Switching to a Spanish driving licence

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20 Sep 2015 12:02 by casalinda Star rating in Las Alpujarras. 54 posts Send private message

Last time we were in the UK we were turned down at the last minute (literally) from collecting our hire car because both of our plastic licences had old, non-residential UK addresses on them. Apparently a Spanish licence and address would have been OK, even though they said their policy was 'to prevent us from disappearing with the hire car.' Two pensioners with family in the UK and British bank accounts...I don't think so!!!

Anyone done this recently in Andalucía? What was the procedure?





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20 Sep 2015 15:52 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

I am not aware that a UK DL could have a none residencial address - that would be an offence in the UK, maybe this is why you were turned down by the hire car company

 

Spanish DL's do not have an address on them (many EU countries do not have addresses on the DL)

 

Switching to a Spanish licence from any EU licence is an easy process and there has been a few discussions on here

 


This message was last edited by Tadd1966 on 20/09/2015.

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20 Sep 2015 18:24 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5241 posts Send private message

I had an email exchange with the DVLA some years ago re address on the UK if the holder moved to Spain. The reply said that the person could continue to have the same address on the DL, even though they had no connection with it. However, if they wanted to renew / replace the DL then they could only do so if they resided permanently in the UK. 

I accept the law may have changed.

However, if one lives on Spain it would seem to make sense to change one’s UK DL to a Spanish one.  As I said, it cannot be renewed if you have left UK, so if you were to lose the DL you have problems.  You may not then be able to exchange it for a Spanish one, as you not have a valid DL to exchange. The same would apply if you needed to update a photo, or renew the DL when you reach 70.

 

Also, if stopped in Spain with a non-Spanish DL there may be a bigger chance that the police would examine it more carefully and maybe question it, whereas if it’s a Spanish one then probably it would just be accepted at face value.

 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 20/09/2015.



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20 Sep 2015 18:53 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

The risk in not changing your address on a UK licence when you change address when you move to Spain is if you go back to the UK and drive on UK roads

If you get stopped for a check or a traffic offence and the address is not correct you could get a fine or if caught on camera for a traffic offence and a Notice of intention to prosecute (NIP) is served via mail to the addres on your DL you will not be able to receive it and in bigger trouble fine and 6 points! Also your insurance may be invalidated as you will not have a valid licence to drive in UK

I agree with johnzx it makes sense to exchange your UK DL for a Spanish DL



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20 Sep 2015 19:46 by casalinda Star rating in Las Alpujarras. 54 posts Send private message

Thanks for the replies. Can anyone itemise the process...is it Trafíco & form-filling, some sort of eyesight test, then wait for Trafíco and or the post?





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20 Sep 2015 19:48 by marcbernard Star rating in Marina Alta; Alicant.... 246 posts Send private message

Is it not true that should you displace your UK driving licence whilst living abroad, and are therefore unable to obtain a replacement, it is possible to obtain from DVLA a certificate of entitlement? You would then be able to change that for a Spanissh licence.





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21 Sep 2015 09:25 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4495 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

To exchange your licence:

https://sede.dgt.gob.es/es/tramites-y-multas/permiso-de-conduccion/canje-de-permisos/

 


This message was last edited by Roberto on 21/09/2015.

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21 Sep 2015 09:59 by casalinda Star rating in Las Alpujarras. 54 posts Send private message

Thank you Roberto. Most useful post provided here!





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21 Sep 2015 12:55 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5241 posts Send private message

I did say the info I had was from some years ago and thus the law MAY have changed..  

This is the email from DVLA:-   

 

Thank you for your email received on 18/1/10. 

 

Drivers who take up residence in another EC/EEA country no longer have to exchange their driving licence, but may continue to drive using their own national licence for as long as it remains valid. They should however check with the appropriate driving licence authorities where they resident for information on any conditions that the host member state may stipulate.

 

National licences may only carry an address from the country which issued that licence. We are therefore unable to re-issue a British licence with a foreign address. It is accepted that drivers who move to another part of the EC/EEA could be holding licences showing an incorrect address.


This is permissible under the the terms of the EC Directive on Driving Licence.

Regards

Mrs L Salter

Customer Enquiries Group

DVLA

 

 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 21/09/2015.



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21 Sep 2015 13:24 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 1068 posts Send private message

That wasn't the point, though. The point was a UK hire company not allowing you to hire a car with a non-residential address on it. Unless you expect the hire company to do a background check on you, they're not to know if one has a bank account or relatives in UK. I can see why they're covering themselves especially as up to 90,000 cars a year are stolen in UK, many of them from hire companies with forged documents.
At least the Spanish licence has an NIE on it so they can trace you although I imagine the number of cars stolen in Spain each year is quite high as well.

And let's not confuse licences (again). If you have an EU driving licence issued in UK with a validity date of 10 years (or less depending on age) you can drive on it in Spain until it runs out regardless of the address on it providing it is registered at trafico and you take the medical (to come into line with Spanish nationals). The older licences (issued until you were 70) need to be changed within 2 years of taking up official residence. You can't renew any of them from Spain so much easier to change to a Spanish one, especially to get over the problem with a UK hire company.

 





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21 Sep 2015 14:56 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5241 posts Send private message

I emailed DVLA again to update the info.   It confirms that it is not a problem having the  'wrong address' on one's UK DL when using it in Spain:-  

Email copy:- 

Thank you for your email received on 21/9/15. Your email reference number is 3283635.

