I am asking a question on behalf of my elderly mother who returned from Spain in Dec 2014 after 15+ years. First some facts:

  • My mother had Spanish residency for most of the period she lived in Spain
  • My mother had a valid Spanish driving license on her return to the UK - in fact Valid until Sept 2016
  • My mother is 70+
  • My mother has just decided to buy a small car in the UK and therefore exchange her Spanish License for a UK license
  • She followed the process fully via the DVLA, completing all necessary forms
  • The DVLA required conformation that her Spanish license was 'valid'. They had to get this confirmation from the Spanish DGT.
  • The DVLA applied to the DGT for this information. As is typical with Spain, they got no response.
  • Eventually, the DVLA accessed some form of DGT database which for some unknown reason declared her Spanish licence invalid - no known reason why. Note her license says that it was valid until Sep 2016.
  • The DVLA then returned her Spanish license to the DGT in Madrid!

She is now in no mans land! No license and no way forward without taking a full UK test again.

Any ideas why this seems to have so horribly wrong for her. By the way, no convictions of any sort.

  • 3
    did she pass the test in Spain or was her Spanish licence converted from another country?
    – SztupY
    Jun 15, 2016 at 22:01
  • Her Spanish license was generated by converting her UK license when took up Spanish residency.
    – C.Cox
    Jun 17, 2016 at 5:32
  • 1
    "As is typical with Spain, they got no response." I'm Spanish, and as it's typical with us, I'm not going to provide an answer. Jun 17, 2016 at 7:32
  • 1
    When filling out the D1 form for exchange did she specify that she had passed the test in the UK?
    – SztupY
    Jun 17, 2016 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


My guess would be the main problem with her licence was that it was already a converted one (which is much harder to validate during a licence exchange situation). But, since she passed her driving test in the UK the best thing she can do is contact DVLA again whether they still have any information about her original test and probably original licence. If they do, that should be enough proof for her to apply for a new licence using the D1 form citing her original pass.

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