Is my driving license valid in Spain?


On internet circulate contradictory messages about the validity of EU driving license in Spain. Below you will find a summary and an overview of the legal texts regarding the validity of your driving license.


Inhabitants of the EU with residence in Spain

You extend your driving license by applying for a Spanish when your driving license expires (up to 3 months before). However, you may be required to apply for a Spanish driving license earlier, after 2 years of stay, if your driving license does not meet the requirements laid down in the “Residence Protocol” as published by DGT / Trafico in December 2014.

  1. If you hold a driver’s license without a due date, such as the old paper. These are UK driving licenses and driving licenses issued in Germany, France or Belgium.
  2. If you hold a driving license card that is valid for 10 or 15 years before the photo has to be renewed and you have categories C and / or D on the back of the license, the period of validity has not been changed to 5 or 3 years ( holder below or older than 65), but instead shows the date of your 70th birthday or no end date at all.


Voluntary actions with respect to foreign driving licenses:

  • register your driver’s license at Trafico, your NIE number will be printed on your driver’s license and you will be registered for the points system, like all Spanish drivers.
  • exchange you license for a Spanish one where your new Spanish driving license has the same end date of your current driving license. This is only available for EU driving licenses and non-EU driving licenses issued by countries with a treaty and only if your EU driving license complies with the ‘2-year resident protocol’ requirements. No medical examination is required for a exchange.

Below you can read the translated Spanish legal texts concerning this subject and the article in the European law.


Spanish Legislation

The Spanish traffic service DGT (Dirección General de Trafico) says the following on their page:

“Valid driving licenses to ride in Spain:
Driving licenses issued in countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) are valid for driving in Spain.

In addition, under certain conditions the following driving licenses are also valid for driving in Spain:

  • Nationals of other countries issued in accordance with Annex 9 of the Geneva Convention, or with Annex 6 to the Vienna Convention, or deviating from such models only in the approval or deletion of non-essential articles.
  • Nationals of other countries that are written in Spanish or are accompanied by an official translation thereof.
  • International driving licenses issued abroad in accordance with Annex 10 to the Geneva Convention, or in accordance with the model of Annex E to the Paris International Convention, in the case of nations which have signed this Convention and which are not registered or acceded to the Convention. Geneva Convention.
  • Those recognized in certain international agreements to which Spain is a party and under the conditions set out therein.

Conditions for validity:

The validity of the various driving licenses mentioned above must be valid within the period of validity, the holder has the required age to obtain an equivalent Spanish driving license in Spain and the period of six months has not expired, that the holder has his normal residence status (residence) in Spain has received (at most from that moment on).

After this period, the above driving licenses are not valid for driving in Spain, and if their holders want to continue driving, they must apply for a Spanish driving license, after checking the requirements and passing the corresponding tests, except if due to a agreement with a country that has issued the driving license, its exchange for an equivalent Spanish driving license is possible.

Regarding the renewal DGT says the following on their page:

“Renewal of European driving licenses and driving licenses from the European economic area.

In case of an extension of a European driving license, the license holder must pass a medical test and be resident in the Member State where the extension is requested.

Who must extend his driving license?

  • a) Holders of European driving licenses that have expired or are about to expire.
  • b) Holders of European driving licenses that are undetermined or have a validity period of more than 15 years for Group 1 licenses (AM, A1, A2, A, B and BE) or a period of more than 5 years for permits from Group 2 ( BTP, C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D, DE), as long as they have been the date of entry into force of Directive 2006/126 / EC for two years from 19 January 2013.


A holder of a European driving license with an unlimited validity or longer than 15 years, with legal residence in Spain acquired on or before 19/01/2013, must renew his driving license with effect from 19/01/2015.

A holder of a European driving license with unlimited validity or more than 15 years, with legal residence in Spain obtained on 06/06/2014, must renew his driving license with effect from 06/06/2016 “


The text in the Act Real Decreto 818/2009 Article 15.1 of BOLETÍN OFICIAL DEL ESTADO

“The holder of a driving license issued in one of those States which has obtained his normal place of residence in Spain shall be subject to the Spanish provisions relating to his period of validity, control of his psychophysical disposition and allocation of points.

In the case of a driving license which is not subject to a specific period of validity, the holder must proceed to an extension as soon as two years have elapsed since he established himself as resident in Spain “


European legislation

DIRECTIVE 2006/126 / EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 20 December 2006 concerning the driving license the following in Article 2 Mutual recognition:

  1. Driving licences issued by Member States shall be mutually recognised.
  2. When the holder of a valid national driving licence without the administrative validity period set out in Article 7.2 takes up normal residence in a Member State other than that which issued the driving licence, the host Member State may apply to the licence the administrative validity periods set out in that Article by renewing the driving licence, as from 2 years after the date on which the holder has taken up normal residence on its territory

Below the article 7.2 to which reference is made:

Article 7.2

  • (a) As from 19 January 2013, licences issued by Member States for categories AM, A1, A2, A, B, B1 and BE shall have an administrative validity of 10 years. A Member State may choose to issue such licences with an administrative validity of up to 15 years;
  • (b) As from 19 January 2013, licences issued by Member States for categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1, D1E shall have an administrative validity of 5 years;
  • (c) The renewal of a driving licence may trigger a new administrative validity period for another category or categories the licence holder is entitled to drive, insofar as this is in conformity with the conditions laid down in this Directive;
  • (d) The presence of a microchip pursuant to Article 1 shall not be a prerequisite for the validity of a driving licence. The loss or unreadability of the microchip, or any other damage thereto, shall not affect the validity of the document.



Comments are closed.