can i use my uk driving licence in spain permenently??

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01 Sep 2008 00:00 by louisedawn Star rating. 13 posts Send private message

we are moving to algorfa next year , can we use our uk drivers licence in spain permenently?
 i know years ago you had to have the licence for the country you were living in but wondered if you could use the uk one now as we are part of the EU?



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01 Sep 2008 22:21 by Rob in Madrid Star rating in Madrid. 275 posts Send private message

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My understanding is that any valid EU licence is acceptable but subject to local laws. The one I don't understand is that you need a valid medical every two years. Question is how do they know you've done that????

Of course the above is subject the police officer being current on the law. Don't have to live here long to learn that there is a law for the Spanish and a law for the rest of us!

_______________________

Decided after all I don't like Spanish TV, that is having compared both.




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01 Sep 2008 22:45 by louisedawn Star rating. 13 posts Send private message

yeah i think that is the same in the uk tho! different rules  for some and not others!
i know that my partner will have to have a medical cos he is diabetic and has to have a medical every 3 yrs! only thing is, his re newal is due august next year but we are planning to move to spain in june!! think he will have to come back to uk for that!!
 silly question but do you know how long you can use your licence in spain with your uk add on it?
thankyou
louise



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01 Sep 2008 23:06 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3577 posts Send private message

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If you have a licence issued in another EU country, you can now use it permanently in Spain. 

This is the theory, at least. The Tráfico (equivalent of DVLA) website has details http://dgt.es/portal/es/oficina_virtual/conductores/ (Spanish only). 

Of course, you cannot give DVLA your new address, because a UK licence has to be registered at a UK address. You can, I believe, voluntarily register your UK licence with Tráfico, although this isn't mentioned anywhere I can see on the website. It seems a bit of a grey area to me, because if you get stopped by the Guardia and your licence does not correspond to your other paperwork (residencia, car registration etc.) I can only envisage problems. It may be a mute point, since the new EU licences do not have an address on them anyway. 

The other thing which Tráfico's website doesn't seem to make very clear, is that wherever your licence was issued, to drive legally in Spain (permanently) you must still comply with the same conditions that apply to Spanish licence holders, and that means you must have a medical every 10 years to the age of 45, every 5 years thereafter (and every 2 years, I think, from 70). You will have to carry the medical certificate with you (as well as your licence) when driving, as proof that you have it. If you have a valid Spanish licence, you don't have to keep the medical cert. with you, as the licence itself is proof that you passed the medical (because you can't get the licence without it). The medical can be done at any official centre, costs about €30 - €40, and is a bit of a joke really - basic eyesight test, reaction times etc. Nothing to worry about.

Whilst it's a bit of a hassle to change your licence when you don't strictly speaking need to, personally I feel that if you are going to be living in Spain permanently as a resident, changing it for a Spanish one may help avoid complications in the event you ever have to produce it. The Guardia are as confused about EU regulations as the rest of us, and I wouldn't count on them actually knowing that you are now allowed to use your UK licence even when you are resident in Spain. The cost for changing it, I think, is about €18. You may want to use the services of a gestor if you are not confident to do it yourself, although that will obviously incur additional expense.

Incidentally, I case you have heard that you cannot hire a car in the UK with a Spanish licence, I can tell you from personal experience that that is absolute rubbish! 



_______________________

 

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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02 Sep 2008 00:05 by FibbyUK Star rating in UK, Surrey & Playa F.... 2418 posts Send private message

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Just some other info on the plastic style UK licence in Spain...................

If your local Spanish Supermarket insists on seeing your passport when using a Credit Card to pay, they will/can accept the plastic style UK licence instead.

From experience:
Our local Carrefour in Playa Flamenca insists on seeing a passport when paying by credit card, other "bigger" Carrefours do not. (i.e the large store in Torreveija)

However, I have now found out that they will accept seeing our plastic UK driving licence instead.

