How to validate your foreign driving license

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cheerful happy young woman in car showing new driving license

If you are a foreigner and want to drive in Spain, there are some requirements you have to meet depending on your country of origin. What procedures are necessary? How can each country validate the driving licence?

One of the main questions a foreigner has when first arriving to another country is: Will I be able to drive? The answer will depend on the foreigner being a resident in Spain or not. If they already have a residence in Spain, it will depend on the time they have had it and the country of origin.

Foreigners with less than 6 months and tourists:

You can always drive if you have an international driving licence. National driving licences are valid if they have been issued according to the Annex 9 of the Geneva Convention or to the Annex 6 of the Vienna Convention.

Licences written in Spanish or those who have a sworn translation are also valid. Some countries have signed agreements with Spain and the country of issue.

Foreigners with 6 months or more:

Citizens from other countries that have spent more than 6 months in Spain or already have the Spanish residence must change their licence for a Spanish one:

Andorra, Argelia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, South Korea, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Philippines, Guatemala, Japan, Macedonia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Serbia, Switerzland, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

EU and European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) citizens will be able to drive with the original driving licence from their country. However, you should remember that, after 2 years of residence, you must renew your permit according to Spanish deadlines and procedures if your original driving licence is indefinite or has an expiration date over than 15 years.

The rest of foreigners will obtain their driving licence in Spain just like any other Spaniard, with a driving exam and taxes.

Countries with special agreements with Spain and validations:

Depending on the country of origin, driving licence validation would imply more or fewer procedures and different requirements.

Argelia: Validation of A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A driving test is necessary to validate C1E, C, CE, D and DE licences.

Argentina: Validation of A, B, BE and authorized BTP driving licences without a driving exam. A driving exam is necessary to validate C, CE, and D licences.

Brasil: Validation of A1, A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Bolivia: Validation and authorization BTP of A1, A, and B driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1E, C1, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Chile: Validation of A1, A, B, D1E and DE driving licences without a driving exam. A driving exam is necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, and D driving licences.

Colombia: Validation of A, B, BE driving licences and BTP authorization without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C, CE, and D driving licences.

Croatia: Validation of A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Ecuador: Validation of A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C, CE, and D driving licences.

El Salvador: Validation of A1, A and B driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Philipines: Validation of A1, A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Guatemala: Validation of A1, A and B driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving

licences.

Morocco: Validation of A1, A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and driving exam are necessary to validate C, CE, D and DE driving licences.

Paraguay: Validation of A1, A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and driving exam are necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Peru: Validation of A1, A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A driving exam is necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Dominican Republic: Validation of A1, A and B driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1, C, CE, D1, and D driving licences.

Serbia: Validation of A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C, CE, D and DE driving licences.

Turkey: Validation of A and B driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Ukraine: Validation of A1, A, B and BE driving licences without a driving exam. A driving exam is necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

Uruguay: Validation of A1, A, B and D1 driving licences without a driving exam. A theory test exam is necessary to validate the C1 driving licence, a theory test and a driving exam to validate C and CE driving licences and a driving exam to validate the D driving licence.

Venezuela: A and B driving licences need the BTP authorization in order to be validated without a driving exam. A theory test and a driving exam are necessary to validate C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE driving licences.

If you need more information about how to validate a foreign driving licence, register a Spanish plate or any other vehicle procedure, you can contact a Gestor Administrativo that will offer you professional help. Trust the GA.

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