The Bulletin has been contacted by a number of British residents in Mallorca who have come up against this latest hitch and have said they are again feeling very frustrated and “saddened” by yet another complication which appears to have been overlooked.
The paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence was abolished in June 2015 but all paper licences issued prior to that, providing they have not expired, are still valid in the UK and overseas, the DVLA told the Bulletin.
In fact, the DVLA is well aware of this latest problem and has a special British government document which it is sending by email to British residents in Spain who are being refused a Spanish licence because the Spanish are refusing to accept the paper licence.
In the meantime, getting an appointment with the DGT Spanish traffic authorities is another nightmare, with many Britons forced to pay a gestor to secure one and also manage their paperwork.
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Has anyone had any trouble with the DGT, when trying to exchange an EXPIRED UK driving licence? I would be grateful to hear if anyone has. Under the terms of the Agreement between UK and Spain (16 March 2023), expired licences can be exchanged as long as they expired after residency was obtained. It appears that when the verification code is entered, because the licence has expired, no vehicles that are entitled to be driven are shown. Therefore DGT will not process exchange. Has anyone else had this trouble with the DGT?
I got mine exchanged in April no problems getting a cita in Seville about 2 weeks wait. Jeez, does this place go slow. You go to one desk then you have to be transferred to another only to be told that I needed to print out the DVLA paperwork. Had to wait another two weeks.
Of course the simple answer is, re join europe. Oh i would love to see the result of a referendum now the leavers can see what it has caused!!!
I started out on a 1970s green paper licence valued to 2031. Althpugh originals are still valid for term, the argument that an entitlement once given cannot be rescinded is rubbish because when I lost and replaced mine, the 10 year validity kicked in. The fact the DVLA hasn't moved with the times, to EU standards, even when a member, is on them, so maybe holders should have exchanged their licences before leaving the UK, or should return, get a UK address, and do it now, instead of complaining how countries they wish to live in run their affairs.
It was my understanding the UK paper licenses were not legal in Spain regardless. I seem to recall that it was over the validity period where EU licenses were only valid in Spain if they have a "similar" validity/expiry period. The UK paper licenses take you up to 70 years which does not have a Spanish equivalent. I wouldn't quote me on this as I don't remember the source of this, so can't even state if it even correct or not, but if it's correct then most likely it is the reason they're not being accepted by the DGT. Be very clear that what a policeman (local, state or guardia civil) would in the moment accept vs what the DGT recognises can be very different. No traffic authority is going to exchange a license they don't recognise as valid in their territory for one that is. That is, the DVLA wouldn't do it in the reverse if that were the case.