Changes to Rules on Driving Licences in Spain

  • Juan
    With more than 20 years experience practising law, Juan heads a multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual team in the centre of Benidorm. All major branches of law dealt with, including property law, contract breaches, commercial law & business formation, employment law and employee contracts, family law and inheritances.

Since 2013, all European Union countries have issued a single driving licence that allows the bearer to drive in any European Union States, without the need to apply locally to obtain a new licence if they have changed their country of residence.

However, as of January 2015, non-Spanish EU citizens resident in Spain ought to obtain a Spanish driving licence if their current licence corresponds to any of the following descriptions:

  • a licence that is valid for 15 years or more, and qualified to drive vehicles classified as Group 1 (AM, A1, A2, A, B and BE).
  • a licence that is valid for 5 years or more, and qualified to drive vehicles classified as Group 2 (BTP, C1 and BE).
  • a licence that is currently expired or about to expire.

 

Legislation & Penalties

The requirement arises as a result of the need to comply with EU Community Directive 2006/126/CE and it’s transposition to the General Regulation of Drivers (RD 818/2009 of the 8th of May), to correct differences between the EU States with regard to the renovation period applied to driving licences. It is important to highlight that Tráfico, the Spanish Government Department responsible for licencing matters, may impose fines of up to 200 € on drivers who are driving in Spain without having renewed their driving licence, as it is considered to be a serious offence within the defintiion of Article 65.4.ll of the Road Safety legislation. Road Traffic penalties may be of a minor nature (fines up to 100 €), serious (up to 200 €) and very serious (up to 500 €), all of which may be appealed.

These penalties may be paid applying the appropriate discount of 50% as stipulated in the current legislation, or appealed, following the process established by law.

 

Appeals

It should be borne in mind that if the first option is chosen, ie. pay the fine voluntarily to benefit from the discount,  the only appeal then permissible by law is the formal Administrative Contentious Appeal (Recurso Contencioso Administrativo) with the consequent costs of a lawyer and a Procurador (an officer of the court required by law to represent appellants and defendants in court proceedings).

On the other hand, if the second option is chosen, i.e to appeal against the fine, the time-frame within which an appeal must be lodged is 20 days from the day after notification of the fine was received, or if it was not possible to notify, then on the day after publication of the notification in the official government noticeboard of Traffic Sanctions (Tablón Edictal de Sanciones de Tráfico).

If the person who has received notification of a fine does not formally respond to the penalty that they have been notified of, nor pay the fine within the 20 days stipulated, this shall be considered to be a decisive act within the penalty procedure, and as such, the penalty shall be enforced automatically, on the day after the 30 day period following the notification.

 

Failure to Pay Fines

If payment is not made voluntarily, Tráfico may enforce the fine by obtaining details of any bank accounts via the Tax Authority Hacienda and placing an embargo on said accounts to ensure payment of the penalty.

 

Conclusion

Bearing in mind the summary nature of the fines, which can be levied by the police when a car is stopped for any reason, it is strongly advised that if you have a driver’s licence as described at the beginning of this article, and you are resident in Spain, then you should have that licence exchanged for a Spanish licence and carry your residence card at all times when driving.

Client Testimonials

Below is a list of recent reviews received from our clients, obtained via the Wufoo client survey platform:

  • Default Avatar75
    Jason Yorke, United Kingdom
    Thursday, July 19, 2018
    Beatriz was really helpful and always kept me informed at all stages. She is very professional and a pleasure to deal with.
  • Default Avatar75
    Mr David P Robson, Valancia
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    My lawyer Francisca offered value for money and was very helpful. Will use her again.
  • Default Avatar75
    Richard Day, London and Barcelona
    Thursday, July 05, 2018
    My initial call to your service desk was responded to by Oscar very quickly.

    I appreciated his time as I outlined my issue, a problem with the building community and administrators. At the end of ...the call he provided clear guidance on next steps.

    Furthermore he quickly turned around the issue with an excellent drafted response for which I could not of hoped to be better worded. It was comprehensive and aligned perfectly with what I felt was needed.

    Excellent value for money and most definitely I would highly recommend Oscar.
  • Default Avatar75
    Søren Aabel Hammer, Malaga
    Thursday, July 05, 2018
    Beatriz was professional and quick to respond. Would definitely recommend to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Patrick Crean, Almerimar
    Thursday, July 05, 2018
    Juan was fantastic. Very easy to understand and very pleasant. I would definitely use his service again.
  • Default Avatar75
    Damien Stephan, Benidorm
    Thursday, July 05, 2018
    The whole process from start to finish was straightforward and well explained. I honestly cannot recommend them enough!

    They really went out of their way to be helpful and kept me up to date at ev...ery opportunity. Excellent value for money from some really nice and genuine people. True professionals.

    Wouldn’t hesitate to use again in the future.
  • Default Avatar75
    Claire, Fuengirola
    Wednesday, July 04, 2018
    Alvaro assisted me during my experience at advocate abroad, and he was so kind. He answered any questions I had, and made me feel completely at ease.

    I knew I was in the hands of a professional. H...e could not have done more to help me.
  • Default Avatar75
    Paul and Joyce Rose, Mijas, Malaga
    Wednesday, July 04, 2018
    Extremely helpful and very professional. Will definitely use Alvaro next time we require legal advice.
  • Default Avatar75
    Nigel Whinnett, Esher, UK
    Wednesday, July 04, 2018
    Professional, friendly, efficient service, good value, a pleasure to use the services of the lawyer and his team. In depth knowledge of the relevant laws, taxes etc.

