Would a Spanish driving licence make your life in Spain more comfortable? Being a part of the European Union has some quite considerable advantages from a practical point of view – such the application of a unified standard to certain types of documents and the recognition of those documents all over the EU. The driving licence (in Spanish – permiso de conducir) is one of the most commonly used.
Driving licences issued in a Member State of the European Union or in a State party to the Agreement in the European Economic Area pursuant to European law, are fully valid in Spain under the terms of issuance in their country of origin. In other words –
being a resident in Spain doesn´t mean you have to exchange your driving licence straight away.
If your driving licence has no expiry date or has a validity period exceeding 15 years, it is your obligation to exchange the driving licence in the 2-year period after legally becoming a resident in Spain. Also, if your driving licence has expired or is about to expire, as a Spanish resident you should renew it in Spain. You can also exchange it earlier as it might be easier to get a new copy in case you lose it, as claiming it from the country where your original driving licence was issued may take longer and involve more paperwork.
If you have decided to exchange your current licence to a Spanish one, here are the steps that will get the Spanish driving licence in your wallet!
- You will need a prior appointment at the traffic office. The easiest way is to book it online:
When filling in the information, state the following:
Oficina donde desea solicitar la cita – “Valencia”;
Tipo de trámite – “Canje de permiso de conducción europeo”;
País – the country where your original driving licence was issued.
The next step is to fill in the information about yourself – the NIE number, name, surname, date of birth, driving licence number and category.
- The Valencian traffic office is located on Mora de Rubielos street s/n (next to the subway station “Jesús”). At the entrance there will be a ticket machine which provides you an appointment number, so it´s advisable to bring the appointment confirmation in case there is a technical problem. Your appointment will be on the ground floor.
- For the appointment you will need the following:
- Application form – you can either download it beforehand or you will be given a blank form at the office to fill in;
- Your passport and a copy of the photo page;
- Residence certificate and a copy of it;
- Your current driving licence and a copy of it;
- One passport size photo (32 x 26 mm);
- To fill in and sign “Talón-foto” which you will be supplied with by the office. “Talón-foto” is a template to indicate where you must place your signature which will be superimposed on your actual picture on the licence;
- Medical fitness test issued by an Authorised Drivers Check Centre. You can choose any authorised centre, but probably the easiest way is to go to one of the clinics right across the office – no prior appointment is necessary as almost certainly one of the places will be available to assist you (some of them will even have a person standing outside and offering their services). The test will take up to 30 minutes and will cost 30 to 60 euros. Most of the medical centres by the traffic office will offer to take a photograph if you have forgotten to bring one;
- Certificate of registration with the municipality (in Spanish – certificado de empadronamiento) that is no older than 3 months;
- Proof of fee payment. You can pay the fee of 28.30 euros onsite with a credit card. Another possibility is to download the form 791 (https://sedeapl.dgt.gob.es:7443/WEB_Tasas6b/jsp/profesionales/index.jspx) and pay by a direct debit from your Spanish bank account or in cash at the bank. In this case you should select the fee section II.3 – “Obtención del permisos o licencias por perdida de Puntos” as this fee includes also the exchange from the EU country licence to the Spanish one.
- At the appointment the authorities will collect your driving licence and provide you with a temporary permit on a white sheet of paper that should be carried with you instead of the licence.
During this process they will check if your driving licence is valid in your country and have no pending fee payments or similar. You will receive your licence in the mail, so make sure that you have provided the correct home address. Your new Spanish driving licence will be delivered up to 2 months after the appointment.
Although you may have been an experienced driver for many years, and even if you have no history of breaking the law in your country or in Spain, your new Spanish driving licence will start with 11 points (not 15 which is the highest rate in Spain). You will be getting one extra point every year until you reach 15 as long as there is no trouble. This can explain an change to your car insurance premium in case you wonder why it becomes more expensive when changing to a Spanish driving licence.