UK nationals residing in Spain are bound by the terms of the post-Brexit withdrawal agreement. The transition period for the UK's withdrawal from the European Union lasts until 31st of December 2020. In the meantime, it is most advisable for UK nationals to obtain the requisite certificate of entitlement in the following areas:

Driving license

A UK driving licence that does not have a 10-year validity period must be renewed or exchanged for a Spanish licence. This Spanish license may be exchanged for a UK licence if the holder returns to live in Great Britain.

A UK driving licence cannot be renewed with the United Kingdom's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). A certificate of entitlement must now be obtained from the DVLA. This certificate must be presented with the application for a Spanish driving licence to the Directorate of Traffic (DGT) to legally drive in Spain.


UK nationals residing in Spain and receiving an exportable pension may currently be entitled to Spanish state healthcare paid for by the United Kingdom. The following steps are necessary:

– An S1 certificate of entitlement must be obtained from the UK National Health Service,

– The S1 certificate must be presented at the nearest Spanish social security office,

– The office issues the holder of the S1 certificate with a social security number,

– The number must be registered at the local healthcare centre to receive a medical card,

– This medical card entitles the holder to visit a GP.

UK nationals that are registered for public healthcare in Spain and are travelling outside of Spain must obtain a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE). The TSE is a Spanish-issued Health Insurance Card which can be applied for online or from the nearest social security office (Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social).

Comprehensive travel insurance must also be purchased to cover any eventualities which are not covered by the TSE in the EU. UK nationals must not use their UK Heath Insurance Card to access healthcare in Spain, according to, unless they are students or posted workers.

Visas and residency

UK nationals who are residents in Spain before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020 will be able to stay in Spain. Those arriving before 31 December 2020 may register as residents in Spain under the current rules and will have their rights to residence in Spain protected for as long as they remain residents.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.