Mallorca some British residents can not drive on UK licences

The British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, has stated that he is working extremely hard to reach a deal with the Spanish government so that British residents in Spain can continue to drive on their UK licences.

At the end of last month, the deadline for the last extension for British residents to drive in Spain on their UK licences ran out.

But, the British Embassy in Madrid has said that talks are being speeded up to find a solution. This means that if you have been resident in Spain for longer than six months, your UK-issued licence is currently no longer be valid.

Driving without a valid licence is illegal in Spain, so if you are affected by this change and need to drive, you should not wait for the outcome of the negotiations and should take immediate steps to apply for a Spanish licence, as the British Government have been advising for some time now, which will involve taking both a theory and practical test.

This does not affect visiting motorists from the UK, i.e. holidaymakers, or UK licence holders who have recently moved to Spain. You have six months from the date you get your residence document to take a Spanish test.

The official text on the British Government website confirms:
If you have a valid UK driving licence:
From 1st May 2022 if you were living in Spain before 1st January 2021, your valid UK driving licence will no longer be valid for driving in Spain.
If you moved to Spain after 1st January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence.

In his latest video update the ambassador repeated what he told the Daily Bulletin in an interview last week that he is very sympathetic to the implications of the situation for many British residents and has made it clear that he intends to do everything he can to reach a solution which will not involve British residents having to take a Spanish driving test.

That said, he did suggest that it may be wise to consider taking one should the negotiations drag on or a deal is not reached.

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