Driving License

Hi all , and John,
A new question, now me and my partner have obtained our Certificate of Residency we are deciding what is the best course of action for our driving licences.
Mine runs out in 18 months time and because I’m nearly 64 it’s been suggested that I get a medical and apply for a new Spanish License that will be ok until I’m 70 when I will have to get a medical every year , my partner is 54 and runs out in 8years , do we apply for the new Spanish ones or get the annual International one thus not having to surrender our UK one ( which will a nuisance every year).
Apparently you have to surrender your UK one if you have the Certificate of Residency and obtain a Spanish one !
Also we’ve heard of a lady that was stopped by the Police who has The Certificate of Residency or Residencia, not sure which but because she had a current in date UK License was given a hefty fine because of not changing to a Spanish one .
Obviously after the Brexit situation it’s been suggested that doing whatever could become more difficult, we’re quite happy to go for the Spanish one if necessary.
Also we have our own vehicle so don’t need to satisfy any hire car requirements.
Also I MUST point out we are in Gran Canaria and have found that certain rules don’t translate exactly from mainland Spain (although they should ) but unfortunately do not from personal experiences!
Any advice would be appreciated.

Martin

I will not go through every point you raise. 

The rules governing the use of a U.K. etc DL  in Spain have become somewhat hazy and depending where you look for info, or who you ask there is no clarity.  Therefore the simple approach maybe the best.

If you are living in Spain it makes sense to change your DL for a Spanish one   Not living in U.K. means you cannot renew or replace a U.K. licence if you were to loose it, and in such a case you would need then to obtain a spanish one . 

Without the actual U.K. DL that would take longer than the straightforward process of changing it as you would need to apply for confirmation  from DVLA regarding what groups you can drive, before you can apply for a spanish licence.  All that takes time and of course one cannot drive unless they have the licence in their possession.  Unlike if you change it, in which case you can drive whilst waiting for the new licence, either using the okd licence or a document issued by DGT.

Everyone applying for a DL in spain requires a medical, even from one’s first licence.  The period the licence lasts can varying and many other restrictions can be imposed too in the light of ones medical conditions.

A friend, for a few years had to renew his every year, and had severe restrictions regarding at what times and how far he was allowed to drive (a total distance of 25 k only from his home),   I looked into it for him and we discovered an error been made in the medical report, which erroneously showed he a particular eye condition.   He subsequently reverted to no restrictions and renewals as normal

Thanks for that John,
I’ve been thinking of this over the last couple of hours and have realised annoyingly that if you a Spanish person moves to the UK they are allowed to use a Spanish License indefinitely and there is no requirement to change to a UK one !
So we shall go ahead and obtain a Spanish one because we go over to the UK several times a year and would prefer to be stopped by the UK police with a Spanish License rather than stopped over here in GC by the local police with a UK License!,

I think Martin you are exaggerating to situation.  Changing one’s licence is easy for some.  If you have a licence from many countries in the works, including USA, you cannot change for for a spanish one so have to take a test in spain within a year of living here

And in U.K. things are not as straightforward as you say.   For example :

You can drive in Great Britain for only 12 months if you got your EU licence by exchanging your non-EU licence

That would mean people like my wife who exchanged her Philippines DL. for a spanish one so if we moved to U.K. she would have to take a test after 12 months

An international driving permit (IDP with your UK license is only valid if your main residence is in the UK.

Very interesting Sim

So all those who live say in spain and do not have a spanish DL cannot drive anywhere that a IDP is required. 

I bet there are a lot who do not know that. !!!!

This is why everyone is being told to exchange their licenses.

Another interesting fact or not as the case maybe. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/internation … march-2019


While the UK is a member of the EU, UK driving licences are directly exchangeable for EU and EEA country licences. From 29 March 2019, in the event that there is no EU Exit deal, this licence exchange arrangement will stop. Instead you will need to re-take your driving test in the EU country where you live to be able to carry on driving there

Hi all, started the process of changing our UK licenses to Spanish ones two weeks ago,  the first step is as John says is to get a medical,  we found an excellent clinic in Playa del Ingles here on Gran Canaria ( if anyone wants to know the address,  ask on here and I will post it)  It went very well with very pleasant staff,  the man in charge was first class,  fluent in English etcetc,  on completing the medical , €55 each to include every category on our UK licence ( but unfortunately not ALL the categories will be transferred without further tests, )etc he gave us all the paperwork that we had to present at Traffico in Las Palmas , he even made the appointments for us,  cannot praise this gentleman enough!!  Went up to Traffico , submitted all the paperwork , only problem there was that the passport pictures (of which we had many copies)  we had were the wrong size and had to go to the bus station to have yet more printed!!  Be aware of this because it turned two 10 minute appointments into two hours!  Why they haven't a photo booth in Traffico is beyond belief , but that's our only complaint and left there with a piece of paper with proof of our application which is valid whilst waiting for the proper plastic licence , ( which will be posted to us)  quite a painless experience , for a change!

