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Driving in Spain

 

Driving licences from any EU country are automatically valid in Spain, but need to have an inscription added. Take your licence, signed application form, residence card and fee (about 48 Euro) to the nearest 'Jefatura Provincial de Trafico'. The licence is sent away for processing, which takes up to 3 months.

Licence holders from other countries can use their own licence for 6 months, but must then obtain a Spanish licence.

Obtaining a Spanish licence - driving schools handle the paperwork once you have passed the required test. To apply for the test, take a completed application form, copy of your residence card, 2 passport photos, a medical certificate from an official medical centre (costs about 25 Euro) and the fee for the test (about 165 Euro) to your nearest 'Jefatura Provincial de Trafico' If you bring your own car to Spain, by law you must change the number (licence) plates to Spanish plates after 6 months. Foreign cars may be driven in Spain provided they are roadworthy in your home country.

Foreign EU licences are legal now on their own. If an EU one with the "ring of stars" on it, no other paperwork needs to be done, but if living here, you need the periodical medicals. If earlier (UK, pre 1990), then an official translation is required. Only vocational licence holders need to have their licences registered at Trafico (the Govt. dept handling all motoring matters). "Vocationals" are bus drivers, HGV drivers, etc. Bring your own car to stay here officially, you have 30 days from applying for residencia (main place of residence is Spain) or if working legally for a company here which has the same effect, and if you delay it you could be charged import duty as a Spanish resident importing a foreign (EU) vehicle. Does not apply to mopeds, scooters up to 49 cc. Beware of most RH drive commercial vehicles not being able to go onto Spanish plates. If not staying in Spain as your main place of residence, make sure you can prove you are storing your car for the 6 plus months (183 days plus) each calendar year when you are not here.

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