This is probobly due to the fact that a plastic UK licence has all it's details, including your photo, taken from your passport records. (If you appied and agreed to the "match up", online)

Personally, I would rather carry my driving licence in my bag, than chance losing my passport whilst on my holiday.

Yes, I know what will be said next!
If stopped by the Local Guardia whislt driving, you should have all your ID on you, including your passport and your hire car agreement.

Can't win eh?!


_______________________

FibbyUK

One off fee to pay your own La Renta tax (210 Form)
Check out my website:

http://www.payingtaxesinspain210form.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/

 




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09 Sep 2008 16:04 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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This is absolutely typical of the EC.  Nothing but rhetoric.  As the Spanish say, "mucho ruido, pocos nueces".

Why, oh why, after one of their extended liquid lunches has Brussels not sorted all this out once and for all for all EC countries for God's sake.

I have a Spanish plastic licence which I applied for myself, using my paper UK licence.  I takes about 10 weeks.  I had a clean UK licence, but my Spanish licence was issued with just 6 points credit on it.  I have since lost 4 points (see thread "Don't get nicked").

I still haven't got to the bottom of it all.

It also leaves the propblem for the poor b&&&&&s who have to spend 6 months in UK.  The Spanish take your UK licence from you.  So then you are driving in UK on a foreign licence.  It's all a horrible muddle.  Why are we paying these people to sort out the EC when they are doing nothing - also valid comment for health care, pensions, passports, residencias etc.



_______________________
Max Kite
Maximeters S.L.U.
www.maximeters.com



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09 Sep 2008 18:16 by Febe Star rating in Flix, on river Ebro,.... 242 posts Send private message

Hi Max,

I think starting with just 6 points will have some thing to do with either your age or being concidered a 'new licence holder'.
Take a look at back issues of www.theolivepress.eu  Look for a chap called Chris Dann, he has some very usefull info. re driving etc. in Spain.

Take care,
Febe

_______________________

No matter where you go, there you are.




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09 Sep 2008 19:47 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3577 posts Send private message

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Max, how did you know how many points you had? My new plastic licence has nothing to indicate the points, although presumably such info is held on the Tráfico computers and is easily accesible by the cops.
What's the problem with driving in the UK on a Spanish licence? It's perfectly valid, isn't it?
As for the EU, I think turning the theory into reality is proving a little more complicated than expected. I wonder if any of the Eurocrats ever went on a study trip to the AU - sorry, USA? Presumably they are hoping to create a sort of USE, but has anyone thought to check how things work over there? Each State issues it's own driver's licences, and if you move form one State to another, I think you have to change your licence(?) but all State licences are accepted throughout the Union as valid ID.

_______________________

 

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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10 Sep 2008 09:17 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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Hi Roberto,

You can find out how many points you have by going into:

http://www.dgt.es/portal/es/oficina_virtual/permiso_por_puntos/

It is a bit tortuous, as you have to give them all sorts of data and an e-mail address.  They then E mail you, you log back in and disappear up your own........

sorry, but you know what I mean.

I recieved a letter saying that I could increase my points from 6 by doing a driver awareness course.  I'm 52, and passed my test when 17 so don't think age should be an issue (coppers are looking young though!).  I think that it was just a clerical error, but will investigate, as am on a wing and a prayer with just 2 points!

USE sounds scary to me - especially since most MEPs are voted in on a tiny percentage of the electorate as no-one seems to have ny interest in voting for an organization that makes 80% of UKs regulations!


_______________________
Max Kite
Maximeters S.L.U.
www.maximeters.com



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12 Sep 2008 11:03 by semijubilada Star rating in London/Torrevieja. 1073 posts Send private message

If you have a paper licence then you can apply for a new photo licence, tell them you have lost your licence.  Then you'll have one to show should you get stopped whilst your new Spanish licence is being prepared.

Haven't heard anything lately but a lot of people were having trouble at Alicante office so I think a Gestor is a good idea.  If they don't change over the photo licence you have a paper part which could be stamped to say that it has been seen by Traffico and should be acceptable if stopped by the police. 

