8 Revealing Answers About the Medical Certificate for Driving in Spain

medical-certificate-for- driving-licences-in-spain

Let’s face it:

You are afraid of the Spanish driving medical certificate.

There is a voice inside your head warning you:

“You are not going to pass the examination” it says.

“I’m not young or fit enough to pass a medical test anymore”, you think afterwards.

And you may also wonder:

  • What does it consist of?
  • I have a health condition, will it be a problem?
  • How many years will they grant me to drive after the medical?

All of these questions and much more will be answered next in the short interview I carried out with Enrique Sáez from Cereco, a medical centre specialising in medical certificates for driving licences in Spain.

But let me tell you something else beforehand…


Before we start… Yours Free

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The medical certificate is beneficial for all

The medical certificate for driving in Spain is not something new. I mean, it has not been created for renewing or exchanging your EU licence in Spain.

When I took my driving test in 1997 I had to provide a medical certificate. And I’m sure it goes back a few more decades.

The medical certificate is beneficial for all of us, no doubt about it. Driving is something millions of people do on a daily basis in Spain, and can be lethal if the drivers are not physically or psychologically capable.

Think for a minute how serious the situation is. How would you feel knowing that you, your partner, friends or family were being driven in a car by someone incapable of driving?

I know what you just thought… I can read your mind.

driving medical certificate in Spain

(You would not like to have this fella driving around you in Spain, would you?)


Just a little reminder

To exchange / renew your EU driving licence in Spain, apart from the medical certificate, don’t forget that you will need to have Spanish residency and provide an up-to-date Padrón.

And I meant Spanish Residency, not an NIE number.

That’s all, this was the little reminder 😉


Medical certificate for driving licences in Spain

1. What is the drivers’ medical certificate?

According to the Royal Decree 818/2009 of 8 May 2009, in which the “Drivers’ Regulation” was approved, the medical certificate will aim to demonstrate that there is no “disease or disability that may involve an inability to drive”, associated specifically with any of the following:

a) Visual Capacity
b) Hearing Capacity
c) Skeletal and muscular Systems
d) Cardiovascular System


l) Perceptual motor skills
m) Any other condition not mentioned in previous sections that may involve incapability to drive.

Therefore, the goal of the medical certificate is to certify that the driver does not suffer from any disease that may incapacitate them from driving.

2. Are the same type of tests performed at all medical centers all over Spain or does it vary from one centre to another?

Each and every drivers’ medical centre in Spain is required by law to comply with the requirements stated by the Royal Decree.

3. Are licensed medical doctors responsible for certifying the validity and approving medical test?

The drivers’ medical centres, aimed at verifying the psychophysical abilities of drivers, to receive a professional accreditation and be able to function as such, must have at least the following to operate:

a) Owner.
b) Director and, if applicable, head physician.
c) One team composed of the following physicians: one general practitioner, one ophthalmologist and one psychologist.

They shall be approved by the corresponding health authority to carry out professional activities at the medical centre.

4. What are the main reasons for not passing the medical certificate?

An illness or deficiency that will incapacitate someone’s driving skills, which is stated by the Royal Decree mentioned in point #1.

5. If the driver does not declare anything, how does the medical centre know if there is a health condition which incapacitates the person from driving?

According to the Royal Decree, the driver must consent to undergoing the test and must not distort the truth or hide the existence of disease or a known physical problem.

The driver could get away without telling the full truth. However, in the case of an accident, the driver would be fully liable.

6. Briefly, could you describe and name a few restrictions and the corresponding codes on driving licenses?

At present, the intention is that any driver with a physical limitation can continue driving with the appropriate adaptations and constraints.

For example:

01A0. Visual Capacity of at least 0.5 with or without corrective lenses
0101. Glasses.

01C3. Aphakia or pseudophakia after two months.
1043. A period of three years until the next medical examination is due.

0E1.  Mental disorder having a favorable report from a psychiatrist or psychologist.
1043. A period of three years until the next medical examination is due.