Hi,
I would like to jump in if I may. I have only just got my padron on Monday and Residencia  2 days later! ( Luckily managed to book appointment on line while waiting to pick up the Padron from the following week).
I will be 70 in June so my UK licence  expires and I would have to renew it in any case. I am going to apply for the Spanish one before I am 70 so hopefully this will keep me going for another year? I don't suppose it's as simple as that?

Digger now that you are not resident in U.K. (you are registered as an EU citizen resident in spain )you cannot legally renew your U.K.  DL in the U.K.

  It has been the law in U.K. ‘forever’  that one MUST be resident in U.K. to take a driving test, change address on a DL, change or renew an U.K. licence.

NB.  Just to make it clear,  it has nothing to do with Brexit

Thanks Johncar.
I was aware of that as had been on HM govt website to try and find out what to do.
I obviously need to switch over to a Spanish DL asap. Once I have done this I will be 70 in a couple of months and presumably will then have to re-apply for renewal of the Spanish DL for another year Ad infinitum ?

Digger.  If you have researched changing your U.K. DL then you should be aware that the rules are different in spain so your Spanish DL will have the number of years permitted by the law and only qualified (reduced number of years) by any medical condition which might afffect that in your personal case .

In spain licences are always issued for a set number of years.    That period becomes shorter the older one gets. This one does not get a licence which will last until say ones 70th birthday

Be aware that Brexit may mean a U.K. DL will not be exchangeable. If that happens then one would need to take a driving test in Spain


PS.  I am inclined to suggest you do not use the same person from whom you obtained advice regarding EU Citizen Registration and signing on the padron !

Johncar :

Digger now that you are not resident in U.K. (you are registered as an EU citizen resident in spain )you cannot legally renew your U.K.  DL in the U.K.

  It has been the law in U.K. ‘forever’  that one MUST be resident in U.K. to take a driving test, change address on a DL, change or renew an U.K. licence.

NB.  Just to make it clear,  it has nothing to do with Brexit

Are you able to get your expired UK DL converted to a Spanish one?

@ post I have been given this link for guidance. It looks straightforward enough I hope.
https://www.citizensadvice.org.es/faq/c … Wm3raaU5WI

I finally managed to get my Spanish licence processed on Dec 4, 2018, after being registered Spanish Resident in Granada and driving more than 10 years (stopped twice by local police -all OK).
I had to get a "cita previa" online (https://sedeapl.dgt.gob.es/WEB_NCIT_CON … aso2.faces)
Note: do not get your medical before you get your appointment, medical certificate lasts 3 month but appointment may be later than three months (depending how you make your appointment).

I took with me to the local DGT office  (Direción General de Transportación or something) :

'Padrón' Certificate (photocopy of my 10 year old certificate)
Certificate "Registro de Ciudadano de la Union" (National certificate 10 years old)
UK Passport
Spanish NIE card
photograph (mine was an official-size passport photo which she said was too big! fortunately she was kind enough to cut it down to size)
Certificate 'Ensayo Psicofísica' (cost me 35€-ish last week at a specialist Granada medical centre) - the DGT kept this.
UK Driving Licence - the DGT kept this.

The FIRST thing DGT asked me for was my UK National Insurance number !
Fortunately (again) I was able to remember it - she looked me up on the computer and confirmed it correct.
Then I had to fill in two or three forms, which she helped me with (one form was this: https://sede.dgt.gob.es/Galerias/tramit … .03-ES.pdf )
She said that, because of differences between the two countries 'Vehicle codes', they were only requesting codes B and BE (car and scooter under 50cc, car with trailer), she did ask me if I wanted a minibus code, I said no.
She took 25€-ish by credit card.
She issued me with a 3 month temporary Spanish driving permit.
My new Spanish driving licence arrived after about a month.

Just a couple of unusual things´

I finally managed to get my Spanish licence processed on Dec 4, 2018, after being registered Spanish Resident in Granada and driving more than 10 years (stopped twice by local police -all OK).      You were lucky others may not be

had to get a "cita previa"  (appointment) online (https://sedeapl.dgt.gob.es/WEB_NCIT_CON … aso2.faces)

Note: do not get your medical before you get your appointment   I believe there are medical centres near all DGT offices,  so one would normally arrive a little early and do the tests on the day.

'Padrón' Certificate (photocopy of my 10 year old certificate)  These certificates  only have a validity of three months. The law changed done years ago, now the registration needs to be renewed every 5 years for EU nationals less for non EU.  And whenever a Certificate If produced it must be the original, copies are never valid. So again you were lucky

Certificate "Registro de Ciudadano de la Union"    That is the `Green paper’ Certificate, either A4 or credit card size.    At present they are valid forever, and they automatically become ‘permanent’  five years.  If Brexit ever happens then no one knows   ????

