The Guru Guide To Gran Canaria Driving Licences

Everything you need to know about the Gran Canaria driving licence renewal and swapping

Everything you need to know about the process of renewing  or swapping a Gran Canaria driving licence

Renewing a Spanish driving licence in Gran Canaria is now a simple procedure. All you need is to pass a few simple medical tests.

You don’t even have to visit Las Palmas or go to Tráfico as the whole process is handled by the medical centres that do the tests. Most aren’t that busy and you can walk in and get it done on the spot.

Where are the medical centres?

There’s at least one medical centre doing the tests in every big town on the island

There’s a full list of recognised medical centres on Tráfico’s website, but it covers the whole of Spain and is  485 pages long. Tráfico also has a printed list at the information desk.

Just Google it!

What do I need to take?

Your old driving licence, passport and residencia paper. You don’t need a photo as the medical centre takes it for you (check this with the centre in advance).

What’s in the medical test?

Nothing too strenuous: To pass, you have to answer a few questions about your health and lifestyle, then play a computer game a for a couple of minutes. Don’t worry if you get a lot of beeps during the game as almost everyone passes.

Then, you do a hearing and simple sight test, answer more questions and have your blood pressure measured.

That’s it. The medical centre then submits the application for a new licence for you.

Do I get my new licence straight away?

No, you get an A4 piece of paper that is valid for three months (but isn’t valid outside Spain). Your licence is sent by post and should arrive in less than six weeks. It’s worth making sure that the address that Tráfico has on file is the right one (ask at the medical centre).

If your new licence hasn’t arrived within three months, go to tráfico and tell them.

How long is the new licence valid for?

A new Spanish standard driving licence (Clase B) is valid for 10 years provided that you are under 65.

For over-65s, your licence is valid for five years.

How much does it cost to renew a Gran Canaria driving licence?

The medical test costs €35-60 euros depending on the medical centre. The ones right by Tráfico in Las Palmas seem to be the most expensive.

You also have to pay €23.50 to tráfico for your licence but the medical centre handles the payment so you don’t have to go to a bank.

Can I renew a Spanish licence that has run out?

Yes.  You can just go to a medical centre and get it renewed.

Do I need to change to a Spanish licence?

European law changed in 2013 and all foreign residents (EU; EEA) in Spain now have to change to a Spanish licence once their national licence runs out. If you have a national licence that is valid for more than 15 years or valid indefinitely, you have to change it for a Spanish licence within two years of becoming resident in Spain.

NOTE: There’s been a lot of confusion about this rule, with Tráfico saying one thing and police another.

However, Tráfico is now telling all EU and EEA residents that they have to get a Spanish licence once their national one runs out, or within two years of becoming resident if their national licence is valid for more than 15 years.

Any Brits wondering how Brexit affects their British licence won’t get much sympathy from Tráfico. Their advice was to change licences now just in case Britain leaves the EU completely.

How do I change to a Spanish licence?

The procedure takes two trips to Tráfico. On the first visit, you hand in all your paperwork. Tráfico then checks your licence with your home government. Then it sends you a letter and you go back to hand over your licence. You get a temporary licence and your Spanish licence arrives by post within six weeks (if you’re lucky).

Allow at least six months for the entire procedure.

To start the ball rolling you need the following…

An appointment booked on the Tráfico website here: You can’t just rock up and do it on the spot. Make sure you apply for a cita previa for “canjes de permisos de conducción europeos”.

  • This form, filled in
  • Your NIF or NIE (original and photocopy)
  • Your passport (original and photocopy)
  • Your current licence: It needs to be valid (original and photocopy)
  • A 32 x 26 mm photo showing your face (no sunglasses, hats, etc)
  • One more piece of paper that you don’t have. This one is compulsory.

The procedure costs €27.70 and you can pay by card in Tráfico (it no longer accepts cash for any procedure or fine payment).

See this English Tráfico form for more details.

Over 65s may need a medical test to change over to a Spanish licence.

Non-EU citizens

For non-EU and EEA citizens of countries with recognised licences, see this information form.

Citizens of Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Monaco and Andorra, see this form. You need to do the health tests to swap your licence for a Spanish one.

Citizens of other countries, see this form, then go to Tráfico and ask.