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Driving in Spain

01 septiembre 2014

Is my driver´s license valid in Spain?

It doesn´t exist an agreement between Spain and the U.S.A that allows driving with a license from the last one, nor an agreement that permits to exchange it for a valid one. Because of this, if a U.S. citizen wants to drive in Spain for a period of six months from the date of arrival or from the date in which is obtained the permanent residence in Spain, it will be necessary to get an International Driving Permit that translates your state-issued driver’s license into Spanish so you can show it to officials in foreign countries to help them interpret your driver’s license. The driver must be over 18 years, the legal age for driving in Spain, and the license can´t be passed its validity date.

After the first six months, the International Driving Permit won´t be valid anymore, and the holder must request a Spanish Driver’s License in order to continue driving, according to the Spanish regulations and requirements to obtain a driving license in Spain.

What happens if being a U.S. citizen I come to Spain for my Holiday and I am fined for a traffic infraction?

According to my knowledge, they take points from the license. Does it affect me somehow? As any other foreign who doesn´t live permanently in Spain, if you are stopped for a traffic infraction, you are going to be given a ticket, but also is obligatory to pay the amount of the fine, otherwise you won´t be able to continue your journey. Also, you will be given twenty days to present a claim against the fine.

On the other hand, in relation to the possibility of losing points, if the infraction involves the lost of points according to the Law, this will be annotated in the register of drivers and driving offenders, being this reflected and deduced as you commit new offences.

Therefore, if you get to the point where you lose all the possible points and the lost of the validity of your license is declared, you won´t be able to drive with your license in Spain since the Spanish law would be applied.

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