you will have to start from scratch to apply for your driver's license

As a UK citizen living in Spain

19 / Dec

From 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer formally part of the European Union, and with it, all traffic agreements between the UK and European Union member states will lose their validity.

Despite the fact that governments have set transition periods as a protective measure, UK citizens will still be hit hard because the changed regulations will also apply retroactively to driving licences already obtained before the Brexit.

The most recent decree 122/2022 had extended the validity of driving licences obtained on UK territory before the Brexit until 30 April 2022. After this date, British nationals will be subject to the same procedures as non-EU citizens and will only be allowed to drive in Spain for short periods, i.e. a maximum of six months after settling in Spain or entering Spanish territory. After that period, British citizens must therefore apply for a new driving licence in Spain. To obtain this driving licence, they must repeat the regular theory and practical tests in Spain.

Unfortunately, it is also not possible to easily exchange a driving licence obtained in the united kingdom before brexit for a Spanish licence. This is because there is currently no bilateral agreement between Spain and the UK regulating this. Until the countries have finalised the negotiations, which are currently ongoing, UK citizens are required to go through the regular procedure to obtain a new driving licence.

Camila Lizarazo González