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Driving License

Driving License

Old Jan 29th 2007, 6:00 pm
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Default Driving License

Last week I was stopped by the Police in Chiclana, they were checking everyones car papers. All our papers where fine, however, the Policeman said that my British (EU) license was not valid, as we were residents. I explained to him that it was a valid EU license, and he was incorrect. So he called his boss who said I was right. However, he said I had to go to the traffic department in Cadiz and get my license registered. Today I went to the traffic department, who informed me that it was not necessary to have this done, as the EU license was valid. So great, now we have the Police saying one thing and the traffic department saying another. Has anyone else been stopped recently, as this is a new EU law?
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

It is no longer necessary exchange your licence or to have your licence registered, the law changed quite recently.

It is still your right to have it endorsed or exchanged if you wish.

If you do neither there are complications about the validity of the licence after 5 years when you have to abide by the same rules as Spaniards with regard to medical certificates and frequency of renewal.

Your experience highlights some of the problems. Unfortunately, like it or not, the green guys who stop you late at night will interpret the rules to suit themselves and they are the guys who issue the fine (and perhaps take the opportunity to inspect your car and your breath sample).

If you are a resident the best option is to exchange your licence for a Spanish one. Unfair though it might seem, it makes for an easier life.
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by Barrosa Brit View Post
Last week I was stopped by the Police in Chiclana, they were checking everyones car papers. All our papers where fine, however, the Policeman said that my British (EU) license was not valid, as we were residents. I explained to him that it was a valid EU license, and he was incorrect. So he called his boss who said I was right. However, he said I had to go to the traffic department in Cadiz and get my license registered. Today I went to the traffic department, who informed me that it was not necessary to have this done, as the EU license was valid. So great, now we have the Police saying one thing and the traffic department saying another. Has anyone else been stopped recently, as this is a new EU law?
On 23rd of March the member states of the European Union finally agreed on the 3rd Driving Licence Directive, HERE click on the link in The Euro Licence finally.

Last edited by jdr; Jan 29th 2007 at 6:28 pm.
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by jdr View Post
On 23rd of March the member states of the European Union finally agreed on the 3rd Driving Licence Directive, HERE click on the link in The Euro Licence finally.

Link doesn't work
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

Thanks Fred. I agree with what you say, and feel the same in a way. However, if we don't insist on the law being upheld then it just goes along with all the other thing "that just are a way of life" in this lovely place we live. I appreciate that the policeman took the effort to call and clarify the law. I actually told him it was on the British Embassy website and knew what I was talking about and he checked, couldn't ask for anymore. However, I don't want to be stopped at 1 in the morning anymore than being stopped in the UK, but if the authorthies understand that we know our rights and the EU laws then in the long run it will be better for all of us, or we could just roll over and hand in our EU license and end up with a Spanish one!
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by Fortaleza View Post
Link doesn't work
Does now ;-) Its also in the links thread at the top of the page.

Last edited by jdr; Jan 29th 2007 at 6:33 pm.
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by jdr View Post
Does now ;-)
Ta!
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by Fortaleza View Post
Ta!
I try to use the link to the PDF file but it never works, I have to load the page first for some reason.
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by Barrosa Brit View Post
in the long run it will be better for all of us, or we could just roll over and hand in our EU license and end up with a Spanish one!
I am glad you feel the same way but you refer to an EU licence. Sorry to disillusion you but you do not have an EU licence - as yet there is no such thing.

What you have is a UK licence to the EU pattern - ie the vehicle groups and layout is harmonised but it is not an EU licence.

Until the new EU directive on creating a true EU licence is in place - and that may be years away - those of us who are residents in Spain will just have to conform to Spanish laws (or the Guardia's interpretation of them) regarding our licences.

I don't like it any more than anyone else but I prefer an easy life - particularly at 2am in the morning!
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

My Spanish driving licence has got me out of trouble on a couple of occasions when I have been, shall we say, in a bit of a hurry especially when they see that it was first issued in 1985.
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Old Jan 29th 2007, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by Fred James View Post
I am glad you feel the same way but you refer to an EU licence. Sorry to disillusion you but you do not have an EU licence - as yet there is no such thing.

What you have is a UK licence to the EU pattern - ie the vehicle groups and layout is harmonised but it is not an EU licence.

Until the new EU directive on creating a true EU licence is in place - and that may be years away - those of us who are residents in Spain will just have to conform to Spanish laws (or the Guardia's interpretation of them) regarding our licences.

I don't like it any more than anyone else but I prefer an easy life - particularly at 2am in the morning!
Two quotes from the Euro licence directive, You may be wrong about the licence.

"The only European driving licence model
to be issued shall be a plastic “credit” card type,
already used in most EU countries, which allows for
greater protection against forgery. Current paper driving
licences will stop being issued from the entry into force of
the new legislation".

