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Spain to apply new expat driving licence law from 19.01.2013

Source: Costa Consulting Bureau - Sat 19th Jan 2013
Spain to apply new expat driving licence law from 19.01.2013

We have been informed that an EU directive 2012/126/EU that comes into force on January 19th 2013, will enforce changes to the validity of foreign driving licences in Spain.

This change in traffic laws means that anyone who has been resident in Spain for 2 years or more, and holds an EU driving licence, must have a Spanish medical examination*.

The EU law is intended to "harmonise" licensing throughout Europe so that drivers from countries with permanently valid licences (e.g. France), or licences of very long validity (e.g. the UK), will have to comply with the same rules as residents of the countries in which they live.

Non native drivers, in Spain, will now have to take a medical test: every 10 years if under 65, or every 5 years if over 65, like their Spanish counterparts. Failure to comply may result in a €200 fine.

*The medical tests are taken in specific centres known as centros de reconocimiento , and are also available in some medical centres, and comprise a manual dexterity test (a hand-eye coordination test) and an eye test. Providing the test is passed, Tráfico will register the licence holder in the Spanish drivers' census: from that moment, drivers will have to renew their licences as the Spanish currently do; they will also be subject to Spain's penalty points system.

It appears that EU drivers will be able to keep their EU licences, since the change relates specifically to medicals and the penalty system. Because drivers will be registered without a new computer-generated Spanish driving licence being issued, those attending the medical will therefore need to take a photograph for Trafico's records.

Remember that you also have the option of not just taking the medical, but of changing your licence once and for all to a Spanish licence. For further details, contact your local DGT office or consult their website >> Here << .

Courtesy of Costa Consulting Bureau .

Comment on this Story

It is a difficult one when you can be resident in both countries as we are ourselves ! Can see the reasoning behind having to have a medical but not until after 70 ! Wish they would just make one rule and make it clear.....
Sue - Tue, 5th Mar 2013
Guys - an Official from the DGT in Malaga has shed a little more light on the situation - you can read the letter they sent by clicking the link >> HERE <<
Tumbit - Admin - Wed, 23rd Jan 2013
If the expat is living and driving in Spain with an English drivers licence and takes the medical in Spain as required, is it also required that the licence be registered to a UK or Spanish address ? There appears to be a conflict of opinion as to whether the licence is actually valid in the first instance if the person holding the licence no longer resides or has/owns a UK address and has not registered the change with the police.
Linda Raven - Tue, 22nd Jan 2013
Yet another moneyspinning tax on the public. Nothing more, nothing less.
Tyler - Sat, 19th Jan 2013
A valid point as always Bill ! - We are expecting further details and clarification of a number of issues from the DGT on Monday, so will updated as soon as we have the details.
Tumbit - Admin - Sat, 19th Jan 2013
Link to 2012/126/EU above seems to lead to a 2006 directive 2006/126/EC ? Is this a new directive, or an application of one valid already for 6 years?
Bill Cameron - Sat, 19th Jan 2013

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