No Deal Brexit: Driving Licences

1. Brexit with a Withdrawal Agreement

In November 2018, the European Union and the United Kingdom concluded the terms of a Withdrawal Agreement for the orderly departure of the UK from the European Union. Gibraltar was part of that Agreement.

The Agreement includes a transitional period until the end of 2020, which also covers Gibraltar. This Agreement has been debated at length and voted upon but it is still subject to ratification by the UK Parliament and by the European Parliament.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved, then until the end of 2020 there will be no change to the driving licences that motorists from Gibraltar may use in the EU, including Spain, until at least the end of the transitional period and no additional permits will be required.

 

2. Brexit without a Withdrawal Agreement – No Deal

How would drivers in Gibraltar be affected if UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario)?

If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, find out how this would affect access to Spain for drivers holding a Gibraltar issued driving licence.

This guidance explains the additional documents you would need, as well as your driving licence, to drive in Spain after 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves with no withdrawal agreement.

Before 29 March 2019

Your driving licence is valid in Spain. As long as you hold a Gibraltar licence, you can drive for both work and leisure purposes throughout Spain without other driving documents.

After March 2019 if there is no deal

The Spanish Government have included British Citizens and economic operators based in Gibraltar in their contingency planning for a no deal Brexit.

On Saturday 2 March, the Spanish Government issued a Royal Decree which covered a number of different areas including driving licences.

Article 22 of the decree says that Spain will continue to recognise driving licenses issued by the British authorities for a period of nine months from the date when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. However, this possibility only exists for British Citizens resident in Spain who will be able to exchange their UK driving licence for a Spanish one.

This means that Gibraltar resident British Citizens will be required to obtain an International Driving Permit to drive in Spain and in the rest of the European Union in case of a no deal Brexit on 29 March.

What you would need to do in the event of a no deal Brexit:

  • Your driving licence will continue to be valid when driving in Spain until 29 March.
  • An International Driving Permit will be required, in addition to your driving licence, after 29 March.

EU driving licence holders, visiting or living in Gibraltar after exit

After exit day on 29 March 2019, arrangements for EU licence holders who are visiting or living in the Gibraltar will not change.

For visitors, with driving licences from EU or non-EU countries, the same arrangements of today will apply. Gibraltar will not require visiting motorists, for example those coming to the Gibraltar on holiday or who wish to drive on business, to hold a separate IDP to guarantee the recognition of their driving licence.

When non-EU licence holders come to live in the Gibraltar on a temporary basis, we would continue to recognise their driving licence as long as they have their relevant IDP.

EU licence holders can drive on their EU licence until it expires, or until they reach the age of 70. For EU licence holders who passed their test in the EU or EEA, Gibraltar would continue to exchange their licence as we do currently.

EU licence holders, who passed their test outside the EU or EEA have restrictions on licence exchange, may need to take a test to obtain a Gibraltar licence.

 

We will publish more information as this becomes available. We aim to give businesses and individuals as much certainty as possible as soon as we can, and to ensure that any new requirements are not unduly burdensome.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.