The minimum age for driving a car in Spain is 18. A 17-year-old with a valid licence from another country is not allowed to drive in Spain.
If you are resident in Spain and from an EU or EEC country, it is not obligatory to exchange your licence for a a Spanish licence. However, you can choose to do so, if you wish. You do need to register with the Spanish traffic authorities and undergo a simple medical examination. Contact the Jefatura Provincial de Trafico (see end of article) for more information on this.
Countries that allow licence exchangeThere are a number of non-EU countries that allow a direct licence exchangem or "canje" in Spanish. Check here for the list of countries. You are allowed to drive on your home country licence for up to six months after becoming a resident. After that time, it is no longer legal to do so and you need to exchange your licence for a Spanish licence. In this case you should arrange a meeting (cita previa) at the Jefatura de Trafico in Barcelona by calling 060. You'll need the following documentation:
- Application form (click here and scroll down the page to find link to this form)
- DNI or passport
- Residency document (for non EU citizens)
- A certificate of psychophysical aptitude issued by a recognised centre. There are a number of these centres located near the Jefatura de Trafico building (known as La Campana), which is situated on Gran Via 184.
- Driver licence from home country plus photocopy
- Photograph (size 32 x 26 mm)
- A written declaration that there is no legal reason that you may not drive.
- A written declaration that you do not own another licence (except for the one that you are exchanging).
Countries that don't allow licence exchange (including US, Australia)
If you are from a non-EU country that does not have an exchange agreement with Spain, you will have to take the Spanish driving examination in order to be able to drive legally in Spain.
Taking the Spanish driving test
Applicants for the Spanish driving licence must have residency in Spain.
A Spanish driving licence is valid for 10 years until the age of 65, then it must be renewed every five years.
You will need to go via a driving school, whether you are a total beginner or an experienced driver. The driving school will guide you through the entire process and deal with all the paperwork for you. Shop around as prices can vary substantially. Some schools offer fixed packages for theory and practical classes. This can be a good idea as the costs can quickly add up.
The Spanish driving test is made up of two parts: theory and practical. Until you have passed the theory test the school is unlikely to take you for practical classes.
The theory test is a multiple choice test of 40 questions. To pass, 36 must be answered correctly. The school that you go to will offer theory classes, designed to help you learn the information. The test is available in simplified Spanish and in English.
The practical test is taken in a vehicle with dual control. You will be accompanied by the examiner and your driving teacher. You may be able to find an examiner or teacher that speaks English or request a translator.
In addition to the driving school fees, there is a government fee of approximately 90 euros to take the tests. This entitles the applicant to have two attempts at each. If one of the tests is failed twice then the fees must be paid again.
Jefatura Provincial de Trafico: Gran Via 184
Tel: 060 (for general information) 902 300 175/ 932 986 539