Government says it welcomes the decision made by the Spanish Government’s Council of Ministers to authorise the formal, legally binding Agreement providing for the reciprocal recognition and exchange of UK and Gibraltar driving licences in Spain.
The Agreement will apply from the day after a formal exchange of notes is completed.
As a result, and regardless of the outcome of ongoing negotiations concerning Gibraltar’s relationship with the EU:
• Gibraltar driving licences of visitors to Spain will continue to be recognised in Spain, without the need for Gibraltar driving licences to be accompanied by International Driving Permits.
• For those holders of Gibraltar driving licences resident in Spain, Gibraltar driving licences may be exchanged without the need to take a practical or theory test in Spain.
• Gibraltar licence holders resident in Spain will have their licences recognised in Spain for 6 months, either from the date this Agreement begins to apply if you are already resident in Spain, or if you move to Spain after this date, from the date you obtain residence.
Naturally, reciprocal treatment will be provided with respect to Spanish driving licence holders visiting Gibraltar and residing in Gibraltar as has been the case to date.
Information relevant only to Gibraltar driving licence holders legally resident in Spain:
Gibraltar driving licence holders legally resident in Spain will again have their Gibraltar driving licences recognised in Spain for a period of 6 months (either from the date that these new arrangements begin to apply if you are already resident in Spain, or if you move to Spain after this date, for 6 months from the date you obtain your status as a legal resident of Spain). These 6 months will give those Gibraltar driving licence holders resident in Spain time to complete exchange formalities. Should you not exchange your Gibraltar driving licence for a Spanish one within this timeframe, you will still be able to exchange your Gibraltar driving licence for a Spanish one, but your Gibraltar driving licence will not be recognised for driving in Spain after these 6 months while you await exchange. You will need a certificate showing you have passed the psicotecnico test (a short test to check your eyesight and reactions) in order to exchange your licence. For further information on the process for exchanging Gibraltar driving licences for Spanish ones, residents of Spain should follow the advice of the UK Government, the Spanish Government’s Dirección General de Trafico (as published on their respective websites) as well as the information published on the British Embassy in Madrid’s Facebook page. The public should note that in relation to this Agreement, advice published with respect to UK driving licences applies equally to Gibraltar driving licences.
Data sharing with Spain in relation to road safety related traffic offences:
The arrangements on the recognition and exchange of driving licences are also accompanied by legal mechanisms that allow for the reciprocal exchange of vehicle and vehicle keeper data related to vehicles involved in suspected road safety related offences committed in Spain, the UK and Gibraltar. These arrangements re-establish with Spain similar arrangements to those which previously existed whilst the UK and Gibraltar were part of the EU.
Therefore, as from the application of the Agreement, respective authorities may retain information related to vehicles involved in suspected road safety related offences and may be able to submit requests for data once a system providing for the automatic transfer of such information is in place. This is expected to be within four months of the application of the Agreement.
To avoid being fined, and, more importantly, for safety and accident prevention purposes, motorists are always advised to exercise caution when driving in Spain and respect the rules of the road as they apply in Spain.