Driving Licences in barcelona

Driving Licences in Barcelona

Are you living in Barcelona and aren’t sure if you need to exchange your license for a Spanish one? Certainly, one of the biggest doubts for expats living in Spain is what will happen regarding driving licences and if international driving permits will be needed.

 

Anyone over 18 with a valid driving license from their home country can legally drive in Spain. For Non-EU/EEA citizens, this applies for the first six months after moving to Spain and gaining residency. For EU/EEA nationals, this applies until your current license expires.

Coronavirus: Expiring driving licences to be extended

As of the 4th of June 2020, the EU Commission announced that drivers with a photocard driving licence due to expire between 1 February and 31 August 2020 will be granted a 7-month extension from the date of expiry. This will help drivers to make necessary journeys without having to obtain a new photograph to renew their licence.

 

Driving licenses in Barcelona, Barcelona Expat Life

How to exchange your licence (EU/EEA citizens)

Driving licences issued in any Member State of the EU, UK (until 12/31/2020) and the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) are valid to drive in Spain while they are in date and have not been been withdrawn for any reason (with the exception that the age required for driving will correspond to that required to obtain the equivalent Spanish driving license).

 

At the time of completing the procedure you will be given a provisional licence, and you will receive your new licence in approximately a month and a half. Please note that your replacement licence will be a Spanish one.

 

To exchange your EU/EEA licence to that of a Spanish one, you’ll need to go to the Provincial Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico), and request an appointment through the EU/EEA swap request application. Make sure that you request the option “Exchange of European driving license”. 

 

 

Bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

    1. Exchange request completed.
    2. An original form of ID (DNI, NIE or valid passport) + 1 additional copy.
    3. Residence accreditation (for non-EU citizens this is a valid residency card and for citizens of Barcelona this is a certificate of registration in the register of foreigners).
    4. Foreign driving license to be exchanged in force.
    5. Number or proof of payment of having paid the necessary fee (you can pay by card via the DGT website).
    6. Current original photograph (32×26 mm).
 
 
Driving licences in Barcelona, Barcelona Expat Life

How to renew your licence (EU/EAA citizens)

Your European licence will be valid in Spain while it is still in date. To continue being able to drive, you will have to renew it before it’s expiration date. 

 

In cases where the driving licence has an indefinite term (doesn’t have an expiration date), or exceeds 15 years, you must renew it two years after you obtain your residency in Spain.

 

Please note that when you renew your licence, your new one will be a Spanish one.

 

To renew your EU/EEA license to that of a Spanish driving licence, you’ll need to go to the Provincial Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico) and request an appointment through the application for the renewal of EU/EEA permits. Make sure that you request the option “Renewal of driving licences (EU/EEA only)”.

 

Bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

    1. Application form completed.
    2. An original form of ID (DNI, NIE or valid passport) + 1 additional copy.
    3. Psychophysical aptitude report, issued by an authorised Driver Recognition Center.
    4. Foreign driving licence to be exchanged in force.
    5. Number or proof of payment of having paid the corresponding fee (you can pay by card at the DGT).
    6. Current original photograph (32×26 mm).

How to replace your licence (EU/EAA)

If your permit issued by an EU, EEA or UK country has been stolen, lost or damaged, you can request a replacement of your licence (provided you have your residency in Spain).

 

At the time of completing the procedure you will be given a provisional licence, and you will receive your new licence in approximately a month and a half. Please note that your replacement licence will be a Spanish one.

 

To replace your EU/EEA licence, you’ll need to go to the Provincial Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico), and request an appointment through the EU/EEA swap request application. Make sure that you request the option “Exchange of European driving licence”. 

 

Bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

    1. Application form completed.
    2. An original form of ID (DNI, NIE or valid passport) + 1 additional copy.
    3. Foreign driving license in case of deterioration.
    4. Number or proof of payment of having paid the corresponding fee (you can pay by card at the DGT).
    5. Current original photograph (32x26mm).

Will UK driving licences still be valid in Spain?

One of the biggest doubts for expats living in Spain is what will happen regarding driving licences and if international driving permits will be needed.

 

Current driving licences issued by UK authorities will entitle their holders to drive in Spain for a period of nine months from the date of the UK’s exit from the EU. If you are a resident in Spain and want to continue driving there, you will have to exchange your licence to a Spanish one. You can start this process via the DGT website.

 

You can still use your Spanish licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

driving licences in Barcelona, Barcelona Expat Life

How to exchange a Spanish driving licence (Non-EU/EEA citizens)

The driving licenses of residents in Spain that have been issued in countries with which there is an agreement can be exchanged for an equivalent Spanish permit. However, this is subject to a series of administrative requirements being met.

 

If your permit is not from the EU, EEA, or Andorra, Switzerland and Monaco, and your country does not appear in the list of countries with an agreement, it is not possible to exchange your permit and you will be required to take a Spanish driving test (theoretical and practical) in order to obtain a new permit. For more details on how to obtain a new permit, see below.

 

Carrying out the exchange requires prior verification of the equivalence and authenticity of driving licenses with your country of origin, with the exchange always being subject to confirmation of the validity of your license by the authorities of the country that issued it to you. Given this, the exchange process can be quite lengthy.

 

The steps you must follow to exchange your permit:

    1. Request an appointment at the Provincial Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico) through the third-country swap request application, make sure you request the option “Driving license swaps”.
    2. If your country has made the relevant verifications, the DGT will then proceed to exchange your permit.

On the day of your appointment, you must bring all the required documentation:

    1. Exchange request form completed.
    2. Original copy of ID (DNI, residence card, or valid passport).
    3. Residence accreditation (for non-EU citizens this is a valid residency card and for citizens of Barcelona this is a certificate of registration in the register of foreigners).
    4. Proof that you didn’t reside in Spain when the permission to exchange was obtained.
    5. Foreign driving license to be exchanged.
    6. Number or proof of payment of having paid the corresponding fee (you can pay by card at the DGT).
    7. Psychophysical aptitude report, issued by an authorised Driver Recognition Center.
    8. Current original photograph (32x26mm). 
 

Certificate of authenticity

A certificate of authenticity is a document stating the registration of your driving licence in the Driving Licences Register of your home country. You can use the certificate of authenticity if you have moved to a different EU/EEA country and have lost your driving licence.

 

Spanish authorities may require a certificate of authenticity attesting the right to drive a vehicle for the exchange or replacement of a foreign driving licence. The document will include data such as:

    • The driving licence category
    • The validity period
    • The restrictions (if any)
    • The number of points remaining on the licence

Our recommendation is to always make a note of your drivers licence data in a safe place, so that if  your licence is ever stolen, lost or damaged, you don’t have to request this information from your home country. 

What is a Psychophysical Aptitude Report?

The Psychophysical Aptitude Report, (more commonly known as a ‘medical certificate’), will  demonstrate that there is no “disease or disability that may involve an inability to drive”, associated specifically with any of the following:

    1. Visual Capacity
    2. Hearing Capacity
    3. Skeletal and muscular Systems
    4. Cardiovascular System
    5. Perceptual motor skills

Therefore, the aim of the medical certificate is to certify that the driver doesn’t suffer from anything that may incapacitate them from driving. It can be obtained very easily through any of the Driver Recognition Centers in Barcelona. 

You can view the list of Driver Recognition Centers in Barcelona via the link below (skip to page 58).