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/how is a driver's license replaced in spain? can foreigners replace their driver's license without taking the exam in spain?

How is a driver's license replaced in Spain? Can foreigners replace their driver's license without taking the exam in Spain?

When foreigners move to Spain, they think first of all about visas, documents for residence permits, housing and other issues. But the thought of a driver's license comes only on the territory of Spain, when there is a need to drive a car.

Is it necessary to change the old driving license of your native country to the Spanish one and how to do it? This question worries many migrants who have recently arrived in Spain. Today we will look into this issue in more detail and tell you about all the nuances of replacing a driver's license. Enjoy reading this article!


Is it necessary to change a driver's license to a Spanish one?

Two categories of people have the right to drive in Spain on the basis of their national driver's license:

  • Citizens of European Union countries. Eurozone citizens can drive in Spain on the basis of their license for six months. They can then undergo a medical examination and obtain a permit for another 10 years.

  • Nationals of countries with which Spain has signed a cooperation agreement. Almost all civilized countries in the world have signed documents with each other on mutual recognition of driving licenses. However, this allows you to travel on the basis of the license of your home country for no more than 6 months.

If you are a citizen of Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and other countries, you have 6 months to drive in Spain on the basis of your old driver's license. After the expiration of this period, you will have to replace your driver's license with a European one.


Are there penalties for driving without a Spanish driver license?

If in your case it has been more than 6 months since you obtained residency and you have not exchanged your old driver's license for a Spanish one, it is better not to be caught by the police. Such an offense can threaten you with a fine of 550 euros (you can get a 50% discount if you pay the fine in Spain within 20 days). It is also worth noting that if you are caught with such an offense again, the fine may increase or turn into a more serious punishment. So we do not recommend delaying the renewal of your license if you drive regularly.


Simplified license replacement program for Ukrainians

For Ukrainian citizens, the whole process of replacing the license with a Spanish one is much faster and easier. Here is how it looks in practice:

  • You need to make an appointment at the General Directorate of Traffic in Spain. You can do this online. On the official website you can make an appointment.

  • Then you need to prepare all the documents for replacing your driver's license. Take with you: passport, driver's license, document confirming your legal stay in the country, medical certificate and several photo cards.

  • Pay the fee. The amount varies from 28 to 94 euros and depends on the specific category of driver's license.

  • Get your driver's license. It is worth noting that the driver's license you will receive is valid for 10 years.

However, there is a nuance here too: Ukrainian driver's licenses can be exchanged without taking exams only for categories A1, A and B. If you plan to replace your license category C, C1, D, D1 – you will have to retake the exam to confirm your competence and skills. Citizens of other countries must obtain a driver's license in Spain under general conditions. What does it mean? You have to enroll in a driving school, study and pass theoretical and practical exams.


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