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Updated: 10/2020

Procedure for validating a driving licence from another country in order to drive in Spain

Vocabulary
  • What do you need to know?
  • What do you need to do?

The amount of the FEE IS UPDATED ANNUALLY​

It has a period of validity of TEN YEARS​

It can be applied for at ANY TIME (EU citizens) or during the FIRST SIX MONTHS of residence (non-EU citizens) 

The procedure is carried out IN PERSON 

What is it?

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.

Important information

The most common types of driving licences are the following:

  • Car licences (B, B1 and BE), which can be obtained from the age of 18 and are valid for ten years.
  • 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.

The conditions for exchanging driving licences vary according to the country of origin.

Exchange of driving licences for citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein)
  • Licences issued in these countries are valid for driving in Spain, provided that you are at least the minimum age required in Spain (18 years old, in general). For this reason, it is not compulsory to exchange your licence, but you can apply to do so voluntarily.
  • 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.
Exchange of driving licences for citizens in countries with an agreement in place
  • In order to be able to drive in Spain, it is obligatory for the citizens of countries with an agreement in place to exchange their driving licence, as the licence from their country of origin does not allow them to drive in Spain.
  • The countries with an agreement in place can be consulted on the official website of the Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT).
Exchange of driving licences for citizens of non-EU countries without an agreement (Japan, Republic of Korea, Andorra, Switzerland and Monaco)
  • In order to be able to drive in Spain, it is obligatory for the citizens of non-EU countries to exchange their driving licence, as the licence from their country of origin does not allow them to drive in Spain.
Exchange of driving licences for citizens of countries without an agreement and which do not fall into the above categories
  • Exchange is not allowed. It will, therefore, be necessary to obtain your driving licence again in Spain.

Why is it important?

It is important to complete this formality in order to obtain the right to drive in Spain, safely and free from penalties. For citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area it is a voluntary formality, while for all other people it is a compulsory formality, once the person's first six months of residence in Spain have concluded. 

You can also consult the official website of the Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) (only available in Spanish). 

Who does it apply to?

It applies to foreign nationals who have a driving licence issued in their country of origin and want to establish their residence in Spain and drive a vehicle in its territory.

Who should apply for it?

It must be applied for by those wanting to exchange their driving licence, in person or through a duly authorised representative.

What requirements must be met?
  • Be resident in Spain.
  • Be the legal age to drive under Spanish law (18 years old, in general).
Which body is responsible for the formality?

Directorate-General for Traffic (Government of Spain)

What advice and suggestions could help you?
  • You cannot have more than one EU driving licence at the same time. The licence is issued to you by the government of the EU country where you usually reside.
  • To carry out the exchange, you must make an appointment, selecting the option that corresponds to your country of origin. Make sure you choose the right option.
  • Remember that it is important that the passport photo you submit is:
    • Recent
    • In colour
    • With a uniform background of a plain colour
    • Taken from the front and with your head completely uncovered
What other linked formalities should you know about?

Apart from exchanging your licence, if you want to bring your own vehicle to drive in Barcelona, you must do the following:

What do you need to do?

In person

PLEASE NOTE - COVID-19: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in some exceptional cases where in-person assistance is not possible, the procedure may be carried out online through the single registry. For the same reason, the appointment-request service via the 060 telephone line may be interrupted.  

 

You must exchange your driving licence in person at a traffic directorate office. Even so, some arrangements may be made over the Internet.

What steps must you take to apply for a driving licence exchange?

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Fill in the application form and gather the required documentation

You must access the form provided by the DGT in the section "Driver formalities", fill it in online, sign and print it.

  • In the section "Select the formality you wish to complete and fill in the relevant fields", you must select the box “Exchange”.
  • Then select whether you belong to an "EU country" or "Other countries".
  • Finally, fill in the remaining fields, print and sign the application.

 

The form is available in Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state.

Before making the application, consult and prepare the documentation you will be required to provide.

The documentation varies depending on the country of origin and the agreement in place.

Documentation
  • In general, it is necessary to submit all foreign public documents properly legalised and translated.

It is important for you to know that the public documents issued in your country of origin which are necessary to complete formalities for coming to Barcelona must comply with international legalisation requirements.

There are two methods of international legalisation of a public document, depending on whether or not the country issuing the document is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961:

  • If the country issuing the public document is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it bears the Hague Apostille stamp. This stamp will be processed in the country of origin.
  • If the country issuing the public document is not a signatory, then the legalisation process will be carried out through diplomatic channels.

In addition, all public documents must be translated by means of authorised translation. In the case of standard EU forms, neither translation nor legalisation is required.

