As with most things Brexit, since January 2021 if you decide to become a resident in Spain then driving legally has suddenly become more difficult!
Below we explain what the current situation is regarding driving licenses and what you need to do if you are moving from the UK to Spain.
If you moved to Spain before 31st December 2020 and have applied for a license exchange
If you fall into this category then in theory things should be fairly straightforward.
Brits living in Spain before the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020, were told to register their intent to exchange their British driving licenses and were given a six month grace period to continue to use their British driving license to drive in Spain. This was originally due to end on the 30th June 2021 but due to huge backlogs processing the license exchanges at the DGT, the Spanish government have recently extended this until 28th February 2022.
This means that if you still hold a British driving license, you can continue to use it until the end of February 2022 while you wait for the exchange to be processed.
If you moved to Spain before 31st December 2020 and have NOT applied for a license exchange
If you were resident in Spain before the Brexit deadline but did not register your intent to exchange your British driving license before 30th December 2020 you only have until the end of February 2022 to continue to drive with your British license in Spain.
If you want to continue to drive in Spain after this deadline has passed you will have to have to follow the DGT process for non-EU nationals which includes taking your Spanish driving test.
Unfortunately there is no option to request to exchange your license if you have not already done so.
If you moved to Spain after 1st January 2021
If you didn’t move to Spain until after the Brexit deadline on 1st January 2021 then your British license will only remain valid for six months from your arrival in Spain.
There is no option for a driving license exchange for Brits who moved to Spain after 1st January 2021. Once you have been in Spain for six months you will no longer be able to legally drive using your British driving license and will have to take a Spanish driving test.
If you have to take your driving test in Spain, you can find information on the DGT website here about the process and what you need to do.