Exchange of driving licences

What do you need to know?

It is the procedure that allows those citizens with a licence issued in their country of origin to obtain the right to drive throughout Spain.

Exchanging a licence consists of recognising a foreign driving licence, exchanging it for the equivalent Spanish licence; this formality is much simpler than obtaining a new licence. Exchanging a licence includes simultaneous recognition of all driving authorisations on your licence.

VERY IMPORTANT:

It grants the right to drive throughout Spain.

Requirements may vary depending on the country of issue of your driving licence.

The formality is done in person.

Licences can be exchanged from EU and EEA countries, Andorra, Switzerland and Monaco, and other countries provided there is a prior agreement between the countries.

The most common types of driving licences are the following:

  1. Car licences (B, B1 and BE), which can be obtained from the age of 18 and are valid for ten years. No tests are required and the exchange is direct.
  2. Motorcycle licences (AM, A1, A2 and A), which can be obtained from the age of 15, 16, 18 and 20, respectively, and are valid for ten years. No tests are required and the exchange is direct.
  3. Lorry and bus licences (C and D) require additional aptitude tests (practical and, in some cases, theory) in order to exchange them and therefore cost more.

What requirements must I meet?

You must generally meet the following requirements:

  1. You must be a legal resident in Spain.
  2. You must have a driving licence issued in your country of origin (EU, EEA or another country that has signed an agreement with Spain).
  3. Your licence must be valid and not have been withdrawn. You must hand over the original document.
  4. You must have obtained your driving licence before becoming a legal resident in Spain or prior to signing the agreement (if applicable).
  5. You must be of the minimum age established in Spanish regulations to be able to drive.
  6. Only driving licences issued at origin in plastic card format can be exchanged.

 

You cannot exchange (and must obtain a new licence):

  1. If your country of origin is not included in the list of countries with an agreement.
  2. The licence that you want to exchange was in turn obtained as an exchange from another country with which Spain has no agreement.
  3. If you obtained your foreign licence while you were a legal resident in Spain.
  4. Licences issued in Venezuela in PDF format cannot be exchanged as they do not meet European regulations.

 

Conditions for exchanging driving licences vary according to the country of origin:

EU and EEA licences

Exchanging the licence is voluntary.

If your driving licence was issued by a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, such as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, your licence will be valid for driving in Spain while it is valid, but only if the minimum age required for driving matches the age required to obtain the relevant Spanish driving licence.

The holder of a driving licence issued in one of these states who has established his or her usual residence in Spain will be subject to the Spanish rules relating to its period of validity, the checking of his or her psychophysical aptitudes and the assignment of licence points.

In the case of a driving licence that is not subject to a specific period of validity, its holder must renew it after two years have elapsed since establishing his or her usual residence in Spain.

You cannot have more than one EU driving licence at the same time.

Your licence must be issued by the government of the EU country where you usually reside.

Non-EU and EEA countries with agreement

If you want to continue driving in Spain, you must exchange your licence.

If your driving licence was issued by a country outside the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), such as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, or by a country that has an agreement with Spain, your licence will only be valid for driving in Spain for a maximum period of six months from the date you acquired normal residence in Spain.

Countries with exchange agreements:  People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, Argentine Republic, Republic of Bolivia, Republic of Chile, Republic of Colombia, Republic of Ecuador, Kingdom of Morocco, Republic of Nicaragua, Republic of Peru, Dominican Republic, Republic of Panama, Republic of Paraguay, Republic of Uruguay, Federative Republic of Brazil, Republic of El Salvador, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Guatemala, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, Macedonia. You can consult the list of countries with bilateral agreements in place with Spain and their dates on the DGT website.

United Kingdom licences

If you want to continue driving in Spain, you must exchange your licence.

With the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, British driving licences are no longer valid for driving in Spain from 31 December 2020. If you applied to exchange, renew or replace your driving licence issued in the United Kingdom before 31 December 2020, your licence will remain valid for driving in Spain until 31 October 2021.

Licences from Andorra, Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Monaco

If you want to continue driving in Spain, you must exchange your licence when you meet a series of administrative requirements.

Non-EU and EEA countries with no agreement

You may not exchange your licence. If you want to continue driving in Spain, you must obtain a new licence.

Exceptionally, if you are a professional driver resident in Spain and your driving licence was issued by a non-EU country that has no agreement with Spain, you may exchange it for a Spanish licence if you meet a series of requirements.

How long is it valid?

The driving licence has a period of validity of ten years.

What do you need to do?

What steps must you follow?

