Updated: Jan 5
One of the most pressing matters for UK Nationals living in Spain and particularly those who are in the process of applying for residency is how to exchange their UK driving licence for a Spanish one.
Up until very recently you needed to have secured residency in order to exchange licences this made the process virtually impossible for many individuals who were either awaiting decisions on their residency or who had not yet submitted their application. There was also the added problem of very few available appointments.
However common sense seems to have prevailed and you can now begin the process now before the end of the year and before you receive your TIE, because the DGT has put into place a new system which has already gone live on their website.
It is a two-step process;
First step is to make an application to the DGT before 30 December. You can do this via their website www.dgt.es (but only if you have a digital certificate) OR you may call 060. In some provinces it’s possible to download the form and take it to your local office, though as always it's worth ringing ahead to confirm this.
If you are uncertain about anything you can ask a representative (eg a gestor) to do this on your behalf.
Crucially for this part of the process you do not need to have your TIE, however you will need it when you attend your appointment to exchange licences which can be some months down the line.
Three days after submitting your application you can request an appointment with the DGT to do the exchange (we would recommend not making an appointment until your TIE is in your possession) , this should be booked on the DGT website.
YOU WILL need your NIE to make the application.