British immigrants living in Spain are no longer allowed to drive

In the absence of a post-Brexit agreement between London and Madrid on the mutual recognition of driving licences, British expatriates who have been in Spain for more than six months do not have a driver’s licence. A “temporary” status, promises the UK Foreign Office.

From 1 May, British immigrants living on the other side of the Pyrenees are no longer allowed to drive on Spanish roads. In question, London and Madrid’s failure to find a post-Brexit agreement on the mutual recognition of driving licenses, reports Bloomberg.

By extension, British citizens who have been living in Spain for more than six months can no longer use their licenses issued in the United Kingdom. Unless an agreement is reached, they have no choice but to retake the exam to obtain a Spanish license. However, British tourists are not affected and will continue to roam freely on the peninsula’s streets.

Through social networks or media across the channel, many British citizens living in Spain have expressed their anger at the situation: “Getting a Spanish driver’s license doesn’t happen overnight”, explains daily mail Maria, expatriate living in Cordoba. If she registered to take the test in Spain in February as advised by the embassy, ​​she denounces the slow pace of the process, citing long “delays” and the lack of “availability” of driving schools there. ,

a “temporary” position

In an effort to reassure thousands of citizens concerned, the British Foreign Office said it was pressing the Spanish authorities to “accelerate talks”. “We are committed to reaching an agreement. The UK already has similar agreements with 24 other EU countries,” he said.

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However, a source close to the British government acknowledged that the situation could last “for a week or so”. “It must be temporary, but we don’t know how temporary,” he told Bloomberg.

British citizens living in France have nothing to worry about. France and the United Kingdom entered into an agreement in June 2021 to mutually recognize driving licenses issued in each of the two countries. Thus, people holding a British driving license issued before January 1, 2021 can continue to drive in France.

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