  1. To start the procedure, first request an appointment to exchange a driving licence. Make sure you request the option “Driving licence exchanges”. By submitting the request, you will receive an appointment with the DGT for a specific date.
    1. Regardless of whether you are going to submit the documentation physically or online, you must request this appointment as this request will start the equivalence verification and authenticity process for the driving licence you want to exchange with your country of origin. The validity of your licence must be confirmed by the authorities of the issuing country in order to continue with the exchange. Deadlines are often extended for this reason.
    2. You can book one appointment for exchanges. Remember, if you cancel your appointment, you must start a new administrative procedure, so verification will again be requested from the country of issue of your driving licence.

 

You can consult your licence processing status online.

The formality is completed in person, submitting all documentation at any traffic office. In this case you need an appointment; make sure you request the option “Driving licence exchanges”.

On the day of your appointment, you must go to the office requested with all necessary documentation. If your country has answered yes, the DGT will exchange your licence. If it has not answered, your country will again be asked for the information necessary and you will be given a new appointment. You can consult the status of the exchange verification by your country at any time by entering your NIF or NIE. Once you have requested the appointment, you can consult the status by entering your NIF or NIE.

When submitting documentation, if everything is correct and your exchange requires no additional test, you will receive a receipt for your new Spanish licence which you can use to drive until the final document is sent to your home.

 

If the exchange requires additional tests, whether practical or theory and practical, you must request an appointment for those tests. Once you have passed the test, go to your traffic office with an appointment to hand in your foreign licence and receive a receipt for your new Spanish licence which you can use to drive until the final document is sent to your home.

The information obtained indicates the pending appointment. No information will be shown on past appointments.

 

Submission of required documents. Once the possibility of exchange has been confirmed, you must submit the necessary documentation. This can be done in person by taking all the information necessary on the day of the appointment given in step one.

The request can have one of the following statuses:

  1. PENDING: the applicant’s country has not yet replied to the request for information made.
  2. ANSWERED: the applicant may be seen on the day specified, without that implying that the exchange will be granted.
  3. REJECTED: the applicant’s country has indicated that it does not have any data on the applicant.

 

Confirmation of exchange. Once verified on this website that your licence exchange has been confirmed by your country, you can continue processing your licence. It is considered confirmed if your request status is: ANSWERED.

Who can submit the application?

People with a driving licence issued in their country of origin (except non-EU with no agreement) who settle in Spain and want to drive a vehicle in the country must apply.

The licence holder or any person authorised on their behalf must apply for the exchange. To authorise another person to represent you, you can appoint a representative through the DGT Proxy register.

The representative can also go to the office as long as they have a document signed by the interested party authorising them to apply and stating that it is free of charge. To do this, download and fill in the DGT authorisation form “Granting authorisation”.

If another person is going to handle the formality on your behalf, you must state the ID document of the interested party and also the authorised person when calling 060 to request an appointment.

What documentation must be attached to the application?

  1. Exchange application filled in using the official form, including a declaration of not being subject to a legal ruling withdrawing the right to drive motor vehicles and motorcycles and not having another EU or EEA licence of the same kind as that requested or that it has been restricted, suspended or cancelled.

 

  1. Identification of the interested party: valid original of proof of identity: valid ID document, residence card or passport.

 

  1. Proof of residence:
    1. For non-EU nationals: valid residence card.
    2. For EU nationals: register of foreign nationals certificate.
    3. On the official form you can expressly authorise the DGT to verify your registration address and Economic Activity Tax online. However, if the DGT does not obtain valid information, you must remedy this by providing documentation.

 

  1. Valid foreign driving licence to be exchanged. For licences issued by non-EU countries with agreement, the Provincial Traffic Office may ask you for any reports deemed necessary based on your circumstances to verify the authenticity, validity and expiry of the driving licence before complying with the other requirements.

 

  1. Proof that you did not live in Spain when you obtained the driving licences (for licences issued by non-EU countries with agreement):
    1. If you have a Spanish ID document and Spanish nationality was granted in your country before living in Spain, you must provide certificates of registration and deregistration issued by the Spanish embassy in the country where you obtained the licence.
    2. Otherwise, you must provide one of the following documents:
      1. Residence, student or EU card.
      2. Certificate of registration in the register of foreign nationals.
      3. If you had a residence card before obtaining the ID document, immigration certificate. If you check the box authorising verification of identification details on the application form, you need not provide this certificate.

