Driving Licence Renewals and changes within Spain
Meeting Jefatura de Traffico January 28, 2015
Further to numerous requests from friends and colleagues and acquaintances regarding recent changes in rules for using a UK driving licence here in Tenerife, I have today had a meeting at Jefatura de Traffico for absolute clarification of the situation.
First and foremost, if you have a valid European community picture card driving licences (the old paper only style licence is not valid here) then you are legally able to drive in all Spanish territories.
That said following a change in the laws, Directive 2006/126/CE which was introduced on 19th January 2013 with the specific aim of unifying the enormous types of licence within the European Union the following applies
* If you are a fiscal resident here in Spain and you have been for 2 years or more and you have a European community licence that is either indefinite or has more than 15 years until it expires you MUST renew your licence for a Spanish one. The date applicable is the date on the back of your licence not the date that the photograph is to be renewed.
* If you are a fiscal resident here in spain, and the European union licence that you have is out of date re the photograph (this should be renewed each 10 years) then you should renew your licence for a Spanish one regardless of how long you have been a resident in Spain.
* If you are a fiscal resident here in Spain for 2 years or more and have less than 15 years left on your licence, I have been advised that although not specifically covered by this directive you should still change your licence for a Spanish one the important part being that you are resident for more than 2 years. NB It has also been pointed out that DVLA Rules mean that if you change address even within the UK you should notify DVLA within 6 months. If you are no longer a UK resident then DVLA will not renew your licence.
* Regarding medicals. One significant change has been that absolutely everyone who has not yet COMPLETED their licence renewal will be asked to sit a medical and provide proof of such.
* If you are not resident here or have been resident for less than 2 years there is no need to renew your licence at this point, however it has been noted that you should be prepared to have your licence renewed by the time you are resident here for 2 years not wait for 2 years and then start the process.
For Clarification and summary anyone who was declared resident prior to January 19th 2013 should change their licence for a Spanish one.
I hope this clarifies the situation any further questions please feel free to contact me