Exchange of driving licences issued in EU member states and EEA member states
  • Application by means of a signed official form.
  • Proof of identity and residence: Spanish national identity document (DNI), identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) or valid passport.
  • EU driving licence: valid original and photocopy.
  • A recent photograph: an original measuring 32 × 26 millimetres.
  • Photo stub, completed and signed within the relevant box. This document contains the applicant’s identification data and an attached photo. It will be provided at traffic directorate offices.
  • A written statement declaring that you have not been disqualified or suspended by means of a court decision from driving motor vehicles or mopeds.
  • A written statement declaring that you do not hold another driving licence, whether issued in Spain or in another EU country, of the same class as the one applied for.
Exchange of driving licences issued in countries with an agreement in place
  • Application by means of a signed official form.
  • Proof of identity and residence:
    • In the case of EU foreign nationals:
      • Residence permit or identity document from your country or passport.
      • Valid original certificate of registration as an EU national. 
    • In the case of non-EU foreign nationals:
      • Valid original residence permit for non-EU foreign nationals.
      • Identity card for foreign nationals (TIE)
    • In the case of Spanish citizens: Spanish national identity document or passport (valid original).
  • Attendance at a medical examination centre for drivers to take the medical test and obtain the psychophysical aptitude report.
  • Driving licence: valid original and photocopy.
  • A recent photograph: an original measuring 32 × 26 millimetres.
  • Photo stub, completed and signed within the relevant box. This document contains the applicant’s identification data and an attached photo. It will be provided at traffic directorate offices.
  • A written statement declaring that you have not been disqualified or suspended by means of a court decision from driving motor vehicles or mopeds.
  • A written statement declaring that you do not hold another driving licence, whether issued in Spain or in another EU country, of the same class as the one applied for.
  • Special cases:
    • Tests to be taken: In general, licences for classes A1, A, B and EB are exchanged without tests; other classes require some type of test to be passed, which varies according to the agreement in question. You can see the tests you will have to take depending on the country in the following information sheet
Exchange of driving licences issued in non-EU countries (Andorra, Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Monaco)
  • Application by means of a signed official form.
  • Proof of identity and residence:
    • In the case of non-EU foreign nationals:
      • Valid original residence permit for non-EU foreign nationals.
      • Identity card for foreign nationals (TIE) 
      • In the case of Spanish citizens: Spanish national identity document or passport (valid original).
  • Attendance at a medical examination centre for drivers to take the medical test and obtain the psychophysical aptitude report. It will be sent electronically to the provincial traffic directorate office.
  • Driving licence: valid original and photocopy.
  • A recent photograph: an original measuring 32 × 26 millimetres.
  • Photo stub, completed and signed within the relevant box. This document contains the applicant’s identification data and an attached photo. It will be provided at traffic directorate offices.
  • A written statement declaring that you have not been disqualified or suspended by means of a court decision from driving motor vehicles or mopeds.
  • A written statement declaring that you do not hold another driving licence, whether issued in Spain or in another EU country, of the same class as the one applied for.
  • Special cases: 
    • Korea: a translation done by an accredited translator for official (sworn) translations, by a consulate or by the embassy.
    • Japan: a translation of the licence done by a translator qualified to do official (sworn) translations.
Next
Request an appointment

In order to apply for the exchange, you must make an appointment on the DGT’s website or by calling 060

The conditions for requesting an appointment depend on the applicant's country of origin.

To request an appointment, you must select the nearest office.

In the "Type of formality" section, select the category according to your country of origin:

  • In the case of citizens with a licence issued in an EU or EEA member state: "European driving licence exchange".
  • In the case of citizens with a licence issued in a country with an agreement in place: "Exchanges of driving licences".
  • In the case of citizens with a licence issued in non-EU countries (Andorra, Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Monaco): "Office formalities".

Finally, select the country of origin, fill in the fields and submit the request.

Remember that the exchange of a European driving licence is not compulsory.

Before giving you the date of the appointment, Spain contacts the country of origin to check the type of licence, whether it is valid and for how long.

In order to find out the status of your licence exchange, the DGT has enabled a link where you can obtain all the necessary information.

Upon consultation, the system will tell you the status of your request for an exchange appointment. The possible statuses of an appointment are as follows:

  • Being processed: only for EU and EEA countries. The applicant will be seen and will receive the exchange on the day of the appointment.
  • Answered: the applicant may be seen on the day specified, without that implying that the exchange will be granted.
  • Pending: the applicant’s country has not yet replied to the request for information made.
  • Rejected: the applicant’s country has indicated that it does not have any data on the applicant.
Next
Pay the fee for the formality

To continue with the application, you must pay the fee for the formality. You can pay in the following ways:

  • At the traffic directorate offices themselves, by bank card.
  • On the DGT website, by bank card or direct debit
  • At any bank, in cash or by debit using standard form 791 available at traffic directorate offices and on the DGT website

The fee may vary depending on your country of origin:

  • Exchange of driving licences for EU and EEA citizens: € 28,30
  • Exchange of driving licences for citizens of countries with an agreement in place:
    • If tests are required to be taken: € 92.20
    • If tests are not required to be taken: € 28,30
  • Exchange of driving licences for citizens of non-EU countries (Japan, Republic of Korea, Andorra, Switzerland and Monaco): € 28,30
Next
Go to the place indicated and submit the documentation

Once the documentation has been prepared and the fee paid, you must go to the selected traffic directorate office to submit the application, along with the documentation required for the exchange.

You can consult the documentation needed in the first section of the process ("1. Fill in the application form and gather the required documentation > Documentation").

Once the application has been submitted, the directorate may need to contact your home country again to validate it and ensure that the requirements are met. In that case, you will need to make another appointment to go to the offices a second time and submit the definitive documentation.

Next
Receive the Spanish driving licence

Finally, the relevant traffic directorate office will issue you with a Spanish driving licence, which you will receive at your home address.

You should bear in mind that, depending on your country of origin and the type of driving licence you hold, you may have to take some practical tests before obtaining the exchange.

Important information

Formalities tend to change fairly frequently. That is why it is only the regulations in force that apply when you carry out the formality in question.