How to get your driving license in Spain

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Being a historical mark and a must of places to visit in Europe, Barcelona is also home for a variety of different cultures and individuals who elected it as their permanent city. But with so many people living in one place, how do you commute?

Luckily, the city provides with several options of public transportation. Whether it is by bus, subway or even a bicycle you can always get where you need. But what if you have a car? Can you drive without a Spanish driver’s license? The answer is no.

Here are some tips of how you can get licensed in Barcelona:

1. Being a local:

If you were born in Spain and are over 18 years old, the easiest way to get a license is to enroll in a Driving School. Once you register, they will ask you to undergo a medical and eye exam to guarantee your full physical competence. You must then be submitted to two different tests: a theoretical test, regarding Road Traffic Regulations and a driving test.

To prepare for the first examination, a written proof, you can either buy the books requested by the school and study them, or take online tests that present you with examples of real road events. You will then attend driving lessons with a certified instructor. The school allows you a limited number of classes after which you must submit to the final test. Once you pass you’ll be a certified driver!

If you are already aware of the basic notions of the road and don’t feel like attending a school you can ignore these steps and apply directly for the exams in Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico. Just be reminded, in this case you must prepare on your own.

2. Being a European Citizen:

With a driver’s license:
If you are a European citizen you don’t necessarily need to obtain a Spanish license. You can either remain with your current one or ask for an International Driver’s Licence in your native country. However, if you choose to do so, you must register with the Spanish traffic authorities for which will be required the NIE and Empadronamiento, having to then be submitted to a medical exam.

Without a driver’s license:
If you are a non-Spanish European citizen pretending to get a license in Barcelona all you have to do is follow the steps listed in point 1.
Make sure you do some research before you enroll in a school since only a few places offer a non-Spanish program. There are a few schools created specifically for foreign people that offer classes in both English and French probably being the best fit for those who don’t speak the country’s mother language.

3. Being a non-European citizen:
If you are not a European citizen you can still drive in Spain, at least during the first six months. After that period you will need to convert your license to the EU regulations.

You must present at the authorities with the NIE, a copy of your current Driver’s License, proof that you have been living in Barcelona for over 6 months, the Social Security Number and Passport. Once these documents have been screened you can then retake the test and obtain your license.

If you followed these steps you now have, or are in process of getting, your Driver’s License in Barcelona. Just remember, Spanish licenses need to be renewed so pay attention to the validity period on your card. Have a nice trip and drive safe!

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