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Author Topic: New Driving licence rules for British ex Pat Residents  (Read 7017 times)

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Offline amibovvered

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An EU directive, 2012/126/EU, which comes into force on 19 January means that there will be changes to driving licence rules for some expatriate residents in Spain.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32006L0126:EN:HTML



The EU law is intended to “harmonise” licensing throughout Europe so that drivers from countries with permanently valid licences (e.g. France), or licences of very long validity (e.g. the UK), will have to comply with the same rules as residents of the countries in which they live, and which issue licences for set periods of time. These drivers will now have to take a medical test every ten years if under 65, or every 5 years if over 65. The rules will apply to all British drivers in Spain once they have been resident here for two years, and Trafico will impose a €200 fine on anyone who has failed to do so.

The medical tests are taken in specific centres known as centros de reconocimiento, ( link to list below 1 ) and comprise a  manual dexterity test (a hand-eye coordination test rather like a computer game) and an eye test. Providing the test is passed, Tráfico will register the licence holder in the Spanish drivers’ census: from that moment, drivers will have to renew their licences as the Spanish currently do; they will also be subject to Spain’s penalty points system.

It appears that British drivers will be able to keep their British licences, since the change relates specifically to medicals and the penalty system. Because drivers will be registered without a new computer-generated Spanish driving licence being issued, those attending the medical will therefore need to take a photograph for Trafico’s records.

Clearly, however, drivers have the option of not just taking the medical, but of changing their licence once and for all to a Spanish licence: the only reason many have not done so is because of the medical anyway, and it is important to note that failing to tell the DVLA that one is resident in Spain is an offence in the UK. Many (if now not all) of the centros de reconocimiento undertake all the paperwork necessary to make the change to a Spanish licence in addition to performing the medical.

http://www.dgt.es/portal/es/oficina_virtual/dir_telefonos/centros_rec_conductores.do?tit=%BFD%F3nde+se+puede+solicitar%3F&provincia=SANTA+CRUZ+DE+TENERIFE&poblacion=TENERIFE

So presumably now, if you get stopped by the police, and you have an unencrypted British licence AND are a resident (i.e. here for more than 183 days a year) and you have no medical certificate, you will be handed a fine for 200€. Nice one!

source: Janet Anscombe
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013 by amibovvered »

Offline Davymar

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Quote
So presumably now, if you get stopped by the police, and you have an unencrypted British licence AND are a resident (i.e. here for more than 83 days a year

I would be interested to know where you got the figure of 83 days from (link please) the figure for tax purposes is 182 days in any one year. you could be giving people a heart attack! :)

Offline amibovvered

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Quote
So presumably now, if you get stopped by the police, and you have an unencrypted British licence AND are a resident (i.e. here for more than 83 days a year

I would be interested to know where you got the figure of 83 days from (link please) the figure for tax purposes is 182 days in any one year. you could be giving people a heart attack! :)


Typo error now corrected and there's a defibrilator in Alcala Health Centre

grockle

I believe that here in the UK I can hang on to my green paper licence until 2015 now, by which time we should be out of the EU (???) and I might never have to bother with one of these plastic pink ones?

Don't we just love EU harmonisation? (Not)

Its a good job the buses are cheap in Tenerife :-)

Offline Tanemera

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See also the article in News in the Sun.....

http://newsinthesun.com/

Offline Jodie

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This is from Canarian weekly

Licence lies: Locals livid
Driving licences issued in the UK are still acceptable in Spain. They will not, we repeat, WILL NOT, need changing for a Spanish licence from tomorrow (Saturday).

You have again been misinformed by un-researched articles in print and online by other publications.

Urban myth, jungles drums, or bad reporting, call it what you will but the information circulating for a week has caused panic among the expatriate community. And it is wrong.

Worried residents have been contacting Canarian Weeklyasking us the real situation, as they have been concerned that they will not be able to drive their cars legally after 19th January.

Direccion General de Trafico told Canarian Weekly: “There is no imminent action needed by those holding a UK driving licence and living in Spain.”


Offline VictorM

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Ref post from Jodie: Canarian Weekly seems to have disappeared from Los Gigantes.  Used to be distributed but haven't seen it for months.

elvisfan

I am really confused by the various posts. What are the requirements if you  living here and driving with a UK license

Offline el presidente

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Janet Anscombe and News In The Sun have more or less the same story.
Then up pops Canarian Weekly with a different story!

Offline Dolly Diver

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All the misunderstandings about the recent changes in driving licence laws have been fully researched by Island Conections

Read the true facts http://www.islandconnections.eu/1000003/1000003/0/38821/canary-islands-article.html