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International Driving Permits not needed in Spain, Govt says

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

Gibraltar driving licence holders will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in Spain, the Government has announced today.

An IDP will be a requirement for local driving licence holders when driving in Croatia, France and Italy where a 1968 IDP will be required, and also Cyprus where a 1949 IDP is required.

No IDPs will be required in any other European countries, the Government has confirmed.

The change to licence requirements follows the end of the Brexit transition period, whereby the UK Government has been engaged in discussions with individual European countries with a view to coming to arrangements on the continued recognition of driving licences on a reciprocal basis.

“The end of the Transition Period brought about important changes,” the Government said.

The Government added regarding the permits required for driving in Croatia, Cyprus, France and Italy, the UK Government remains in discussions with these countries and further updates will be published as and when arrangements covering Gibraltar are made.

“In relation to Spain, it has now been established that motorists resident in Gibraltar who hold valid Gibraltar driving licenses will not be required to hold an IDP when driving in Spain as visitors,” the Government said.

“This is the case today and it will be the case after June 30, 2021.”

Residents in Spain who hold Gibraltar driving licences, the Government said, should take steps to exchange their driving licence for a Spanish one. 

They are advised to complete this step prior to July 1, 2021, this being the current date on which the window permitted to exchange your driving licence expires under the terms of the Spanish Real Decreto-ley of December 29, 2020.




The Government also said there is no requirement for drivers to change their vehicle’s number plate from an EU format to a non-EU format in order to drive their vehicle in Spain and the rest of Europe.

“On the other hand, and whilst this does not appear to have been the case to date, it is possible that, in future, the Spanish authorities may enforce requirements with respect to Gibraltar registered vehicles having to display GBZ stickers when being driven in Spain,” the Government said.

“The Government would therefore advise the public to err on the side of caution and display GBZ stickers on the back of their vehicles when driving in Spain.”

“The required formats for these stickers are as follows: The dimensions of the ellipse should be at least 240mm in width and 145mm in height.”

“The letters ‘GBZ’ should have a minimum height of 80mm and their strokes are required to have a width of 10mm.”

“The letters should be painted in black on a white ground of elliptical form with the major axis horizontal.”

“For motorcycles, the dimensions of the ellipse may be reduced to 175mm in width and 115 mm in height.”

“Stickers can be sought from any of the Post Office counters at 104 Main Street or from any other retailer provided they comply with the above described format.”

“Rules with respect to the displaying of stickers differ in other European countries. In particular, stickers are not required in all European countries.”

“However, since it is always the case that in order to drive a Gibraltar registered vehicle from Gibraltar to another European country by land you would need to transit Spain, drivers are advised to adhere to the rules applicable in Spain.”

Further information can be sought from the Gibraltar DVLD via email: or Tele: +350 20051603.

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