March 12, 2020
The solid road infrastructure on the Spanish mainland, together with its scenic routes in the mountainous areas, make Spain an ideal and privileged country for motorcycling adventures. However, as good as this may sound, it should not be forgotten that riding on the road, especially in less protected vehicles such as these, is a task that requires the utmost responsibility and a great knowledge of traffic laws. This is why, depending on the motorbike you wish to drive and its power, you may or may not need to take additional tests to obtain a different kind of license.
That said, are you still interested in getting a driver’s license in Spain and hitting the road on your bike? Then read on because in this article, we will explain the learning process to obtain your driving license in Spain and the documentation you need to do so, as well as specifying all the rules you must comply with.
Requirements for getting a driver's license in Spain
First of all, it is important to determine the requirements set out in Article 7 of the General Regulations for Drivers that must be fulfilled before obtaining a driving license in Spain.
In the case of a foreign person, accredit what your situation in Spain is, i.e. whether it is your habitual residence or if, on the contrary, it is only temporary for studies (in the latter case, these must be of at least six months' duration).
Not be deprived by judicial decision of the right to drive motor vehicles and/or mopeds, nor be in the process of suspension or administrative intervention of the driving license or permit held.
In the case of a declaration of loss of validity of the driving license or permit as a result of a total loss of the points assigned, the period established by law for its renewal must have elapsed in full.
Meet the psychophysical aptitudes required in relation to the class of driving license or permit applied for.
Be declared fit by the Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico (Provincial Traffic Headquarters) in the theoretical and practical tests which, in relation to each class of driving license or permit, are determined in Title II.
Not be the holder of a driving license issued in another Member State of the European Union or in another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, nor have had your driving license restricted, suspended or cancelled in another Member State.
On the other hand, those who suffer from an organic or functional illness or impairment that prevents them from obtaining an ordinary driving license or permit may obtain an extraordinary driving license or permit subject to the restrictive conditions that apply in each case.
In the following sections, we will explain the different types of driving licenses, the categories of motorbikes that are legally compatible with each one and the tests to pass in order to obtain your driver's license for motorcycles.
Class AM motorcycle license
The class AM driver's license for motorcycles entitles holders to drive two or three-wheeled mopeds and light quadricycles (49 cc) with a maximum speed of 45 km/hour on public roads. The minimum age to obtain this class of license is 15 years. The tests required include a psycho-physical aptitude test, a written theory test and a practical closed-circuit test. In addition, to obtain this license, you will also have to add a second declaration stating that you are not in possession of any other driving license.
The theory test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions, while the practical test takes place on a closed circuit with different skill exercises. By doing the paperwork through a driving school, you will save yourself the bureaucracy and having to get a vehicle for the test.
It is important to note that until you reach the age of majority, 18 in Spain, you are not authorized to transport any passengers.
From the age of 16, the A1 class license entitles the holder to drive a light motorbike with a maximum cylinder capacity of 125 cc and a maximum power of 15 hp on public roads. Drivers may also drive motor tricycles with a maximum power of 20 hp.
What tests would you need to pass in order to obtain this driver's license for motorcycles? First of all, a psychophysical aptitude test, then a common theoretical written test and a specific A1 test, as well as a practical test on a closed and an open circuit. If you pass the A1 test, you will not have to take it again in the future if you want to access the A2 and A licenses.
However, if you already have a class B license for at least three years, you will automatically be able to drive A1-compatible vehicles.
The A2 class license allows you to drive all vehicles covered by the AI class, plus motorbikes with a maximum power of 47 hp. The minimum age to obtain this license is 18.
In addition to the above administrative formalities, there is a general theory test and a motorcycle-specific test. And as always, there are exceptions:
If you have a class B license, you are exempt from the general theory test.
If you obtained your A1 license less than two years ago, you will not have to take the general theory test, nor the specific theory test, nor the practical test in a closed circuit. However, if you have an automatic A1 and you want the manual A2, you will have to take the closed-circuit test even if you have had your A1 license for more than two years.
This class authorizes the use of any type of motorbike and moped on public roads. The minimum age requirement is 20 years, as it is necessary to have held an A2 license for at least 2 years.
In addition, you must pass a psychophysical test to qualify and you must attend a nine-hour course divided into theory and a practical part.
Depending on the vehicle you drive and where you drive, the speed limit varies. It is important that you are well informed about them and you can do so in this infographic.
As a physical safety measure, the law requires the use of a helmet when riding or being a passenger on any type of moped or motorbike. UN Regulation ECE 22 sets out the safety requirements that the helmet model must meet. In the case of non-compliance with this measure and not using it, the penalty will be 200€ and the loss of three points on the license.
On the other hand, it is also against the law to drive with headphones on, as this can reduce the driver's attention to the outside environment.
There is debate here because there is little parking space in Spain compared to the number of vehicles, but there are several general rules to follow:
Respect space when parking.
It is strictly forbidden to park a motorbike in cycling areas.
On the carriageway itself, in a diagonal position, between other vehicles. The maximum space that can be occupied per motorbike/motorcycle is 2 meters, and access to other vehicles must not be blocked.
Generally, on pavements of between 3 and 6 meters, motorbikes and mopeds should be parallel parked, but this may vary by region or city.
Insurance for getting a driver's license in Spain
In Spain it is compulsory to take out insurance for motorbikes and mopeds with minimum civil liability cover. At Caser, we offer various types of insurance cover for expatriates, including third party, third party with theft and comprehensive with excess. Do you want to know all about Caser Expat Motorbike Insurance? Click here!
And if, after finding out about them, you're still not sure which one to choose... We also have our insurance comparator at your disposal!
See you on the roads!
If you are searching for motorbike insurance in Spain, Caser Expat Insurance has the right policy for you!