With many British citizens still living in Spain and worried about not having a Spanish driving licence as the deadline for getting one arrives in two days, the latest news will be a welcome relief.
That’s because it has just been confirmed the grace period for Brits in Spain to obtain a Spanish driving license has been extended.
To the end of February, 2022.
Why has an extension to obtain a Spanish driving licence been approved by the Spanish government?
Primarily because the British government has been in talks with them for quite a while now, trying to persuade them to allow Brits living in Spain to simply exchange their British driving licence for a Spanish licence.
Without having to take a Spanish driving test, that is.
As an agreement has not yet been reached, however, (and, as we do, you may wonder what is taking them so long?), a two month extension before Brits living in Spain are mandated to get a Spanish driving licence has been pushed through.
Be aware, though, that deadline is still only just over eight weeks away, which is why the British Embassy is encouraging Brits to apply for a Spanish drivers licence now.
Even if it means taking a driving test.
After all, once the deadline arrives and you have not yet exchanged your license for a Spanish licence, and a straight exchange has not been agreed upon by the British and Spanish governments, if you drive in Spain, you will be driving illegally.
As a legal resident of Spain, you will also not be allowed to drive in the country on an International Driving Permit (IDP). If you attempt to do so, and are caught, you will be fined.
This, of course, does not apply to any Brit holidaying in Spain, or arriving in the country for short visits, as they will still be allowed to drive on their British driving licence as usual.
Brits on short trips to Spain also do not need an IDP, as long as they are carrying a photocard driving license, and not one of the older no-photo cards.
The extended deadline only applies to those Brits who were legally registered as residing in Spain by 31st December, 2020.
Those Brits who arrived in Spain after that date had six months from their registration date to obtain a Spanish driving licence.
For more information on obtaining a Spanish driving licence, the excellent website Visit Andalucia explains everything you will need to know in detail.