"The main principle will be that all licences issued as of
the date of application of the new Directive will
remain valid as stipulated on the driving licence.
Before expiry, the holder will have to renew the
driving licence in his country of residence."
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Old Jan 30th 2007, 6:35 am
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by jdr View Post
Two quotes from the Euro licence directive, You may be wrong about the licence.

You are talking about the "proposed" new EU licence, which, when the Directive is eventually implemented, will solve all these problems.

However the EU wheels move slowly and it is unlikely to happen in reality for some time - possibly some years yet.

I was referring to the current situation regarding UK licences which unfortunately confuse some into believing that they are EU liceneces just because they have the EU ring of stars on them.
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Old Jan 30th 2007, 7:09 am
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by Fred James View Post
You are talking about the "proposed" new EU licence, which, when the Directive is eventually implemented, will solve all these problems.

However the EU wheels move slowly and it is unlikely to happen in reality for some time - possibly some years yet.

I was referring to the current situation regarding UK licences which unfortunately confuse some into believing that they are EU liceneces just because they have the EU ring of stars on them.
In the first quote it says "plastic “credit” card type, already used in most EU countries"
In the second it says "will remain valid as stipulated on the driving licence"

So it seems that the UK one is one of the type used in most EU countries, and will remain valid until it runs out, then will have to be renewed in the country of residence, and the Spanish ones will have to change to conform.
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Old Jan 30th 2007, 7:26 am
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Default Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by jdr View Post
In the first quote it says "plastic “credit” card type, already used in most EU countries"
In the second it says "will remain valid as stipulated on the driving licence"

So it seems that the UK one is one of the type used in most EU countries, and will remain valid until it runs out, then will have to be renewed in the country of residence, and the Spanish ones will have to change to conform.
Spanish licences are now plastic photocard ones - I have had mine for some time.

Yes, it does say that the new EU licence will stay valid until its expiry but that is the whole point - a current UK licence used in Spain may not be valid after 5 years depending on the age of the driver - thats why they are going to change the rules.

The link you gave to the new Directive makes the following point which I think explains the current problem very clearly. It says:-

Current obstacles to the freedom of drivers’ movements

At present, the principle of mutual recognition of licences issued in a Member State is obstructed by national provisions on the validity of licences and medical examinations.

An EU citizen who moves to another Member State may have to undergo a medical examination or find that his licence expires at a different time from the one noted on the licence.

At present, almost all Member States have different regimes regarding medical
examinations and the period of validity of licences. This means that virtually no citizen who takes up normal residence in another Member State knows when his or her driving licence will expire because of differing validity periods, or knows when he or she has to undergo a medical check prescribed by that country’s legislation.

In some Member States, certain categories of licences are issued for life; in others, licences have to be renewed at regular intervals or from a certain age. Where, for instance, a German licence holder moves to The Netherlands, he will have a document indicating that the licence is valid for life. The Netherlands will apply its egislation on validity periods and oblige the German licence holder to exchange his licence after a period of 10 years. Or if, for example, a Swedish licence holder goes to live in Spain to enjoy some of his years as a pensioner, then he will be confronted with the Spanish legislation
requiring regular medical checks and licence renewals, instead of the purely administrative renewal every 10 years in Sweden. This situation creates legal uncertainty and a lack of transparency. This has been expressed by
complaints received by the Commission from hundreds of citizens.
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Old Jan 30th 2007, 9:41 am
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Post Re: Driving License

Originally Posted by Barrosa Brit View Post
Last week I was stopped by the Police in Chiclana, they were checking everyones car papers. All our papers where fine, however, the Policeman said that my British (EU) license was not valid, as we were residents. I explained to him that it was a valid EU license, and he was incorrect. So he called his boss who said I was right. However, he said I had to go to the traffic department in Cadiz and get my license registered. Today I went to the traffic department, who informed me that it was not necessary to have this done, as the EU license was valid. So great, now we have the Police saying one thing and the traffic department saying another. Has anyone else been stopped recently, as this is a new EU law?

Was there not another thread about this subject recently? We can't find it now.

But to answer your question the head honcho was correct.
Here is an official EU web site. it deals with all aspects of moving around the EU. There are several pull down menus. On the top menu is a link to driving licences. This clearly states you do not have to change your licence. All you have to do is register their details. It seems you still have to abide by the Spanish health tests.

http://ec.europa.eu/eures/main.jsp?catId=1643&acro=living〈=en&parentId=155 3&countryId=ES&living

At the top of the page you can change the language. So may be you should change it to Spanish and print it out for the local office bods.

Last edited by Casa Santo Estevo; Jan 30th 2007 at 9:42 am. Reason: that should be a t not an r!!!
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