Licence holders 18 years of age and older, with a valid licence from anywhere other than the EEA countries may legally drive in Spain for up to six months after first acquiring Spanish residency.
During that period it is essential that an official translation or an International Drivers Permit (IDP) accompany any foreign licence that is not in Spanish.
After six months the foreign licence is no longer valid. Exchange agreements exist between Spain and some countries which allow the licence holder to exchange their licence for an equivalent Spanish one. Spain has a special licence exchange agreement with Switzerland, South Korea, Japan and Andorra.
Licences issued in the following countries may also be exchanged by foreigners legally resident in Spain: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, the Dominican Republic Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Macedonia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Paraguay, Peru, Serbia, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Any person with a licence from any other country will need to take the full Spanish driving test.
Note: the list of countries sharing exchange agreements does change. It is recommended to confirm with the relevant nation's Consulate in Spain if an exchange agreement exists.
Application must be made at the Provincial Traffic Headquarters (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico).
The Provincial Traffic Headquarters may request verification from the country that issued the permit that it is real and valid.
Further information (in Spanish) is available from the Provincial Traffic Headquarters by telephone:
Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa are included in the list of countries where no agreement exists. Once the licence holder has legal residence in Spain they may drive for up to six months on their licence before taking a Spanish driving text.
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