Hugh Elliott: Sticking points in UK-Spain driving licence agreement are resolved
The British ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, has announced that an agreement has been reached on the two points that were holding up the bilateral deal that will allow residents in Spain, including the Canary Islands, to exchange their UK driving licences for Spanish ones without having to take a driving test.
Since May this year thousands of residents in Spain, including British ex-pats who didn’t, or were unable to, swap to a Spanish licence before Brexit, or who came later and have been living in Spain for more than six months, were forced to stop driving.
After the UK left the EU, a bilateral agreement between the two countries was necessary to allow an exchange of driving licences for residents, who have had to take a Spanish driving test to obtain a Spanish licence.
"We have made a significant step forward, said the ambassador in the video posted on the Brits in Spain Facebook page, explaining that the two "outstanding, complex issues" that had been holding up the deal have been resolved.
Elliott went on to explain, however, that there are still numerous steps the process has to go through before UK licence holders can get back on the roads, including "securing ministerial approval on both sides and the necessary treaty processes and formal exchanges", adding that he was unable to say how many weeks that process will take.
Once the agreement has been published in the BOE, the official state gazette, residents will have six months to exchange their licences. "During that time, valid UK licence holders will be able to drive in Spain," he clarified.
"I hope that this latest news brings you some reassurance and helps you consider your next steps," Elliott added.
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