 

  1. Psychophysical aptitude report issued by an authorised driver examination centre (for licences issued by non-EU countries with agreement):
    1. If the exchange requires no test (generally, if authorisation is only included for A and B licences), the aptitude test you must submit is group I.
    2. If the exchange requires a test (generally, if C and D licences are included), the aptitude test you must submit is group II.

 

  1. Payment number or proof of having paid fee 2.3. for exchanges that do not require additional tests, or fee 2.1. for exchanges that require additional tests.

 

  1. Updated original photograph size 32 × 26 mm, in colour and with a plain background, taken from the front with no head covering and no dark glasses or any other garment that can prevent or hinder your identification. Remember that it is important that the passport photo you submit is:
    1. Recent.
    2. In colour.
    3. With a uniform background of a plain colour.
    4. Taken from the front and with your head completely uncovered.
    5. If your religion requires you to cover your hair, photographs with veil will be accepted, but your face must be fully uncovered from your hairline to your chin so as not to prevent or hinder your identification.

If the country of issue is Argentina, you must provide a certificate of authenticity and age of your driving licence. This document must be requested in Argentina, in the municipality where you obtained your driving licence, and then legalised by a notary public, attaching a Hague Apostille, which is a stamp certifying the authenticity of the document.

How long does it take to process the application?

Normally you will receive your new licence at home within one and a half months. You can drive with the provisional licence for three months while you wait for the new licence. The provisional licence is given when processing the formality.

Important: You may not drive outside Spain with the provisional licence.

In the case of duplicates, the provisional licence will be provided by the DGT when you are at the counter. In the case of renewal, it will be the medical centre where you took your test, and new licences will be provided by your driving school.

If the new licence does not arrive within a reasonable time after carrying out the formality, we recommend you go back to the traffic office so they can notify the incident, look for a solution and reprocess if necessary.

What does the application cost?

The fee is updated annually.

The exchange and subsequent issue of a Spanish driving licence recognising all driving authorisations on your licence requires you to pay the following fee (July 2021):

  • To exchange licences that do not require additional tests, generally only including authorisations to drive type A1, A, B, B + E vehicles - motorcycles, cars and light vehicles:

Fee 2.3 costs €28.58

  • To exchange licences that require additional tests, generally licences that include authorisations to drive type C or D vehicles - lorries and buses:

Fee 2.1 costs €93.12

This fee entitles you to sit the tests twice. If you fail both, you will have to pay the fee to sit again.

How do I pay?

1. Online, using the fee payment application. You will need a digital certificate or valid electronic ID when confirming the purchase.

You can pay with a credit or debit card from a financial institution that accepts card payments, or by direct debit. Remember, you must be the holder, joint holder or authorised by your bank for it to authorise fee payment.

You can pay electronically before carrying out the formality and then download proof of fee payment, where you will find the fee number, which will help you apply the fee to the formality.

In this case, if you have any problems, we suggest you check your device settings.

2. From the miDGT app, the DGT app for mobiles and tablets. You can consult which fee you need and pay it, as well as consulting the fees you have paid, both those paid and those paid but not yet used. Consult this page for more information and to download the application for Android and iOS free of charge.

3. In person:

  • At any traffic office with any credit or debit card. You can pay directly when you process the formality. Remember, our offices do not accept cash payments.
  • At any financial institution that accepts fee payment. You can choose whether to pay in cash or by direct debit. In this case, you must fill in payment form 791.

You can get form 791 from the Traffic Office or online, using the electronic fee payment application and downloading form 791, with no need for an electronic certificate.

The application will generate three copies: one for you, another for the authority and one for the collaborating financial institution. You must print it out and follow these steps:

  1. Enter the bank account you wish to charge the fee to at the bottom. Remember that this payment method is only for fees and charged to an account and in cash.
  2. After payment, the financial institution will keep the “Copy for the collaborating institution” and will give you the other two, signed or stamped or mechanically validated by the institution.
  3. Next, you must submit the validated “Copy for the authority” at the Traffic Office counter.

At that point, the Traffic Office official will provide you with the fee paid at the bank in order to apply it to the relevant formalities. The “Copy for the interested party” is proof of payment at the financial institution.

Please note: each payment form 791 has a receipt number that is repeated on the three copies. You must download all three copies of the form each time you want to pay as the receipt numbers are unique. Form 791 cannot be photocopied, nor submitted several times; you can only use it once for the same amount and to pay the fees indicated.

Want to know more?

Which body is responsible for the formality?

Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT).

Where can I find more information?

Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT).

Important linked formalities

Vehicle registration

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The procedures tend to change frequently. Therefore, only what is provided by the regulations in force at the time of carrying out the procedure in question is applicable.