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British drivers will need to exchange their UK licence for a Spanish one before the end of December or could risk being caught out. It is not possible to exchange a UK licence for a Spanish one after the transition period has ended meaning road users will not be allowed to legally drive.
Those who fail to update their license and continue to use their cars are likely to be issued penalties or prosecuted.
Spain’s Citizens Advice Bureau has confirmed drivers who forget to switch their paperwork will need to take new tests.
A new theory and practical driving test must be conducted under Spanish rules which will give residents access to a Spanish permit.
In a statement online, Spain’s Citizens Advice Bureau said: “Residents from the UK, can still exchange or renew their licence for a Spanish one, during the transition period, so until the end of December 2020.
“Both to make the first appointment to submit the paperwork, as to hand over [the original] UK licence to receive a temporary Spanish permit in return.
“After the transition period, it will no longer be possible to exchange or renew a UK licence for a Spanish one.
“You have to take both theory and practical tests to obtain a Spanish permit.”
To exchange paperwork, road users must submit their application to the Spanish Traffic Authority (DGT) before 30 December.
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Road users can either do this electronically via an online portal or by phoning the service directly.
Residents of some Spanish provinces may be able to submit their application in person at a local office.
Three days after applying, drivers must request an appointment for the final document exchange.
As long as drivers submitted their application before 30 December and the DGT has approved your license, an appointment exchange can be booked in for after the transition date.
However this just still be before 30 June 2021 meaning road users are still pushed for time to get their documents sorted.
Drivers will need to hand over their UK licence to the DGT at the appointment before they are provided with a temporary driving permit.
This can be used until your final Spanish licence is processed and a new card is issued.
Drivers are warned this document will only be valid in Spain and not in any other European country.
GOV.UK has also issued advice to residents confirming drivers can avoid a test if paperwork is submitted before 30 December.
They said: “Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
“If you are resident in Spain, exchange your UK licence for a Spanish one.
“If you do this before 30 December 2020 you will not need to take a driving test.”
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