The seemingly endless Brexit saga over the exchange of UK driving licences in Spain has finally come to a close.
The Spanish government has finally announced UK licence holders in the country will be exchange their driving licence for a Spanish one without taking an exam from Thursday 16th March.
British residents in Spain or those arriving from that date who still have their UK licences will have six months to exchange it to a Spanish one.
The agreement comes after months of intense negotiation between the UK and Spanish authorities following a series of extensions to the previous EU agreement which came to a close at the end of 2020 and which since May 2021 has meant that thousands of Britons living in Spain were left in limbo and unable to legally drive in Spain.
A crucial element was that existing traffic offence information will also be exchanged between the two countries.
It is believed the Spanish authorities had been keen to trace thousands of British number plates with registered traffic offences and believed to be living in Spain.
The announcement made yesterday March 14th by the Spanish cabinet and confirmed bu the British embassy in Madrid.
Spanish living in the UK will similarly be able to exchange their licences under the agreement.
🇪🇸 🤝 🇬🇧 España y Reino Unido acuerdan el reconocimiento y canje de los permisos de conducir entre ambos países y el intercambio de información sobre infracciones de tráfico
👉 Para el reconocimiento no será necesario hacer ninguna prueba adicional
— Ministerio del Interior (@interiorgob) March 14, 2023
The full statement from the Spanish government said: “The Council of Ministers has approved this Tuesday the agreement by which Spain and the United Kingdom to offer reciprocal recognition and exchange of driving licences as well as the exchange of information on traffic offences.”
“This agreement puts an end to the successive extensions applied to the exchange of licences between the two countries that had been applied since the end of the transitional period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
“From now on, holders of a valid and current driving licences issued by either of the two countries may request the exchange of their equivalent driving licence wherever they have established their residence, without being subject to any additional requirement of practical test or theoretical and according to the categories of permits from both countries.
“The agreement establishes that all valid permits or licenses of current residents issued prior to its entry into force may be exchanged, while for permits issued after said entry into force it will be an essential requirement to access the exchange that the permits have been issued in the country where the applicant had his legal residence.”