Bad news for British expatriates. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


The deadline for the latest extension for British residents to drive in Spain on their UK licences runs out at midnight tonight which means UK driving licences for British residents are no longer valid from tomorrow, Sunday.

But, it appears that this is not the end of the story. The British Embassy in Madrid has said that talks are being speeded up to find a solution.

The British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott, who will be in Mallorca next week, posted a last-minute announcement on Friday evening confirming the bad news for British driving licence holders living in Spain.

“We’re not there just yet. And we will not have reached an agreement in time for the end of the current grace period,” he said.

This means that if you have been resident in Spain for longer than six months, your UK-issued licence will no longer be valid to drive here from tomorrow, Sunday 1st May.

Driving without a valid licence is illegal in Spain, so if you are affected by this change and need to drive, you should not wait for the outcome of the negotiations and should take immediate steps to apply for a Spanish licence, as the British Government have been advising for some time now, which will involve taking both a theory and practical test.

This does not affect visiting motorists from the UK, i.e. holidaymakers, or UK licence holders who have recently moved to Spain. You have six months from the date you get your residence document to take a Spanish test. The official text on the British Government website confirms:

If you have a valid UK driving licence:
From 1st May 2022 if you were living in Spain before 1st January 2021, your valid UK driving licence will no longer be valid for driving in Spain.

If you moved to Spain after 1st January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence