Important news for UK expats living in Spain who have retained their UK driving licence.
According to the EU Directive 2012/126 which comes into force on the 19th January 2013, British drivers resident in Spain will have to undergo a medical examination every 10 years if aged under 65 or every 5 years if aged over 65. The change is to standardise European countries for the holders of permanent driving licences and applies to all British drivers who have been living in Spain for 2 or more years.
You can keep your UK driving licence as there is still no requirement in Spain to change to a Spanish one, this new directive concerns the medical and penalty points system. It is however an offence if you fail to tell the DVLA that you are resident in Spain, you must be able to give a UK address as your permanent residence to retain or renew your licence, the photo expires every 10 years. According to article 12 of the directive, the normal residence is a place where a person usually lives for at least 185 days in each calendar year.
This may be the time to convert over to the Spanish system which can be completed at the time of taking your medical.
The Centros de Reconocimiento de Conductores for driver’s medicals in Lanzarote are situated at:
Address: Tagoror, 1 - 1º B (Arrecife) Tel: 928 805 472
Address: Ctra. de Los Mármoles, 5 - E (Arrecife) Tel: 928 806 298
Address: Carnicería, 4 (Arrecife) Tel: 928 811 664
The medical examination is a sight, hearing and co-ordination test which is carried out on a computer where you follow a curving road, if you go outside the lines on the road it beeps, this doesn’t mean you’ve failed though so keep going!
Once you’ve taken and passed your medical, you should visit the Tráfico office with a Spanish sized identity photo for them to enter you into their records, note you are then liable to renew your licence as if it was a Spanish one and have points deducted rather than added as is the Spanish system for any penalties awarded.
The Tráfico office is open from 09:00 to 14:00 and situated on the Ctra Mármoles 5, Arrecife, this is the same road as Ikea, the office is just before the roundabout opposite the petrol station. Tel: 928 817 600
Be warned, Tráfico can impose a fine of €200 for anyone found with a UK driving licence who has been living in Spain for more than 2 years and has not registered with their local office under this new directive.
More information: Government Advice UK Driving Licences