at least have an international one and if he doesn't do it today and he sees him again he will be fined. A friend of mine was also stopped last week by the same nice chap fined for not stopping had a residencia card but only an English license so copped a 100euro fine for the not stopping and 450euro fine for not having a Spanish license!
I have spoken to two lawyers and two other Guardia(who happen to be nice) and have different stories.
Some say you can legal drive on your British license as it all falls under Europe now the law changed last year then others say we are driving illegally and need it changed asap!
Please can someone help could do without another fine!

Megan
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Postby Megan » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:34 pm

The way I understood the requirements is that if you are a non-resident of Spain then your UK Driving Licence is acceptable with an International Driving Permit, although the IDP isn't always required and passport as proof of ID. If a resident, then I believe that you need to get your UK Driving Licence exchanged for a Spanish one.

If this isn't right, it would be good to know what is! :)
Meg - Sunny by nature

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Postby Beachcomber » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:44 pm

What 's right and what actually happens is not necessarily the same thing. It's much easier just to do what they want and get a Spanish licence than try to argue the toss.

Bear in mind, though, that you cannot drive a foreign registered vehicle on a Spanish driving licence so you will have to import your two cars as well. You should do this anyway if you are a resident.

El Cid
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Postby El Cid » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:47 pm

The law is quite clear on this point.

As a resident holding a current EU pattern licence you no longer have to exchange your licence or have it endorsed. You can choose to do either if you wish to. If you have applied for residency then you would be classed as a resident.

This subject has come up repeatedly on this and other forums and the advice is usually the same - exchange your licence as soon as possible to avoid exactly the sort of problems you have described.

In the final reckoning it is the little green man who decides whether your licence is valid irrespective of the law. You can appeal and get your money back but it is better to avoid the situation in the first place.

Your UK plated cars will have to be reregistered within 6 months of applying for residency - if you do not they can be impounded and you will be fined.

Sid

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lola2
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Postby lola2 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:14 pm

I am very confused by this. My husband has always told me if I got stopped not to show my residencia and make out I am holiday. We do have UK address so can do this.

Surely a UK Licence cannot be valid over here unless you still have the address on the licence. It is against the law to drive in the UK with a licence with an out of date address anyway so how could it be legal over here? How many of you have got a UK address that you no longer reside at on your Driving Licence?

Heston
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driving license

Postby Heston » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:21 pm

many thanks for all the responses I still do have a house in the Uk which my driving license is registered too......I am reluctant to give up my UK driving license so I take it is is then best to get an international one to run along side?

El Cid
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Re: driving license

Postby El Cid » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:32 pm

Heston wrote: I am reluctant to give up my UK driving license
Why?

Sid

Heston
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licenses

Postby Heston » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:35 pm

Because the picture of me is the best one I have ever had taken!!!

El Cid
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Postby El Cid » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:36 pm

lola2 wrote: Surely a UK Licence cannot be valid over here unless you still have the address on the licence. It is against the law to drive in the UK with a licence with an out of date address anyway so how could it be legal over here?
You are quite right. If you are a resident in Spain then the UK address on your licence is invalid.

However the DVLA don't seem to be too concerned about this - it's not their problem if you are not driving in the UK.

I think the legality of this is a bit subtle for the Guardia especially as the new photocard Spanish licence does not have an address on it.

Sid

El Cid
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Re: licenses

Postby El Cid » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:38 pm

Heston wrote:Because the picture of me is the best one I have ever had taken!!!
That's the best reason I have heard so far! :D

Sid

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Postby Beachcomber » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:58 pm

I am told that the address, together with other details, is embedded in the information the licence contains that is not visible to the naked eye. :shock:

Even if you challenge them over the issue of the licence can you be absolutely certain that your vehicles will stand up to the most rigorous of construction and use checks to which they will, no doubt, be subjected as a result?

Just bite the bullet, find a good photographer and have some more photographs taken and get your Spanish licence. :wink:

Heston
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driving licenses

Postby Heston » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:20 pm

Thanks everyone looks like i will be in the Officina Traffico tomorrow hope they have an airbrush!

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Postby Laslomas » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:48 am

My husband and I both changed our UK licences for Spanish ones just over a year ago (when they were still issuing the pink card type). I am not sure now what we paid to do the process, but at the time it did not seem too bad. We were not asked for a medical. My husband's new Spanish licence ran out and needed renewing in December 2006. He had only had it for 11 months! He had to pay for another set of photos, a medical and also pay a renewal fee. Total about 50 euros. Mine was exchanged at the same time as his but does not run out until next year. I do not understand this. When he gets the replacement, how long will that last for? It can become an expensive business at this rate.

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Robbbo57
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Postby Robbbo57 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:22 am

Exchange your licence for a Spanish one....and don't break the law.
Smile - you're going to die!:-)

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Postby Dealer » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:36 am

lola2 wrote:I am very confused by this. My husband has always told me if I got stopped not to show my residencia and make out I am holiday. We do have UK address so can do this.

Surely a UK Licence cannot be valid over here unless you still have the address on the licence. It is against the law to drive in the UK with a licence with an out of date address anyway so how could it be legal over here?
Correct and that proves the point 'always listen to your husband as he (been an man) is always right'. :lol:
"A soul afraid of dying will never live"

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Postby Beachcomber » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:24 pm

A Spanish licence is valid for ten years until you are 50, 5 years until you are 70 then you have to renew it every two years.


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