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UK Driving Licence in Tenerife

Updated: 03-05-2012 by

UK Driving Licence in Tenerife

There has been a bit of confusion about whether or not UK residents can drive in Tenerife if they only hold a paper licence. Spanish law does not require that anyone wishing to drive on the island has to have a new plastic licence. However drivers who do hold paper licences must have these 'inscripted'.

Anyone who relocates to the island permanently must inform the DVLA that they have done so because they are not allowed to register a British licence with a foreign address. Anyone who lives in Tenerife for longer than 6 months does have a choice of two things they have to do in order to remain legal both under Spanish law and British law.

What are these choices?

You can inscript your UK licence by advising the Spanish driving authorities of your permanent address on the island if you intend on living in Tenerife on a permanent basis or for longer than 6 months of the year. They will check with the DVLA, and this takes around 6 weeks to do. This is to make sure you have no points or have been banned from driving in the UK, if you have then your licence may not be inscripted. The Spanish driving authorites will then issue you with a print out on A5 paper that you have to keep with you UK licence.

The other option you have is to exchange your UK licence for a Spanish licence. However, confirmation from the DVLA still has to be issued stating you have a clean licence. You will then be issued with a temporary Spanish Licence. After a short time you will receive a new plastic licence through the post from the Spanish driving authorities.

Are there any conditions attached to holding a Spanish licence?

Yes, under Spanish law you will have to have medical examinations which involve driving fitness tests. These have to be taken at various intervals but this does depend on age.