08A1. Diabetes treated with insulin or hypoglycemic drugs with a favorable medical report.

02A2. Hearing loss of over 45% with or without a hearing aid.
4201. Lateral exterior rearview mirror (left or right)
4204. Panoramic rearview mirror

04D1. Heart valve prosthesis inserted at least three months ago with positive report from the cardiologist.
1043. A period of three years until the next medical examination is due.

7. Once the medical certificate has been done and successfully passed, how long can the client use it for? Does the medical certificate expire?

Medical reports are only valid for three months after they are issued.

8. How many years are you generally granted on your licence once you pass the medical examination?

A. The driving license from BTP, C1, C1 + E, C, C + E, D1, D1 + E, D + E DY types will be valid for five years, up until the driver is 65 years old. After this age, it goes down to three years.

B. The remaining types will be valid for a term of ten years, as long as the driver is less than sixty-five years old. After this age, it goes down to five years.

C. The validity period for all of the licences mentioned previously is irrelevant should the driver has an illness or incapacity that can affect driving in general.

Enrique Sáez

Cereco – Drivers’ Medical Centre



Yours Free

The Spanish Cash Saving Machine is a free ebook full of unique tips that will save you thousands of Euros when moving to / living in Spain.

Would you like to get it now?

Please click / tap on the image below:


Final thoughts

If you hold a valid EU driving licence and have Spanish residency, you are probably already aware that the new regulation does not apply to everyone.

On the contrary, let’s imagine you have to renew your licence (not “exchange’’ it). You will need a medical certificate for driving in Spain anyway; no choice when we’re talking about renewal.

To exchange the licence (voluntary process) you might not need the certificate if your EU licence is not close to its’ expiry date (otherwise, it would be “renewal”).

I hope this article has helped you to find out more about the medical certificate.


Credit image: Bloomsberries


  1. Matt says

    I’ve just read “8 Reasons to fear—-” Thank you–very clear and concise.
    I am really scared. Since age seven I have been effectively 100 per cent deaf in one ear.
    I cannot recall anyone ever noticing this. I think my “good” ear compensates.
    I don’t think it has ever affected my driving. I passed my test in 1961 and have never,touch wood, had an accident even though I have driven in some wild and woolly places.
    Had three claims on insurance. None my fault. One a suicidal Deer and another a van driver opening his door without care and removing my wing mirror.

    But this being Spain anything official is a lottery. Someone could say that 50 per cent hearing loss is too much and any challenge or evidence to the contrary would lead to heels being obstinately dug in. Would that mean I would be off the road ?
    Risk is too high. €200 fine may be better option. This whole business is very worrying.
    Would you be kind enough to comment? Thank you.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Matt,

      Well, I’m sorry I can’t give you any accurate info regarding your case.

      Here’s my suggestion: contact the website at the bottom of the article you read (Cereco). They will be able to give you more information, as they are a legal medical centre qualified to issue medical certificates for driving in Spain.

      All the best,


  2. Matt says

    No I did not read “8 Reasons to fear—–”
    I actually read “8Revealing Answers about the Medical Certificate—-”
    I blame my keyboard.

    • David Ruiz says

      No worries :-)

  3. Anthony says

    Had my medical for driving and passed I’m 79when will I have to take it again

    • David Ruiz says

      Yes, every five years if everything went ok.

  4. Eileen says

    I am Irish, 79years old and have lived and driven in Spain for 20 years without accident. I recently applied to have my full driving licence renew. My eye test was successful, my health and hearing were good. I then had to do a test which was communicated to me in Spanish and whilst I speak some Spanish the finer points of the instruction was not clear to me and I had only 50% success in the test. This has resulted in a restriction on my licence of only able to drive within a 50km radius of my home. I explained that I had not fully understood the requirement of the test and asked if I could do it again. I was told that I could do it again but I would also have to do a further test which was much harder and if I failed that I could have my licence revoked altogether. Could I have your comment please.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Eileen,

      Let me ask you something. What sort of test was that? What city in Spain?


