CAB Spain Suggests that Lost/Stolen U.K. Driving Licences Should Be Exchanged.
The DGT need a physical licence. The DGT have been advised to and are accepting licenses renewed in the UK before the date that the agreement came into force whilst resident here.
Basically we could say that there really is no difference in asking the DVLA for a duplicate. (Problem could occur if duplicate has new date of issue but that is not mentioned in the agreement). If the lost/stolen licence was issued before the agreement date, then said licence was in force and valid.
Some have managed to exchange a duplicate so worth trying. CAB suggests the agreement allows for this as long as the original was issued before March 16, 2023. The agreement mentions issued only. No mention of renewal either. Please note that expired licences are also mentioned as exchangeable. Stolen/lost/damaged licences are not mentioned.
It is important to read and understand what is written in the Nota Verbal published by Spain.
“The Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom hereinafter, “the Parties”, mutually recognise national driving licenses issued by the competent authorities of the Parties to those who have legal residence in Spain or to those who have habitual and legal residence in United Kingdom, provided they are valid and in accordance with the terms of this Agreement
The holder of a driving license issued in the United Kingdom who has his legal residence in Spain, in accordance with the internal procedures of each Party where he has established his residence, will obtain, upon request, through exchange, an equivalent driving license where he has established his residence. The exchange of the license will be carried out in accordance with the tables of equivalence between the categories of United Kingdom and Spain listed in Annex I. The exchange under this article will not be subject to any additional requirement of practical or theoretical test . All valid current resident permits or licenses issued prior to the entry into force of this Agreement may be redeemed; for those issued after said entry into force. It will be an essential requirement, to access the exchange, that the permits have been issued in the part where the applicant had his legal residence. Any exchange of driving licenses will be subject to the limitation codes indicated in the permit presented for its exchange or for another reason applicable to it, if applicable in the Party in which it is exchanged.
b) To make the exchange, the permit must be valid and in force. Expired permits will be accepted as long as they were in force at the time of entry into the part where the exchange is made.
7. a) As a prerequisite for the exchange, in order to verify the authenticity of the driving license, each competent authority may request the relevant information from the other competent authority. Such information will be provided within 30 business days.
b) The validity of a driving license may be verified by:
For UK permits by an online verification service with the UK Competent Authority for redemption via a ‘verification code’ provided by the permit holder;
c) Both Parties, by mutual agreement, may also establish specific communication channels for those cases in which the systems established in article 7 a) and b) leave doubts about the validity of a driver’s license presented for exchange.
What the Spanish government has published in relation to lost/stolen EU driving licences.
Please understand that many were not able to exchange their licences before the end of the transition period though attempted to. Some received their TIE after that period so could not make the exchange.
Suggest that those pointing fingers at UK licence holders should take into account that the inadequacies is with the British government who did not cover all eventualities in the drafting of the Withdrawal Agreement. (Also the Spanish government who chose article 18.4 which stated that UK nationals would not have to change their residency status therefore making the UK/EU licences subject to the normal exchange method) The driving licence matter is not the only issue in the WA.