Angry motorists have called out a new driving licence rule change which came into effect from today.
In a driving law crackdown, Britons who moved to Spain before March 16, 2023, must have changed their UK licence for a Spanish card by September 15.
Motorists who have failed to exchange their licence will no longer be able to drive on their UK photocard in a blow to expats living abroad.
British motorists can still apply for a Spanish licence but will be unable to drive until their exchange has been completed.
However, frustrated road users took to the British Embassy in Madrid’s Facebook page to call out severe delays in processing applications.
Alex Bow asked: “Hi all. How long is it taking you to receive your Spanish license? I surrendered my British license back in June.
“They said I’d receive the Spanish one in four to six weeks but lo and behold I have not received it yet and we’re now in September. Is anyone else in the same boat and what is the best action to take?” (sic)
Another social media user responded it had taken three months to secure their licence but delays were expected due to the August holidays.
Hélène Michou added: “Any tips for getting an online appointment/citation prior to the DGT in Madrid? I’ve been trying almost every day at various times for the last couple of months but no luck.”
Ben Butt wrote: “I have been trying to get an appointment for the last three months in Ibiza to change my license and there are no appointments.
“I have equally had the website crash on numerous occasions. I have now left it to the last minute and am looking at flying somewhere to get this done.” (sic)
The Government has admitted they were aware of the delay and were trying to solve the issue as quickly as possible.
GOV.UK reads: “We know that some UK licence holders with expired UK driving licences (primarily those over 70) have been experiencing issues when trying to exchange their licence for a Spanish one.
“The Department of Transport has been working to resolve this issue with the Spanish Government and can confirm that Spain’s Traffic Authority (DGT) will be able to exchange expired UK licences, as long as they expired after the individual moved to Spain.”
However, some Express readers appeared to call out drivers for leaving their forms to the last minute. @starless8 said: “This has really been in place in the EU for years.
“I exchanged my licence in France about 16 years ago when I lived there. I’m not sure why Brits living in Spain haven’t done this already. Maybe they should have.”
@Tempramarea added: “Curious. My friends in Spain were told that, when their licences expired, they would need to renew in Spain.
“But they said that swapping their licences for Spanish ones was so easy that they did it anyway.”
Post source: Express