    Would highly recommend and use ...again.
  • Default Avatar75
    Claire O'Gara, Fuengirola
    Wednesday, June 27, 2018
    I liked Alvaroós enthusiasm, and the great level of customer service. He always answered my questions thoroughly.
  • Default Avatar75
    Mrs Susan Vickery, Silves, Portugal
    Tuesday, June 26, 2018
    Good advice, very helpful and fast. Would definitely recommend Luis to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Niall Purdie, Barcelona
    Monday, June 25, 2018
    Anna helped me purchasing my house, she was knowledgeable and professional throughout. I would recommend using her legal services.
  • Default Avatar75
    Kartik, Paris
    Friday, June 22, 2018
    Very satisfied with the service provided by Marianne. She speaks English fluently and she was very quick, comprehensive and clear in answering all the questions.
  • Default Avatar75
    David Stack, Lliria, Spain
    Thursday, June 21, 2018
    Francisca was extremely helpful. She made the whole process easy to understand. I would definitely recommend her service to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Susanna Buckley, United Kingdom
    Wednesday, June 20, 2018
    Lidia is very approachable and friendly and I never felt that anything was a problem.

    She was also very sympathetic to my situation (my mother had passed away) and supportive. As soon as she was c...ontracted, she acted quickly to sort things out so that I could return home to the UK as soon as possible.

    She always tried her best to answer any questions very quickly and promptly and matters proceeded without too much worry on my part.
  • Default Avatar75
    Wendy Dickson, Marbella
    Tuesday, June 19, 2018
    It was all done very quick. Very good value for money. How easy it all was to communicate via email.
  • Default Avatar75
    Peter & Anita Bradshaw, Leeds, England
    Monday, June 18, 2018
    We could not be more happy with the service we received from Jaime.

    He responded immediately to our enquiry and it was clear from the outset that he fully understood our position. It was vital tha...t Jaime acted quickly in this matter and he did so in a highly professional and competent manner, providing us with clear and concise updates throughout.

    We found Jaime to be very polite and approachable and we believe his fees to be very reasonable. We would genuinely not hesitate to recommend his services.

    Before contacting Jaime, our previous experiences of Spanish Lawyers had been appalling - in fact we needed Jaime's help to resolve issues which previous Lawyers had created. Our only regret is not finding Jaime sooner!

    Thanks so much for all your help Jaime.
  • Default Avatar75
    Dion Nash, Algarve
    Tuesday, June 05, 2018
    Our lawyer Luis is bilingual, and was extremely helpful. We received very good service - Luis did everything needed to help me with my case. I would definitely recommend him to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Jan Neate, Nerja
    Wednesday, May 30, 2018
    Very satisfied with the service provided by Beatriz. She extremely helpful and spoke more or less fluent English. We would definitely recommend her to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Serena Bhatia, London
    Wednesday, May 30, 2018
    Anna has been nothing but helpful in providing information, sound advice and genuine care, My fiancé and I adore her! She is timely, professional and extremely knowledgeable about world wide law.
  • Default Avatar75
    Ronald Peter Downs, Spain
    Tuesday, May 29, 2018
    A lady staff member took us under her wing and managed to sort out my residency. Overall no complaints.
  • Default Avatar75
    Tracey and Mike Iliffe Bradley, Colchester, United Kingdom
    Tuesday, May 29, 2018
    From our very first contact through to the end of our purchase, Rosa surpassed all expectations.

    She was helpful, efficient, always quick to return our communications and a pleasure to deal with. ...We have already recommended her services to a friend.
  • Default Avatar75
    Cheryl, Seville
    Monday, May 28, 2018
    Miguel was helpful and kind. We will use his service in the future.
  • Default Avatar75
    Ken & Margaret, Torrevieja
    Thursday, May 24, 2018
    Pedro was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more. We would definitely recommend his services to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Rl, Alicante
    Thursday, May 24, 2018
    Felt very comfortable at all times. Nothing was too much. Understood everything mentioned in our meeting. Very reasonable rate, money wise.
  • Default Avatar75
    KL, Valencia, Spain
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018
    Inma is easy to talk to, is prompt in replying to emails, is helpful and above all achieved the solution I wanted.
  • Default Avatar75
    MF, Lanzarote
    Monday, May 21, 2018
    My lawyer Cristina was extremely understanding , friendly and reassuring. With Cristina on my side, it gave me confidence to continue.
  • Default Avatar75
    RA, Paris
    Friday, May 18, 2018
    The service I needed wasn't complex, just verification of documents, but the service was rapid, friendly and exactly what I needed.My lawyer Julia was bilingual.
  • Default Avatar75
    Sham Naib, Callao Salvaje, Tenerife
    Friday, May 18, 2018
    My lawyer Oliver was very helpful, always happy to assist. He professionally checked the law before dispensing advice.
  • Default Avatar75
    Smith, France
    Friday, May 18, 2018
    Caroline is bilingual and was very helpful throughout. There is nothing I would suggest to improve. I was very happy with the service and would definitely recommend to friends.

Send Us Your Enquiry

Select Office

Select Office

Select Office

Select Office

Select Office

Select Office

Select Office

Select Office

Select Office

Choose Files