 

I regret that we are unable to issue a British driving licence showing an address outside of England, Scotland or Wales.

 

Drivers who take up residence in another European Community/European Economic Area (EEC /EEA) country no longer have to exchange their driving licence, but may continue to drive using their own national licence for as long as it remains valid. They should, however, check with the appropriate driving licence authorities where they are now resident for information on any conditions that the host member state may stipulate.

 

National licences may only carry an address from the country which issued that licence. We are therefore unable to re-issue the British licence with an overseas address.

 

It is accepted that drivers who move to another part of the EC/EEA could be holding a licence showing an incorrect address.

 

This is permissible under the terms of the EC Directive on Driving Licences.

Regards

 

 

J Coode

DVLA Contact Centre





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21 Sep 2015 15:07 by casalinda Star rating in Las Alpujarras. 54 posts Send private message

Our problem is not here in Spain but hiring a car in the UK. Our old UK address was not acceptable to Europcar in 2014 (we had sold the house & paid no community charge) , but a Spanish licence and address would have been fine.

I posted a letter today to DVLA customer services asking for application forms for Certificates of Entitlement, which seem to be necessary before Trafíco can proceed.





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21 Sep 2015 16:48 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4495 posts Send private message


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"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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21 Sep 2015 17:24 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

Team GB´s avatar

Interesting from Roberto's link 'Registering UK Licences'

THIS IS A VOLUNTARY PROCEDURE AND CAN BE REQUESTED AT ANY PROVINCIAL TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT

 

Mariedav below, seems to say this is in fact mandatory, so do many others including some Spanish police officers.

Yet again confusion!!



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21 Sep 2015 18:28 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

I think we all get the fact that you can drive on a UK licence in EU with an out of date address on a UK DL (why woud the UK or  DVLA care as you are not breaking any UK laws by driving etc.)

The problem you have as the OP found out is that on return to the UK with an invalid address on your UK DL is a problem and an offence in the UK for anyone - simple really

 



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22 Sep 2015 22:28 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 1068 posts Send private message

Team GB

Yet again confusion!!

You'd be even more confused if you read the advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau. They say that all those with a EU driving licence with an expiry date (in other words, the new ones) that:

article 15.4 clearly states that all residents must have a medical and consecutive inclusion of their licence in the Registro de Conductores.

But then says Notwithstanding the above (regarding changing the old licences), residents can also voluntarily register their licence

To make it even more confusing, DGT Malaga says that only those without a EU licence with an expiry date must register it with trafico but the one with an expiry date is voluntary BUT DGT Malaga says all licences must be registered and medicals taken to comply with Spanish law.

Even the Guardia Civil seem a bit confused (probably because of the different type of licences, those which expire when 70 and those which expire after  10 years) but their N332 site puts it a bit more clearly

N332 Foreign Drivers

Still doesn't get over the initial problem of having a UK licence refused in UK. I would also be wary in UK of being picked up for a traffic violation and trying to explain to the policeman about your incorrect address problem.





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23 Sep 2015 10:38 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

Team GB´s avatar

Thanks mariedav

I think it's clear now that using a UK DL in the UK with a incorrect address is an offence (civil I would have thought) this is punishable by a fine of up to £1000 issued by the DVLA.

As you say, you can't blame the UK car hire companies wanting a checkable address.

It's the issue of whether EU residents in Spain need to register their DL's with Traffico that is unclear with contradictory advice even from the police themselves. 



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23 Sep 2015 12:08 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5241 posts Send private message

Team GB   I think it's clear now that using a UK DL in the UK with a incorrect address is an offence (civil I would have thought,) this is punishable by a fine of up to £1000 issued by the DVLA.

 

 Team GB that can only apply if it were possible to change the address, .i.e. to a person who remains in the UK and fails to notify a change of address, MAY be fined up to £1,000 for a Criminal Offence, contrary to RTA,  (not a civil offence).. 

As I posted DVLA confirm that a person moving to live outside UK cannot change their address on their UK DL,  and that that does not amount to an offence. 

In British law one cannot be prosecuted to doing, not doing or trying to do something which is impossible.  An example:-  One cannot be convicted of attempted theft if there is no property available to be stolen.   So if a would-be thief puts their hand into an empty pocket. Even if their admitted intention was to steal. That is,  there was nothing to seal therefore an impossible act.

 

Same with changing one’s address on a UK DL when you have left UK.  Not possible, so cannot be a crime.

The only possible crime would be using that DL illegally in another country. As using a UK DL in Spain, in the right circumstances is permitted, then no crime in Spain too..

A person living in Spain who goes to UK for say a holiday and drives a car cannot be prosecuted to n

not having changed the address. As I said,  it would be impossible to do so.

 

PS Team GB if you believe I am wrong, please quote the RTA offence which applies. 





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23 Sep 2015 12:36 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

Team GB´s avatar

PS Team GB if you believe I am wrong, please quote the RTA offence which applies. 

I haven't got the time or inclination



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23 Sep 2015 13:44 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

this is punishable by a fine of up to £1000 issued by the DVLA.

Small point, the fine is NOT issued by the DVLA you will be prosecuted like any other traffic offence



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