If you are heading to Spain for a road trip, checking the validity of your travel documents, including your driving licence, is of paramount importance. We have already covered in detail what are the Spain visa requirements (if any).
On this text you will find all you need to know about your driving licence (or driver’s license as it is also known across the globe).
Is my driving licence valid in Spain?
EUROPEAN UNION NATIONALS
Spain is a member of the European Union. And in the same way Spaniards are allowed to drive in other countries members of the UE using their Spanish licence, citizens of the European Union can drive in Spain with their national driving licence – for as long as it is valid, of course.
So, if you are Irish, French, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian, German or Greek, to mention just a few of the EU country members, you will simply bring your national driving licence to Spain.
EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA MEMBERS
The European Economic Area, aka EEA, is formed by most European Union countries and a few others that don’t belong to the UE. Namely Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Citizens from the EEA can drive in Spain with their national driving licence.
So if you are Icelandic, Norwegian or from Liechtenstein, you will simply bring your national driving licence to Spain.
Theoretically, Swiss driving licences should be accepted in Spain. Car rental companies are unlikely to raise any issues when you show your Swiss driving licence, but the same cannot be granted for road police officers.
So, if in doubt, get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to carry along your driving licence. We’ll talk about the IDP in a few seconds.
Now, this is tricky. With Brexit and the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, many rights associated with the membership are gone too.
Unless Spain passes a piece of legislation recognizing UK driving licences, the best advice we can give Britons is to get hold of an International Driving Permit (IDP) just in case.
USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND OTHER COUNTRIES
Citizens from the countries mentioned above will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with the national driving licence if they intend to drive in Spain.
Getting your International Driving Permit
There is one organization responsible for issuing International Driving Permits in each country, so you will have to find out how to go about getting yours. It tends to be quite straightforward.
Do not forget to bring your actual driving licence along with your IDP! To be valid, the IDP must be accompanied by your driving licence.
Visa requirements for Spain.
Now that you have sorted your driving licence and/or IDP, have a look at the documents you will need to visit Spain on Spain visa requirements.