Changing your driving license with a Spanish one

If you have obtained your NIE on a green card, you are now considered a resident and you are supposed to change your driving license. EU regulations impose period of about 6 month to 2 years, during which you can drive with a license from another EU country, after which you have to obtain a Spanish one.

However you don't have to wait that long - perform the change as soon as you have some time. The major benefit is that you can use your new Spanish license as an identification document whenever needed - when you go to your bank, government administration or any other institution that will ask you for picture ID and NIE.

The procedure

The procedure is quite simple, but might require substantial amount of time to be completed. When you first request the change to be made, the Spanish traffic authority will contact the authority that has issued your driving license to confirm its validity. Only after a positive answer from the issuing authority is received, the procedure will start. In case you have pressure caused by approaching expiry date or any other factors, please plan the change in advance and calculate at least one month for the transition.

You can perform the change in any DGT office. You are not limited only to the office serving the province/town where you live. If you need to quickly change your driving license, consider choosing a less loaded office. For example offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are really loaded due to the high number of residents they provide services to. But the office in Burgos is not that loaded - you can get an appointment from today for tomorrow.

You will be required to visit the DGT authority two times. Consider this if you are planning to go to an office that would require substantial traveling.

Start by making an appointment for Tramites de Oficina at the following link:

https://sedeapl.dgt.gob.es/WEB_NCIT_CONSULTA/solicitarCita.faces

The only required information that you are supposed to provide is your NIE number. You will need to enter it at the ticketing machine to get your number when you visit the office.

Documents

You need to fill-in and present a form for Tramites de Conductores which you can download at the following link:

https://sede.dgt.gob.es/Galerias/tramites-y-multas/modelos-solicitud/03/Mod.03-ES.pdf

Fill the document as much as you can -- mostly emphasize on your personal details and leave blank fields that you don't completely understand. The staff at DGT will assist you to add what is missing.

Your first visit at DGT

When you first visit DGT you will be required to identify yourself with ID card and NIE, present your original driving license and a completed form for Tramites de Conductores (see paragraph above). The staff at DGT will take a copy of your documents and keep the form, and will contact the issuing authority of your driving license to confirm its validity.

The confirmation process takes approximately 2 weeks. When DGT has the result, and assuming the result is positive, you will be called and assigned day and hour for your second visit.

Preparing additional documents

For your second visit at DGT and the real change of the driving license, you need to supply some more documents.

Medical check certificate

You need to present a medical check certificate, issued by an authorized center to confirm that you are physically (and more or less mentally) fit to drive a vehicle. This certificate can be obtained from any center, regardless of its location. You can find a list of authorized centers per city at the following link:

http://www.dgt.es/Galerias/seguridad-vial/centros-colaboradores/Listado-Centros-Reconocimiento-Conductores.pdf

Some centers might require an appointment, so before visiting it is better to call the center. The price of the medical certificate also might vary. Usually centers closer to DGT offices will charge you more. The price is about 30 EURO. The medical check-up takes about 30-40 minutes. You will have your eyes and ears checked, blood pressure measured and your reflexes will be tested.

It is also possible that the center make photos for you that you can use for your driving license.

Photo

In case you don't get photos together with your medical certificate, you can use any of the street photo taking machines and that would cost you about 5 EURO.

Second visit to DGT

When you go to DGT for the second time, you will present your medical certificate and photos. You will be charged processing fee of 23.18 EURO (as of 2018) which fee you can pay directly with debit/credit card, or you will need to go to a bank branch to pay in cash.

During your second visit DGT will seize your driving license and will give you a white A4 paper which is your temporary authorization for driving, usually valid for 3 months.

Your Spanish driving license will be send via postal mail to your address. It will arrive within 3-4 weeks and you can track its processing status online at the following link:

https://sede.dgt.gob.es/es/aplicaciones/servicio-de-conductores-sin-certificado.shtml

The tracking status is up to the moment when your driving license has been handed over to Correos for delivery, but the postal delivery won't take more than 3-4 days.

In case you don't get your driving license within 4 weeks of your second visit to DGT, it is better to go to the office and see what is happening, though this is a very rare case.

Hope this is helpful and wish you best of luck!


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