Spanish NIE card There is an NIE certificate.  It is on white paper , A4 size.  But as you need to be resident to transfer your DL,  not applicable.

Certificate 'Ensayo Psicofísica'     That is the medical test cert.

The FIRST thing DGT asked me for was my UK National Insurance number !    I have never heard of that but things do change !

She said that, because of differences between the two countries 'Vehicle codes', they were only requesting codes B and BE (car and scooter under 50cc, car with trailer), she did ask me if I wanted a minibus code, I said no      See https://www.gov.uk/old-driving-licence-categories re UK  GROUPS/

I bow to your superior knowledge

Hi hangoverocks,
Good to hear you had a fairly easy time changing your UK driving licence to a Spanish one,  ours was pretty straightforward also except they wouldn't accept our passport photos at all and had to find a photo booth some distance away from Traffico here in Gran Canaria, a small but irritating detour!  A small question, you didn't say how old you are and what date your new license runs to! I am 64 this year and am still waiting for my license to be returned and look forward to seeing what expiry date is on it, I'm presuming it will be only for 6 years so that I will have to be re-tested upon reaching 70, I will post on here when I receive it! 
Regards Martin

Martin

The periods of validly for a spanish DL are not the same as in U.K.   A DL does not last until one’s 70th birthday or indeed any particular birthday. 

They are issued for a set number of years depending on one’s age at the time of renewal and also one’s medical condition.  The later will also define special conditions. 

In cases where they are conditions, just like U.K. licences a code will be shown in ‘very small print’ on the back of the licence at item 12.     

Those codes can be found  at :-

https://www.gov.uk/driving-licence-codes

Take a look here re number of years a DL is valid in Spain :-

https://www.fundacionmapfre.org/fundaci … carnet.jsp

Martin, you´ve now sent me into a tizz. Let me find my driving license...
The lady at DGT told me that my medical (psicofísica) certificate says that I have to take another test in 3 years´time. This may be because I told them (in the medical) the truth when they asked me about my smoking and drinking habits - let that be a lesson to everyone.
However my new driving license expires on my 70th birthday in 2025 - I imagine I might get a letter in 3 years´time telling me to get a new medical, I believe the medical centres have a direct line to the DGT and can instantly update our records, without further visits to DGT.

Bad luck about your passport photos!
My DGT lady made quite a performance about what a favour she was doing me to pick-up the scissors from her desk and trim 2mm off my passport photos!
We can never be too obsequious to los funcionarios, and don´t they know it!

Hi John,
Thanks for that, apparently my medical was passed at the highest level on all aspects , so will just wait to see what the license says regarding dates etc when it arrives !
Martin

The renewal process for a spanish DL is straightforward.

One can go to an approved medical test centre (they can be easily found in all larger towns) take the medical test, have a photo taken on their computer, pay the fee and then the test centre will send the details to DGT,  and your new licence will come through the post

NB. Do not rely on getting a notice when your renewal date is approaching.  Just like when an ITV test is due for a vehicle, you may or may not be notified

PS.  I recommend that one always truthfully answers questions at the medical.   Lying If discovered  might mean the DL is not valid. That being so ones insurance would suffer the same fate.

Hi John,
Just to clarify my situation for other readers,  the process for us here (in GC) is that the renewal process is different to the exchange process we underwent,  we had the medical, had pictures taken, filled in forms etc,  but still had to go to Traffico in Las Palmas to submit ALL the forms and new photos in person, and to hand in our UK DL's,  I believe that a renewal is as you say a "one stop" procedure , time will tell for us over here! 
Martin

Martin. I did say, “The renewal process for a spanish DL is straightforward”

I said that so as not to confuse that situation with exchanging  a licence which as you say,  (throughout) Spain is different

Exactly John, I just wanted to let the forum readers be made aware that the “renewal” process is quite different to the “ exchange “ process which some readers might mistakenly think is the same thing.

Hi All,
Just to update my situation regarding my DL,
My DL arrived this morning through the post, very pleased it took just over three weeks,
Mine runs out in 2025 when I am 70, with no medical between now and then .
One of the less stressful procedures we’ve had to endure , and ,
“hangoverocks “ (wish you gave a first name)  your last sentence regarding the “officials” was very true , haha .
Bottoms up, Martin .

Hi John,
You’ve probably read my message regarding my DL being delivered to me this morning.
On closer inspection of the categories allowing me to drive I have noticed that although the Medical centre and the DGT included the use of riding a motorcycle (up to 125cc) and a mini bus (for private use) because these were allowed on my UK License these have been excluded from my new Spanish DL , and I paid extra for ALL the categories to be included, as it is I’m only allowed to drive a car, a van and either of those with a trailer !!
Your help with this would be much appreciated considering your experience with the Authorities.
Regards Martin

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