±JOIN OUR FREE NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· Life Down Under – 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Living In Australia
· The Top 5 Things American Expats Need To Know When Filing US Taxes Abroad
· Expat Focus Financial Update April 2018
· Expat Focus Financial Update March 2018
· Moving Abroad, Before And After Brexit
· Expat Focus Financial Update February 2018
· How To Navigate Brexit When Sending Money Abroad
· Expat Focus Financial Update January 2018
· Top Tips for Buying a Property Overseas in 2018
Driving LicensesBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Spain - Driving Licenses
Those who have an EU licence are permitted to drive using that licence in Spain providing the holder is a minimum 18 years of age. There is no requirement for the licence to be exchanged but it can be done if the holder wishes. Those who choose to keep their EU licence should be aware that Spanish conditions are attached to the licence while they are in Spain. This includes the period of validity, the requirement for medical examinations, the tax payments and any penalties which are incurred. If there are any penalties to be applied the authorities may request that the holder obtains a Spanish licence to make the process easier.
It should also be noted that even though it is legal to drive on an EU licence, the country that issued it will not allow a change of address to another country. The Spanish authorities are happy to recognise that the licence may not bear the actual address of the holder.
If a change of licence is the preferred option the holder simply needs to go to the local traffic office and make an application. They will need to see proof of ID, such as a passport, proof of residency status, original valid driver’s licence, a written declaration to confirm that the applicant has not been suspended from driving, a declaration to show that the holder does not have another licence in another country and two recent passport-sized photographs. The Spanish licence is the size of a credit card and will be sent via the postal service. This will need to be renewed every 10 years if the holder is under the age of 45, every five years after the age of 45 and below the age of 70 and every two years from the age of 70 onwards.
Those who are from countries outside the EU are able to drive on their original licence for up to 6 months after they have obtained Spanish residency status. While driving on this original licence it is a requirement to have a Spanish translation with you at all times.
There are some exchange agreements in place between Spain and several other countries which allow a simple exchange when this initial 6 months has passed. These countries include Switzerland, South Korea and Japan, as well as a number of South American countries. This list is updated regularly and can be checked with the local traffic office. Those from a country not on the list will have to take the Spanish driving test.
The documentation for exchanging a driver’s licence from a non-EU country is similar to that for an EU licence, but also includes a certificate of psychological aptitude which has been issued following a medical examination, written confirmation that the original licence is authentic.
Each driver starts out with 12 points and with no offences, this can be raised to 15 points. Points are deducted for any driving misdemeanour. A list of offences and the relevant points can be obtained from the local traffic office. There is a search facility on the website of the traffic department for drivers to check their current points level. Those who are not officially resident in the country will simply be fined for traffic offences but it is expected that these will be paid on the spot.
Direccion General de Trafico
Spanish Traffic Department
Tel: + 34 902 508 686
Read more about this country
Expat Health Insurance Partners
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.