Q. We have just read the article by David Searl in which he wrote, “The good news is that your new Spanish licence will be valid for FIVE years.
For those who are 70 years old the licence was formerly valid for only two years”.
We renewed our Spanish licences last October, both of us being over 70 years old, and our new ones are only valid for TWO years.
We have some friends whose licences are now for five years. We were told that it had reverted back to two years. We took the medical test opposite the Trafico office in Alicante. They then handled the application from there and we had our new TWO-year licences sent to our home in a few weeks.
Our question is: Have we been misled by this ‘photography and medical shop’? It all seemed rather costly.
F.P.C. (Costa Blanca)
A. No, you have not been misled, except by David Searl. I have trouble keeping up, it seems.
As of January 1, 2010, Spain’s Traffic Department began issuing five-year licences to applicants over 70 years of age. A ruling from the European Union obliged them to do this. However, the Traffic Department found a way around this and, a little more than a year later, they reverted to the two-year licence for drivers over 70.
I was correct when I wrote in the 2011 Edition of You and the Law in Spain that older drivers got five-year permits.
Shortly after the book went to press, the law was changed back and I missed the change.
Your “photo and medical shop” is an authorized Medical Testing Centre. As of 2010 these centres have become one-stop licence renewal centres. They forward your application directly to the Traffic Department. It may have seemed costly to you because you pay them for the medical exam and the fee to Trafico for renewing the licence.
Your friends who got five-year permits were among the lucky ones.