Although changes to EU regulations (January 2013) relating to the standardisation of driving licences are in force, Spain now requires all foreign residents with licences valid for more than 15 years to convert to a Spanish driving licence or risk a €200 fine from August 2016.
If you are a foreign resident living in Spain and holder of the green Residence Card or Certificate, you are advised to change your driving licence for a Spanish one. This does not apply to non-resident visitors to Spain.
The Traffic Department will require the change of your foreign driving licence when your licence is:
- Valid for an indefinite time.
- Valid for more than 15 years or 5 years for big and special vehicles.
- Has expired or is 3 months from its expiry date.
This being Spain, of course, means there will be fees and taxes involved as well as the provision of much paperwork.
To renew your driving licence you don’t have to pass any driving exams, you just have to pass an eye and hearing test from an approved clinic. This medical test will cost approximately €30.
Changing your driving licence is carried out at the Málaga Traffic Department, in Calle Max Estrella, 12 (near the new Corte Inglés Bahia). Opening hours: Monday to Friday, from 8:30 to 14:30. Thursdays, also in the afternoon, from 15:30 to 17:30. In summer, from 16th June to 15th September, open only in the morning.
Apply for an appointment at the Traffic Department, by phone or by Internet giving your name and NIE number.
Phone number 060 and extension 0
Visit the website www.dgt.es, clicking on cita previa and after on tramites de conductores.
To avoid queuing and general hassle, the advice is to use the services of an Asesoria, or a Driving School to do this for you, especially if you do not speak Spanish. This will involve a fee to the Asesor or Driving School.
Documents to present at the Traffic Department in Malaga:
Downloadable from dgt.es by clicking on: tramites y multas and after, click on renovación or canje.
If your residence card is over 2 years, download the form Solicitud renovación permiso de conducción comunitario.
If your residence card is less than 2 years, download the form Solicitud canje permiso de conducción.
Green Residence Card or Certificate (original and copy).
Passport or Identity Card (original and copy).
Your foreign driving licence (original and copy). The plastic licence and the paper part if it has one. The Traffic Department will keep this licence.
1 colour photo.
A medical certificate from an approved clinic.
A Padròn document from the Nerja Town Hall reception on the ground floor. Open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 14:00. July and August up to 13:30. Ask for a volante and give your name or NIE number.
Sign a form called Talon Foto, which is only available at the Traffic Office.
Pay approximately €28 for Traffic fees. It is apparently easier to pay with a credit card. Pensioners also have to pay this tax.
You will be given a provisional licence on the same day and in about one month you will receive your new Spanish driving licence by regular post.
In 2016 the Traffic Police can start fining you €200 if you haven’t changed your foreign driving licence.