  5. Jacqueline says

    My current British license is due to expire end of November 2016. I have lived in Spain for more than 2 years and have residency, nie and up to date padrón.
    My question is will it be a problem only having less than 4 weeks validation on my license ?
    Also can you recommend somewhere in Benalmádena/Torremolinos i could have a medical .
    Many thanks
    Kind regards

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Jacqueline,

      I’d go ahead as soon as possible, as the exchange will not be straight forward and your licence expires soon.

      Sorry, I don’t know anyone Benalmádena/Torremolinos area :-(

      All the best

  6. Suzanne says

    I am 72 years of age. My UK licence expired on my birthday. I had applied to uk to renew but as living in Spain this has not happened. Can I now get a ‘new’ or ‘renewed’ Spanish one. I have a Padron and Residencia (2011) ?

    I do have a certified photo copy of the now expired licence.


    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Suzanne,

      You should be able to apply for it with your expired driving licence as well as with a new padron certificate (not older than 3 months old), plus a number of other requirements and forms you’ll need to.

      Best wishes






    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Marian,

      The medical centre where you obtain the form should let you know. Sorry, I’m not familiar with all the codes.

  8. Dave says

    Hi, my medical for my driving licence change over says ED1 for the categories I can drive in Spain, what categories would I be losing from my UK licence? Thanks

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Dave,

      You should not lose any categories if you take the right medical.

      I hope this helps!

  9. says

    Hello David,

    At 73, I’ve just exchanged my French driving licence for a Spanish one as I’m coming up to two years as a resident. The medical test showed that I have cataracts and my licence has been restricted to daytime driving only. I’m going to have a cataract operation in the not-too-distant future. Assuming all goes well, is there a procedure to remove this restriction, after a re-test but before the 3-year expiry of my new Spanish licence?

    Many thanks for your helpful site information.

    Best regards

    Peter LEWIS

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Peter,

      You’ve got an interesting point here. I’m not sure. I would ask at the same centre where you got the medical at. They will let you know the different options.



  10. idu says

    i recently took the medical and the heart blood pressure test was inaccurate. it was so high i went to my own doctor, who took it and i had perfect score of 114/80. at the medical test centre they put down 158/98 which is outrageous. i should go back and make them do it again as i feel they have recorded false information. my doctor says they often use an assistant to take some tests and often they do not know how to use the equipment.

    regardless i guess i passed, but should i go back and make them do it again ?


    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Idu,

      I would definitely go back to the medical centre for drivers to see what happened.

      I hope this helps!

  11. Davis says

    Reading your comments I am surprised that my second renewal was only 2 years. The previous renewal was 5 years. I passed all health checks ok. No medical or visual problems. Why did I only get renewal of 2 years..I am 74.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Davis,

      Well, the medical centre should tell you the reason why you are getting less than 5 years. Would it be possible to ask them?

  12. David Howell says

    Hola David – what a great website! :)

    I am a UK citizen, resident in Spain (with NIE and the green card ‘residente comunitario en España’) and I need a driving licence for use in Spain.

    I did have a full clean UK driving licence, the old one (the pink paper one without the photo), but I lost it. When I asked the DVLA in the UK they told me that they can’t issue me with a new UK licence as I am no longer a UK resident, but that I could use the ‘licenced to drive’ function on the DVLA website for UK car hire etc, which shows on screen all of my licence details, driving entitlements, clean licence, etc (and can be downloaded and printed off). I have used this on a couple of occasions and that’s fine for the UK, but of course no good for driving in Spain.

    Do you have a suggestion for how to get a valid Spanish licence from DGT, or an international one? I imagine I might need some official document from DVLA, translated via ‘traducción jurada’ but if there’s an easier way to do it that would be preferable!

    David (tocayo :))

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi there David,

      Thanks for the feedback about my site :-)

      To exchange your British licence, there is a document required if you lost the licence. It’s a one-page certificate issued by the DVLA.

      I hope this helps!