Updated 13 June: Given the situation as it seems now, with senior MP Oliver Letwin saying today that the House of Commons has run out of options to stop a No Deal Brexit, and with all Conservative leadership candidates apart from Rory Stewart, who is unlikely to win, actively promoting a No Deal Brexit – indeed with at least two of them saying they could prorogue Parliament (formally end the session) to avoid Remain-supporting MPs having any chance of stopping No Deal from happening by default on 31 October – it seems a good time to remind everyone of the advice from January that UK nationals living in Spain should exchange their British driving licences for Spanish ones.

Spain’s own Royal Decree, approved on 1 March, which formalises the country’s provisions for No Deal planning, allows for UK licences to continue to be recognized until 29 December this year, nine months after the UK was originally supposed to have Brexited. After that, however, UK licence holders may well have to pass a Spanish driving test to be able to drive here legally because they will only be able to drive on a Spanish licence and a UK one will be ineligible because the UK will no longer be in the EU.

So, although current EU legislation allows for UK photocard licences not to need exchanging until they reach their renewal date, at which point they have to be renewed in the country of residence which necessarily means exchanging for a Spanish one, it is clearly best not to wait in case exchange is no longer straightforward after a No Deal Brexit where no transitional arrangements will be in place, and where the only way to drive here legally may be on a Spanish licence for which British nationals might have to take the official driving test.

As I’ve said before several times, there is no problem in driving in the UK on a Spanish (or any EU) licence, and this has been confirmed by the British Government as applying after Brexit as well, deal or no deal.

 

Source: Janet Anscombe 

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