Life in the Slow Lane: Run-in with Trafico Policia!

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Run-in with Trafico Policia!

After having been to pay some bills this morning, I decided to go to the Shopping Mall a few miles away from where we live. En route- horror of horrors- I was pulled over by the Traffic Police! My horror was that I don't have enough Spanish to engage in a conversation about driving....not that I had done anything illegal. 

I knew the guy would want the documentation and Insurance documents for the car, so handed them over with a smile, and waited for them to be returned and waved on. No such turned out that my ITV(equivalent to UK MOT) was overdue....due to a translation problem! The Policeman asked for my Driving Licence( I  still hold a UK Licence), so that he could add the details to the Fine he was about print out, and again I waited for him to return my documents. He returned and gabbled to me in Spanish again, waving my licence around (the photograhic part-I don't carry the paper part with me). and I eventually realised  that he was telling me my Licence had expired. He showed me the relevant part of the Licence...Section 4b

and when he showed me the back (bottom LH corner), it clearly says that 4b is the 'Licence valid to ' date

By this time I was in an absolute panic, as he told me I couldn't drive! However, when he returned to the car he said he would allow me to drive home, but obviously had to have a new licence before I could drive again!

When I got home I rang the DVLA and a very nice lady told me that it was actually the photograph.... and therefore THAT part that had expired -NOT the actual Licence! (Did you know that the photo licence expires after ten years?) What a relief! All I have to do is fill out a form and send two new photographs...and you have admit, looking at my current Licence, that is no bad thing( I must have been having a REALLY bad day , when THAT was taken!) 

I have now got the paper part of my Licence in my bag, to carry with me until I get the new Photo part.

Take note, all you UK drivers...or maybe I was the only person who didn't realise that the photo was only valid for ten years?

Thanks for dropping by!
Take care of you
Alison xx


  1. Oh dear Alison - that sounds horrendous! At least he was sympathetic and didn't leave you stranded by the roadside. I knew that these super-duper photocard licences expired at a cost every 10 years ... which is why my ancient paper licence hasn't been back to the DVLA to get the long-expired speeding fine points removed ... it's getting very frayed at the seams now, but has YEARS of "life" in it ;o)

  2. your licensing system is very different in england/europe - in australia we can renew our license for up to five years at a time, at which time you need a new photo...

    at least you didn't have to go through getting a new license, just a new photo!

  3. lol! Scary, sorry...uuugh I hate the red tape of it least it is easily solveable here - and all those passport pics, etc, they tell you not to smile & we all have to live with the results for years to come :)

  4. Oh no, I would be have equally rattled I'm sure. I wouldn't mind losing my current driver's license so that I could get the picture retaken. In order for their facial recognition software to work, I was not allowed to smile and my head is tilted forward. It's looks like a police mug shot for a convicted felon. I'll cross my fingers that you can get a flattering photo.

  5. I am still one of the few people not to have a photo licence, and my paper part is looking decidedly ragged! Such a funny story though, I can imagine your panic at not having enough Spanish to have a proper discussion with him - very scary!
    I am delighted to find your blog, it looks so interesting and it's fab to see where you are living. My friend 'retired' (somewhat early) to just outside of Malaga about 5 years ago and she is constantly taunting us with tales of sunshine and sangria!

  6. I almost got caught out with this too, but one of the ladies in our fat club here warned everyone. Thankfully I got my mum to bring over the paperwork in Oct last year and sent it back with her. The licence was waiting for me when i got back in March.
    Now i will try to renew it when i renew my passport - i did that last year as well.


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