Spain agrees licence deal for Gib and UK drivers
Local driving licences will continue to be recognised in Spain without the need of an additional International Driving Permits regardless of Gibraltar’s Brexit outcome, under a new agreement announced by Spain yesterday.
For Gibraltarians resident in Spain, the agreement will also ensure that the reciprocal conditions that apply to UK licences will apply to Gibraltar licences as well.
The agreement also allows for the reciprocal exchange of vehicle and driver information in relation to suspected traffic offences in Gibraltar, Spain or the UK.
The Gibraltar Government said it welcomed the decision made by the Spanish Government’s Council of Ministers to authorise the formal, legally binding Agreement providing for the reciprocal recognition and exchange of UK and Gibraltar driving licences in Spain.
“The Agreement will apply from the day after a formal exchange of notes is completed,” a spokesperson for No.6 Convent Place said in a technical notice issued.
“As a result, and regardless of the outcome of ongoing negotiations concerning Gibraltar’s relationship with the EU, Gibraltar driving licences of visitors to Spain will continue to be recognised in Spain, without the need for Gibraltar driving licences to be accompanied by International Driving Permits.”
“For those holders of Gibraltar driving licences resident in Spain, Gibraltar driving licences may be exchanged without the need to take a practical or theory test in Spain.”
“Gibraltar licence holders resident in Spain will have their licences recognised in Spain for six months, either from the date this Agreement begins to apply if you are already resident in Spain, or if you move to Spain after this date, from the date you obtain residence.”
Reciprocal treatment will be provided with respect to Spanish driving licence holders visiting Gibraltar and residing in Gibraltar as has been the case to date, the Government said.
For Gibraltar driving licence holders resident in Spain, the six-month period allows time for them to complete exchange formalities. The same applies to drivers with UK licences.
“Should you not exchange your Gibraltar driving licence for a Spanish one within this timeframe, you will still be able to exchange your Gibraltar driving licence for a Spanish one, but your Gibraltar driving licence will not be recognised for driving in Spain after these six months while you await exchange,” the government said.
“You will need a certificate showing you have passed the psicotecnico test [a short test to check eyesight and reactions] in order to exchange your licence.”
“For further information on the process for exchanging Gibraltar driving licences for Spanish ones, residents of Spain should follow the advice of the UK Government, the Spanish Government’s Dirección General de Trafico [as published on their respective websites] as well as the information published on the British Embassy in Madrid’s Facebook page.”
“The public should note that in relation to this Agreement, advice published with respect to UK driving licences applies equally to Gibraltar driving licences.”
The agreement also covered data sharing with Spain in relation to road safety related traffic offences.
“The arrangements on the recognition and exchange of driving licences are also accompanied by legal mechanisms that allow for the reciprocal exchange of vehicle and vehicle keeper data related to vehicles involved in suspected road safety related offences committed in Spain, the UK and Gibraltar,” the Government spokesman said.
“These arrangements re-establish with Spain similar arrangements to those which previously existed whilst the UK and Gibraltar were part of the EU.”
“Therefore, as from the application of the Agreement, respective authorities may retain information related to vehicles involved in suspected road safety related offences and may be able to submit requests for data once a system providing for the automatic transfer of such information is in place.”
“This is expected to be within four months of the application of the Agreement.”
“To avoid being fined, and, more importantly, for safety and accident prevention purposes, motorists are always advised to exercise caution when driving in Spain and respect the rules of the road as they apply in Spain,” the Government added.