Driving Licences - Some notable changes to your licence in Spain

Emma Swain from Motorworld Las Chafiras

In July 2019 there was a change in CATEGORY B (Private Car) Licence holder's entitlement to drive in Spain: the change meant that anyone holding a Category 'B' Licence would be able - if they wish - to legally drive more types of vehicle than previously.

Over many months the DGT (Tráfico) had been working on various modifications and improvements to the driving licence system in Spain. Please note that this is a Spanish Law, NOT a UK, or European one.

The idea is that the new law will permit changes to road training and the examinations taken in order to obtain a licence. It also allows car drivers the opportunity to extend the types of vehicles they may drive. Of course, it will not be obligatory for a holder of a Category B licence to drive anything else if he or she does not wish to, but the option will be there.

Whilst some people will not necessarily agree with these changes, they are as follows:

Drivers with a Category B licence and two years' driving experience are now authorised to drive SOME 'Goods' vehicles (those generally with a Gross Weight 3,500kg and 42,510kg. The 2019 Law change allows a Category 'B' Licence Holder to drive a 'Goods' vehicle with a Gross Weight no greater than 3,500kg. In these cases, the driver must have 3 years' driving experience and the vehicle to be driven to be a mini-bus (max 9 persons including the driver), or a 'transit-type' vehicle (Ford transit, Hyundai H1 etc)

This is not the first time that Category B licence holder legislation has been changed. From October 2004, every such Licence-holder can ride a 125cc motorcycle, provided it does not have a sidecar and does not exceed 11kw power output. Here again, the holder of such a Licence will have had three years' driving experience when applying for the Licence without requiring further paperwork.

Other changes relate to Age Limits on certain Licences:

Dependent of the type of vehicle and its use, the age limit to obtain a category C,D,D1; C+E, D+E and D1+E will be reduced ONCE the Applicant obtains a Certificate of Aptitude Professional (CAP)

In addition, those wishing Licences C, C1, D, and D1(for trucks and buses) or combined B+E, C+E, C1+E, D+E or D1+E(articulated lorry) should be able to benefit from a reduction in the minimum training schedule on the risk factors associated with the type of vehicle that will be examined, so long as they then satisfy the test requirements.

IMPORTANT: We would remind all UK citizens resident in Spain and still holding a current UK Driver's Licence that they should start the exchange process without delay and not to leave it until the last minute. At the present time, after 31/12/2020 a UK Licence will not be valid in Spain unless an agreement is reached during the Brexit negotiations.