Brexit no Deal? Advisory Procedure on Residency and Driving Licence

The British government are sending out hundreds of emails for the various sections on a no deal scenario. This in reference to Residency and Driving Licences. Though we echo what the UK government are saying about the intention of reaching an agreement but are preparing in the case that no deal is reached. We have already made suggestions on residency and UK/EU driving licences but we reiterate.


1.Those who have not taken out residency and are residing in Spain as their habitual home, should consider doing so. Please register on the padron at your earliest convenience and proceed from there.

2. Those who have automatically acquired permanent residency (five years of registered residency) should consider updating their residency certificates if these do not yet include that you are permanent residents. Residency should be taken from the date you resided in Spain and not only by your date of registration. Please do not expect the administrative offices to adhere to the latter. The permanent status will assist as some of the civil servants are not aware of the residency laws considering that the EU registration certificates expire after five years.

Some residents due to their status, may be entitled to permanent residency earlier. Details below.

3. Registered residents who are not on the padron, should register immediately as it is an obligation.

4. Lost, disfigured or stolen residency certificates should be renewed.

5. An expired older photo card version of the residency card will not be renewed as a rule. Received notification recently that a couple did manage to renew their long expired photo cards. Not obligatory for the foreigners office to do this but worth a try.

UK Driving Licence:

1. Changing a UK licence may not be necessary for some who have not completed two years of residency. We do now advise that these are changed for a Spanish permit soonest if you intend to continue to reside here post Brexit. Brexit Protocol in place since October 2019.  No deal will not ensure any agreements between Spain and UK. Third-country nationals with no agreement between countries, have to sit a test to avail of a Spanish licence.

2. Even if an agreement is reached, the end of the transition period will be December 2020 when renewal or changing of UK licence is not clear.

3. Driving licences renewed in the UK whilst resident in Spain, will not be valid. EU have asked EU members states to be lenient in these cases. There is no guarantee the DGT will change your permit, even less so once the UK has left the EU.

Spanish Driving Licence and moving (back) to the UK:

The UK Govt has declared that they will continue to exchange licences obtained in the EU or EEA.

Likewise, if you originally obtained your licence in the UK, renewed it for a Spanish one while resident here, and move back, you will be able to re-exchange for a UK licence if they return to live in the UK.

Am I a Permanent Resident?



Changing Driving Licence


Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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