Exchanging a UK driving license

Information and questions about the Law in Spain and Andalucia.
malcolm_lake
Tourist
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: Coin

Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby malcolm_lake » Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:08 pm

Does anybody know what will happen to me after the 31st of October this year , when it will be illegal to drive in Spain with a UK driving license
When ( hopefully never ) I get stopped by the police , what happens then
Do I get fined or have to go to court or extradited or what ?
I did not register to change before the end of 2020 , so that was where the problem started , but for the last 5 months I have been trying to get an appointment with DGT to be able to exchange my UK license for a Spanish one , but with absolutely no success
I have tried going through companies who specialize in this sort of thing , but none are able to help me.
I am trying really hard to stay within the law but I am receiving no help from the Spanish authorities , nor am I receiving any updates as to what the situation is going to be after the 31st
I need some useful information a.s.a.p

casita-bonita
Resident
Posts: 1103
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:32 pm
Location: Sayalonga,

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby casita-bonita » Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:41 pm

Surely if you are resident then after 31st Oct if you only have a uk license you will be driving illegally and subject to whatever penalty the law chooses to apply.

Can't see the point of spending the last 5 months trying to get an appointment with the DGT as the intent to change had to be registered prior to 31st Dec 2020. But then you seem to be aware of this from your post...

Sorry to say but the only way to become legal is to take a Spanish driving test. I know a couple of people who have done this, americans rather than brits who didn't register when required. Test wasn't that difficult, the biggest issue was the time it takes.
Regards

Bob

Manchesteral
Resident
Posts: 1802
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:48 pm

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby Manchesteral » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:02 pm

The obvious question has to be do you have official residencia ?

elusive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3008
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby elusive » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:22 pm

malcolm_lake wrote: Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:08 pm Does anybody know what will happen to me after the 31st of October this year , when it will be illegal to drive in Spain with a UK driving license
When ( hopefully never ) I get stopped by the police , what happens then
Do I get fined or have to go to court or extradited or what ?
I did not register to change before the end of 2020 , so that was where the problem started , but for the last 5 months I have been trying to get an appointment with DGT to be able to exchange my UK license for a Spanish one , but with absolutely no success
I have tried going through companies who specialize in this sort of thing , but none are able to help me.
I am trying really hard to stay within the law but I am receiving no help from the Spanish authorities , nor am I receiving any updates as to what the situation is going to be after the 31st
I need some useful information a.s.a.p
If you didnt registar before the end of december 2020 then there is/has been no point trying to get an appointment at trafico to exchange your licence as legally you cannot do it. You could only exchange it if you had registered before the end of 2020. Your only option upto now has been to take a spanish driving test. Its thought that if another extension is given it may happen at quite short notice before the 31st until and exchange agreement is made. So you may get lucky. But at the moment you either take a test or stop driving. Two options. Take a spanish test or stop driving at the end of month and sit it out and hope some agreement is made to exchange with no test required

If you get stopped and cant prove you are on holiday then they will ticket you for driving with no licence. Probably put the car in the pound. Your insurance maybe invalid . Someone posted on another site they got pulled in nerja a few weeks ago and was fined €200 for not changing it. No idea of the circumstances and it it was valid. But yours would be more serious as you are effectively driving without a valid licence.

El Cid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 15632
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:42 pm
Location: La Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby El Cid » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:54 pm

Driving in Spain without a driving licence is a criminal offence liable to a prison sentence.

Sid

daveboy
Andalucia.com Amigo
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:51 am
Location: Costa Del Sol

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby daveboy » Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:56 am

but no chance of going to prison unless you get caught multiple times. Lots of crimes are punishable by prison as a maximum sentence.

gavilan
Resident
Posts: 1763
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 11:59 am
Location: Alcaucin

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby gavilan » Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:15 am

El Cid wrote: 'Driving in Spain without a driving licence is a criminal offence liable to a prison sentence.' ... but he does actually have a driving licence ... albeit a UK one ... so he is not 'driving without a licence' ... I would add that pre-Brexit many Brits living here were driving around with UK licences.. and the Spanish authorities were ok with that!

Manchesteral
Resident
Posts: 1802
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:48 pm

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby Manchesteral » Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:24 am

gavilan wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:15 am El Cid wrote: 'Driving in Spain without a driving licence is a criminal offence liable to a prison sentence.' ... but he does actually have a driving licence ... albeit a UK one ... so he is not 'driving without a licence' ... I would add that pre-Brexit many Brits living here were driving around with UK licences.. and the Spanish authorities were ok with that!

If your licence is not valid, then you have no licence, there is no way round this one, the only answer is to take the test in Spanish !

User avatar
Wicksey
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4784
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:21 pm
Location: Axarquia coast

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby Wicksey » Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:40 am

gavilan wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:15 am El Cid wrote: 'Driving in Spain without a driving licence is a criminal offence liable to a prison sentence.' ... but he does actually have a driving licence ... albeit a UK one ... so he is not 'driving without a licence' ... I would add that pre-Brexit many Brits living here were driving around with UK licences.. and the Spanish authorities were ok with that!
Pre Brexit the UK licence was an EU one and you could keep it if you registered it with the DGT so I understand. Now that we are a 'third country' the rules have changed meaning that the UK one will no longer be accepted for UK residents of the EU.

The UK voted to leave the EU in 2016 and for the past couple of years there has been much information about the importance of changing your licence and registering your intent to do so (it started in 2019 then we were given a further year's grace until end of 2020). As others have already pointed out, without registering his intent to change with the DGT before the end of 2020 there has been no point in the OP trying to exchange it now under the old rules. Why the UK should be treated as an exception and allow the Brit expats to exchange their licences as they did pre Brexit, I'm not sure unless it was an agreement made during the negotiations.

markwilding
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 7436
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:02 am
Location: Bilbao Spain

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby markwilding » Sun Oct 17, 2021 1:39 pm

Pre. Brexit The police were not letting people go if they were residents and hadn't change their licence within a certain time. There was a thread about this and police were issuing fines of 200 euros. However, then the fine was for not having changed it which was an EU rule whereas now it' might be not having a valid licence to drive.

I say might be because it seems there are still ongoing negotiations between the UK and Spanish governments and the 31st October deadline might be extended again.
. https://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/sp ... -test.html

User avatar
Wicksey
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4784
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:21 pm
Location: Axarquia coast

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby Wicksey » Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:49 pm

If it is extended then that will give those trying to exchange, having registered their intent, a couple of extra months as I know it's been difficult to get appointments. It is still to be decided whether or not British expats here will need to take a test or not.
"The latest news suggests that the validity period may be extended further, however, there is still no news on whether British nationals who missed the December deadline will be able to exchange their licence at a later time without having to sit a test."

elusive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3008
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby elusive » Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:27 pm

gavilan wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:15 am El Cid wrote: 'Driving in Spain without a driving licence is a criminal offence liable to a prison sentence.' ... but he does actually have a driving licence ... albeit a UK one ... so he is not 'driving without a licence' ... I would add that pre-Brexit many Brits living here were driving around with UK licences.. and the Spanish authorities were ok with that!
Its not a valid licence under spanish law unless you arrived within the previous 6 months. So its treated the same as not having one or driving without a valid one. Which ever way you want to phrase it.

What happened pre brexit really isnt relevent. The U.K asked to be and is now a third country and the law has changed because of that choice. Many brits were still driving with invalid uk licences then as they had renewed uk licences once they were spanish residents.

markwilding
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 7436
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:02 am
Location: Bilbao Spain

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby markwilding » Sun Oct 17, 2021 6:48 pm

Pre- Brexit, the UK driving licence was still valid as permission to drive even after 2 years I was being driven home by a friend who was stopped and told wrong information by a Policeman. He was told he was being lenient by just issuing the fine because the UK licence meant he should not have been driving and that had I not been in the car, he could have made him take taxi home.

I later checked this out and the Policeman was wrong. The fine was for not having changed the licence but his UK one was still legal until he managed to get through the exchange process.

elusive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3008
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby elusive » Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:02 pm

Yes there was alot of conflicting evidence pre brexit over the years. Some said 2 years, some until it ran it etc etc. Thats why it was better just to change it. I certainly didnt fancy arguing wih a guardia regardless of what the law was at the time.

El Cid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 15632
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:42 pm
Location: La Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby El Cid » Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:17 pm

I really cannot understand why any resident would choose not to exchange their licence as soon as they became residents.

If they did not and missed the deadline they only have themselves to blame and I have no sympathy for them just like the long term illegal residents who now find they cannot use the withdrawal agreement to get residency.

Sid

elusive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3008
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby elusive » Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:47 pm

malcolm_lake wrote: Sat Oct 16, 2021 3:08 pm Does anybody know what will happen to me after the 31st of October this year , when it will be illegal to drive in Spain with a UK driving license
When ( hopefully never ) I get stopped by the police , what happens then
Do I get fined or have to go to court or extradited or what ?
I did not register to change before the end of 2020 , so that was where the problem started , but for the last 5 months I have been trying to get an appointment with DGT to be able to exchange my UK license for a Spanish one , but with absolutely no success
I have tried going through companies who specialize in this sort of thing , but none are able to help me.
I am trying really hard to stay within the law but I am receiving no help from the Spanish authorities , nor am I receiving any updates as to what the situation is going to be after the 31st
I need some useful information a.s.a.p
https://www.facebook.com/42226977121076 ... 399458264/

Latest info (7 hrs ago) for you from the British embassy in spain f.book page

User avatar
Wicksey
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4784
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:21 pm
Location: Axarquia coast

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby Wicksey » Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:42 pm

Facebook link cannot be opened if you don't have an account. I don't know why public information is put out on a Facebook page that is closed to those of us who don't 'do' fakebook.

elusive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3008
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby elusive » Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:05 pm

Didn't realise that wicksey. agree its abit daft. Let me see if i can copy it for you. I presume it would be on the embassy website aswell?

elusive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3008
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:49 am
Location: East of Malaga

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby elusive » Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:07 pm

We recognise that many people are concerned about the long-term arrangements for UK driving licence exchange here in Spain. Negotiations continue between the UK and Spanish governments on this issue. However, under current Spanish law, residents with valid UK licences will only be able to use these to drive in Spain until 31 October 2021.

We are asking the Spanish Government for an extension to the 31st October date and will update you as soon as we know the outcome. In the meantime, UK licence holders could, if they wished to, apply for a Spanish licence. This includes taking both a practical and theory test. You can find more information here: https://sede.dgt.gob.es/es/permisos-de- ... ndex.shtml.

If you are one of the UK Nationals who successfully registered their intent to exchange their licence by 30 December 2020, as things stand, your UK licence will also become invalid for driving in Spain on 31 October, but you will still be eligible to exchange it for a Spanish one until 31 December 2021 without having to take a practical test. We recommend you arrange to get an appointment to do so as soon as possible.

As always, stay up to date with the latest information by signing up for alerts to gov.uk/livinginspain.

Lyric
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2416
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 12:36 pm
Location: Torrox Campo

Re: Exchanging a UK driving license

Postby Lyric » Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:51 pm

UK driving license update, now acceptable until 31 Dec 2021. UK.Gov site just now.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest