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Spain - Convert a Foreign Driver License

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Holders of licences issued by countries without a reciprocal agreement with Spain must take a Spanish written and/or practical driving test. The written test must be taken in Spanish, though a few places offer the written test in English. Some driving schools offer translations for the Spanish test exams, which make it easier to practice.

If in doubt, consult a Spanish consulate abroad or your countrys embassy or consulate in Spain. All non-resident non-EU licence holders must obtain a Spanish driving licence and are entitled to drive in Spain for a maximum of six months in a calendar year.


Required Documents[edit]

  • Passport
  • An international driving permit (IDP), as well as the license from your home country;
  • An official translation of your license, which can be obtained from a Spanish consulate;
  • A certificate of equivalence (certificado de equivalencia) issued by the Spanish RAC.

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Following are the office locations that you can approach : DGT Office Locations (In Spanish)



Foreign citizens must, within six months of having obtained residency in Spain apply for a Spanish drivers licence. There is no bilateral agreement between some foreign countries and Spain on the exchange of foreign drivers licences for a Spanish drivers licence. Therefore, foreign residents in Spain, although they may be experienced drivers, must comply with all the requirements for obtaining a Spanish drivers licence which includes passing both the written and the practical driving test.


Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.


The validity period of a Spanish license depends on your age and the type of license held, e.g. a motorcycle (A-1/A-2) or car (B-1) license is valid for ten years if youre under 65 and for five years if youre over 65. A commercial, passenger vehicle or heavy goods license must be renewed every five years up to the age of 65, every three years from 65.

Documents to Use[edit]

Request an appointment for exchange

Consult appointment for exchange


Sample Documents[edit]

Exchange of driving licenses

Processing Time[edit]

It usually takes between one and three months to obtain a Spanish licence. Youre given an official receipt for your application and a copy of your foreign licence, which is valid until you receive your Spanish licence. When you receive your Spanish licence, your foreign licence is returned to the issuing authority abroad. If you change your address, you must apply to have the address on your licence changed (theres no fee).

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
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The minimum age for driving in Spain are 15 for a motorcycle up to 50cc, 16 for a motorcycle up to 125cc (an A1 license is needed) and 18 for a motorcycle with an engine capacity over 125cc or for a car.

The rules on whether a foreigner in Spain may legally use their driver's licence, or whether they must exchange it for a Spanish one, depend on where their licence was issued. There are three options:

  • Some licences, including EU and EEA licences, may be kept or exchanged for a Spanish one
  • Some must exchange their licence (canjes de permisos) for a Spanish one within a set period
  • Some may not be exchanged. The holder must undergo a full driving test (theory and practical) in order to get a Spanish driving licence (licencia / permiso de conduccin) which will allow them to legally drive in Spain.

Required Information[edit]

  • Your names
  • Tax Code
  • Place of birth
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Permanent Address
  • Province
  • License category
  • Signature
  • Citizenship
  • Nationality


Need for the Document[edit]

Many foreign driving licenses are recognized in Spain under reciprocal agreements, including all EU licenses and some US state licenses, in which case you can drive on the license of your home country and are not required to obtain a Spanish driving license.

Foreign drivers from within the EU still need to register with the traffic authorities within six months of moving to Spain. Afterwards, you have to apply for a Spanish driving license and prove your residency in Spain.

A Spanish driving license (licencia de conduccin) is the standard EU model: a plastic, credit card-sized permit with photograph. Older licenses are laminated pink cards with a photograph of the holder.

Information which might help[edit]

Holders of non-EU driving licences also require an official translation of their licence and a certificate of equivalence (certificado de equivalencia) available from the Royal Automobile Club of Spain, a medical certificate of fitness to drive and a stamped self-addressed envelope.

You can use a gestor to obtain a Spanish driving licence or apply through a Spanish motoring organization such as the Royal Automobile Club of Spain.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

There have been cases of foreign nationals resident in Spain driving Spanish-registered vehicles and being fined for not having a Spanish licence. For this reason, many people find its simpler to exchange their foreign licence for a Spanish one.

External Links[edit]



An international driving permit is obtainable in Spain from the Royal Automobile Club of Spain (Real Automvil Club de Espaa/RACE) on presentation of a valid foreign driving licence, a Spanish ID card or a Spanish resident permit, an online form and one photograph. Note, however, that if a non-resident obtains an international driving licence in Spain, its valid only for driving outside of Spain.