THE British Embassy in Madrid has requested yet another extension to the deadline on the validity of British driving licences for expats in Spain insisting that negotiations for a permanent solution are still ongoing.
The British Embassy in Madrid posted on its Brits in Spain page on Facebook, to say it recognises the anxiety the situation is causing.
“Firstly, we want to recognise the anxiety this is causing those of you who hadn’t already exchanged your UK licence for a Spanish one (or registered your intent to do so) before 30 December 2020 or who have arrived in Spain since then,” the post published on April 13 said.
“We have asked Spain for an extension that will give us enough time to reach a final agreement and avoid a further cliff edge in the future,” the post said.
However, it warned that there is no guarantee of a successful resolution and warned those British residents in Spain who rely on driving and haven’t yet got a licence to prepare for the worst case scenario, which means taking the Spanish driving test.
“What we cannot do is guarantee when or whether an agreement will be reached. Therefore, if it is essential for you to drive, you may not want to wait for the outcome of the ongoing negotiations and you may decide to apply for a Spanish driving licence now. This involves taking both a practical and theory test,” it says
It is hoped that the future agreement will cover those newly arrived in Spain and those who were not able to register their intent to swap their licence for a Spanish one before December 30, 2020.
The process was beset by problems with scarce appointments and complications caused by the pandemic leaving many Brits resident in Spain fearful that they would have to take the Spanish test in order to drive legally here.
Since March 2021, UK Foreign Office authorities have insisted that they were working towards such a deal, and they have managed to extent the initial deadline from June 30 until October 31 and again to December 31, then February 28, and then April 30.
Now, British authorities hope to extend it once again.
Brits in Spain emphasizes that this only applies to UK nationals who are living in Spain. Visitors can continue to use their UK licence to drive in Spain without the need for an International Driving Permit.
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