I read that you have to have a Padron to show police, doesn't that have your address in Spain on it?  So with that as proof and your EU licence you should be ok?

I've also read threads about UK (EU) driving licence holders not required to take the compulsory medicals in Spain.  Personally I would, if it's law in Spain and you are a resident then there's a chance that if you had an accident your insurance company could use this as a get out of paying clause.  When you go for the medical do you get a slip of paper if so that will also be added to the growing list of what you need to carry to prove that you can legally drive the car.





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12 Sep 2008 14:58 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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There was a case recently of a Brit having an accident, and losing out as they hadn't had a medical, even though all their paperwork was in order.

The problem with all of this as I understand it is that you can drive on a European Licence from another country if you are touring or on business abroad, but if you are resident in an EC country, you should have a licence issued in that country.  How that affects those who spend 4 months in UK, 4 months in Spain and 4 months in, say, Germany I don't know.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong please.

This is what 2006/2007 edition of David Searl's "You and the law in Spain" says:

EU Citizens:

Non-resident:

Rental or own car - 6 months.

YOUR Spanish registered car - International Driving permit or official translation of your licence or Certificado de Equivalencia.

Resident:

Spanish driving licence or home country licence.

I reckon it's a good idea to have the medicals as well


_______________________
Max Kite
Maximeters S.L.U.
www.maximeters.com



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12 Sep 2008 17:52 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3577 posts Send private message

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You can continue to use any EU photo licence even when you become resident in another EU state. But, as Semi says, if resident in Spain, you do still have to conform to the same conditions as a Spanish licence holder, and that means periodic medicals, yes. That would mean carrying the medical certificate with your UK licence at all times. Added to the fact that your UK licence will still be registered to an address which is not officially your place of residence (I believe the official legaleese term for this is a "grey area"), and my advice is still, if you plan to become a permanent resident in Spain, just change your licence for a Spanish one ASAP.

_______________________

 

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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12 Sep 2008 18:48 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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Spot on, Roberto.  Just don't accidentally provide a colour photocopy of your paper licence instead of the original or whoops! you'll have both a Spanish and English licence .

_______________________
Max Kite
Maximeters S.L.U.
www.maximeters.com



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12 Sep 2008 22:05 by Lindie Star rating in Andalucia. Velez-Mal.... 23 posts Send private message

I tried to change my one to a Spanish one about 18 months ago. A gestor issued me with a temporary certificate and sent mine off. 5 weeks later I went back to pick up the Spanish one, only to be told that it is no longer necessary to change them and the English one had been returned by trafico!



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13 Sep 2008 00:08 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

Max Kite´s avatar
Alice would think Wonderland really tame if she lived in Spain!


_______________________
Max Kite
Maximeters S.L.U.
www.maximeters.com



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13 Sep 2008 00:39 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3577 posts Send private message

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Max, I wonder how that works then? Don't you think Tráfico send your UK licence (or copy of) to DVLA for cancellation? It would be very intersting to know what would happen if you applied to DVLA for a duplicate. If both licences are good, you effectively have twice as many points as anyone else - so you can drive twice as badly! Mmmm.......maybe you've discovered another "grey area".
Lindie - interesting! Max put it very well!

_______________________

 

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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13 Sep 2008 14:33 by Max Kite Star rating in Castilléjar, Granada. 308 posts Send private message

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Roberto: -  of course, I'm not saying that I would do such a heinous thing - the good Lord forbid!  I would rather cut out my liver and staple it to the ground with a croquet hoop (apologoies to Blackadder).  

I am just warning others not to mix up their photocopies with their originals!

In fact, what seems to happen is that Tráfico keep your British licence in a box file, after sending a letter to Swanseaboyo asking about any recent offences, legality of licence etc.  If all O.K., or they don't hear withing 3 months, they issue a Spanish one.  I didn't have to have a medical or anything.

I hope David Searl doesn't mind me printing this.....





 




_______________________
Max Kite
Maximeters S.L.U.
www.maximeters.com



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