What documents do you need to carry with your car in Spain?

Published 19/07/2019

Whether you are a new or a professional driver, you need to know what car documentation you need to carry with you whenever you drive. What documents are essential so that you can drive around knowing that you won’t be fined?

Required Car Documents

The documents below should be taken with you every time you drive your vehicle, no matter what:

Driver’s License or Learner’s Permit

The driver’s license is the mandatory document that certifies you have the required skills that a person needs to be able to drive a motor vehicle. In addition, it contains authorisation from the authorities, saying you can drive on public roads.

Vehicle Registration Document

The vehicle registration document is a European document that has existed since 2005, issued by the General Directorate of Traffic and that identifies the ownership of a motor vehicle. It contains the most important information about the vehicle such as, for example, the registration number, the chassis number, the date of registration, the address or the names/surnames of the owner, etc.

MOT Certificate

The MOT certificate is required in order to drive your vehicle and is issued by the Ministry of Industry. Together with the vehicle registration document, it establishes the identity of the vehicle and certifies that it is suitable for driving on Spanish roads. It is part of the vehicle’s documentation.

MOT Sticker

This sticker will be given to you at the MOT inspection if you pass. Remember that you have to place it on the front window. In the case of vehicles with windshields, the sticker must be placed in the upper right corner of the windshield, inside of the car. The printed side of the sticker is self-adhesive. In other vehicles, the sticker must be placed somewhere visible.

Compulsory Insurance

As the owner of a vehicle, current legislation obliges you to take out a compulsory insurance policy, but as of 2008, you no longer have to carry the receipt of payment or the policy itself in the car. Thanks to the Spanish Insured Vehicles Database (FIVA), officers can instantly check online whether or not the vehicle is insured.

The same goes for the vehicle tax. Regardless, it never hurts to carry them with you just in case there is any type of technical problem.

What happens if you don’t carry these required documents with you?

Not carrying these documents with you can result in an administrative fine of an amount of ten euros for each of the car’s papers that you don’t have, when asked for them by a police officer.

You may consider carrying copies to avoid losing or damaging the originals, but you should know that carrying a photocopy that isn’t duly certified isn’t valid, and they will only be valid when driving in Spain. Once you leave the country, you must carry the original documents with you.

If you have a license or a learner’s permit in need of renewal, or a document whose information does not match up with the information that appears on your National Identity Document, you should know that you are also exposing yourself to an administrative sanction. In this case, the fine is 80 euros.

If you drive a vehicle and are not authorised to do so, or show a driver’s license that is not valid to the police officer that asks for it, you will again be facing an administrative sanction. In this case, the amount of the fine rises to 500 euros and is combined with a subtraction of 4 points from your driver’s license.

If you have a foreign permit that needs to be exchanged for Spanish one and you drive a vehicle in Spain without having received the required authorisation, you will be committing an infraction that involves a fine of 20 euros.

For a driver’s license from another country that is not valid in Spain and cannot be exchanged, this would be a new infraction and would lead to a fine of 500 euros. In order to apply to exchange your driver’s license in Spain, you must go to the nearest DVLA in your province.


In short, if you lose your car’s documents, head over to a police station as soon as possible to file a claim and prevent them from being fraudulently used. At the DVLA and at the MOT, you can request duplicates of these documents, by appointment only. If you have left your or your car’s documents at home, turn around as soon as possible an

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