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Go Back   Pollensa Forum > LIVING & WORKING IN POLLENSA > Living & Working in the Pollensa Area

Living & Working in the Pollensa Area This forum is for any comments, questions and advice about living (permanently or temporarily) and working in the Pollensa area. Aimed at ex-pats, property owners etc.

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Old 27-07-2005, 02:10
Roy and Katie
Posts: n/a
Default Driving licence

Does anyone know the situation regarding using a British driving licence when driving a Spanish car which is not a rental car? There seems to be some confusion.

There is no problem using a British licence when driving a rental car, but if you own a car and are non-resident a UK licence is apparently not accepted by the police (even though it is a European one).

I believe that if you are resident then you can just swap your UK licence for a Spanish one, but that is no good if you need the UK one back in UK.

A driving licence issued by an EU country is valid in the UK until it's expiry date, but it doesn't seem to work the other way round.

I would be grateful for some advice.

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Old 27-07-2005, 06:27
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southsea Hants
Posts: 207

Many years ago when I took out my Spanish driving license I first contacted DVLA in UK and said I had lost my UK license & they promptly sent me a duplicate. I then applied for my Spanish license & handed over the copy!
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Old 27-07-2005, 22:08
Roy and Katie
Posts: n/a

Thanks Gina,

That's a bit naughty! (but understandable)

I had heard of this solution, but I was after a more legal solution. Please don't take offence, but as a JP this solution is not open to me.

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Old 28-07-2005, 01:22
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 708
Default Re:Driving Licence

Hi Roy.

Might you find some advice on the Dvla website?

Worth a try.
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Old 29-07-2005, 00:19
Roy and Katie
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re:Driving Licence

Good idea Portofan.

I tried them, but in theory a UK licence is valid in Spain, even if you own a car and are non-resident. I think it is a problem with the Spanish police, who don't recognise this.

More ideas/ experience anyone? Has anyone been stopped by the police and had a problem with a UK licence? ( Not asking anyone to divulge their indiscretions - you can be stopped for any number of innocent reasons).

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Old 29-07-2005, 01:10
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 708

Hi Roy

I too had a look at the Dvla website and also the AA. That only gave info re an International Driving Permit which a holidaymaker would use and not someone in your position. An IDP expires in a year anyway.

I also looked at www.race.es which is the Royal Automovil Club de Espana and could not get anything there even with the translation as there was no English section on it.if they had an office in Palma a visit might be productive.
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Old 29-07-2005, 06:14
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 191

My father who has lived here for 22 years did the same as Gina, my lawyer said when I came here 4 and half years ago and applied for my residencia that I did not now need to get a Spanish driving licence.

Two friends one Italian one English have been fined recently, around 200 euros for having residencia and no Spanish Driving licence.

Another friend with an Italian driving licence was stopped by the Guardia civil she had residencia no problem.

I just have my Uk licence and a copy of my passport to show if stopped, no idea of the position of a non-resident owning a Spanish car, it is such a grey area, even went to see another lawyer about it and she said you could get your Uk licence stamped by the traffica in Palma but not essential. Sorry but no Idea of the correct procedure,
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Old 30-07-2005, 19:16
Roy and Katie
Posts: n/a

Thanks for all your advice everyone. It does seem a grey area.

If someone was charged in the UK with " driving otherwise in accordance with a licence" it would normally attract a fine of 75 for a guilty plea or 110 for a no plea or found guilty all plus 3 points. However, a plea of not guilty on the basis that a EU licence was vaild would be successful. CPS would not normally prosecute in such circumstance, but sometimes mistakes are made.

So.... it ought to follow that if someone is stopped by the Spanish police then a not guilty plea ought to be successful if the person goes to court. This assumes that Spanish courts act in the same way as in the UK. I can easily imagine that if someone is stopped and pleads guilty by letter then that would be accepted by the court and the conviction made.

Don't treat this as gospel. I am only suggesting this as a JP with experience in UK courts.

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Old 02-08-2005, 04:47
frito's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Puerto Pollensa
Posts: 243

This is such a complicated area.

If you are permanently resident in Spain, technically, you can use your U.K. licence until it expires, but not all Spanish police understand this, hence the fines.
You can do something to stop being fined by having your U.K. licence registered (stamped) by the Traffico in Palma. I suppose the police who stop you would recognise the stamp of their own department?
If you are permanently resident in Spain, and don't have a U.K. base, you can exchange your U.K. licence at the Traffico, having filled in the appropriate form, and presented

your residencia
your passport and copy
Cert. of Empadronment and copy
Your U.K. licence and copy
Money, cost of exchange

If this works, you get a document to say you have applied for your Spanish licence (in case you get stopped) and you wait about 3 months for it to arrive.

I hope this is useful to someone!


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