Driving and Covid-19 – Guide to solve all doubts

We have prepared a small guide with frequent asked questions to solve the doubts related to driving and Covid-19 during the alarm state.

Driving and Covid-19

Photo by La Vanguardia

Find out if you can drive with an expired licence or if the vehicle’s MOT has expired, what happens when you’re about to get your driver’s license, if the workshops are open, in which cases we can drive and how many people can drive the public and private vehicles and more.

Driving and Covid-19 – Guide to solve all doubts

We answer your questions about the movement of vehicles, completion of formalities, or any other matter related to traffic and mobility.

Can I rent a vehicle from a car rental company?

Yes, the establishments dedicated to the rental of vehicles without a driver remain open, although it should be remembered that journeys on public roads are only permitted with certain restrictions.

How many passengers can go in one vehicle?

It has been established that, in both private and public vehicles, only one person can travel per row of seats, keeping as much distance as possible between the occupants.

In the event that you are accompanied, and to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization, it is advisable for the passenger to occupy the back seat in order to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from the other person and for both to wear a mask to avoid possible contagion.

Since you can only circulate for a reason of force majeure, it is necessary that you always carry a document that verifies it. Ask for a certificate in case you have to leave for work, and if you go to the supermarket or any establishment to get needed products do not forget the receipt. To circulate without a receipt is punishable by a fine of up to 600 euros.

In what cases can I circulate?

In general, it is forbidden to drive on public roads during the period of the alarm state. Driving is only allowed for the following activities:

1. Procurement of food, pharmaceuticals and basic necessities.
2. Assistance to health centres, services and establishments.
3. Travel to the place of work to perform their work, professional or business.
4. Return to the place of habitual residence.
5. Assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, disabled persons or particularly vulnerable persons.
6. Travel to financial and insurance entities.
7. Due to force majeure or a situation of need.
Any other activity of an analogous nature to be carried out individually, unless accompanied by disabled persons or for another justified reason.

Driving and Covid-19

Photo by Diario Sur

Can I drive with my expired license?

Permits that expire during the alarm state will be automatically extended for the duration of the alarm state and up to sixty days after its end.

What if my car has to go through MOT these days?

The technical inspection service is suspended until the alarm state ends, and you will not be fined if it has expired after March 14, although you will be fined if it has expired before this date.

I’m getting my driver’s license and it expires on these dates, what can I do?

Don’t worry about it. If you are getting a permit, the period of validity you have to apply will be increased by the time the state of alarm lasts so you do not lose the convocation.

I’m a foreign driver, how does this affect me?

You will be able to continue driving in the same conditions as before the alarm situation was declared.

Furthermore, the time that the alarm situation lasts does not count towards the six-month period in which you can drive in Spain with your foreign licence. Therefore, the six-month period is stopped, and is resumed as soon as the alarm situation ends.

Can I take my car to a repair shop?

Yes, the opening of motor vehicle repair and maintenance workshops is allowed, as well as complementary activities for vehicles authorized to circulate.
However, we recommend that you first contact the chosen workshop to ensure that it is open.

How can I do my paperwork at the traffic headquarters?

Even if you cannot come to their offices in person, the DGT offers the possibility of accessing practically all its procedures telematically. Ask if it is possible to carry out your procedure through its online services, electronic registration or telephone.

Information obtained from the official DGT website.


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12 Responses to Driving and Covid-19 – Guide to solve all doubts

  1. John says:

    In March I read the following information relative to Malaga airport. I already had a booking with Goldcar on the 20th March, & they were unable to give me the car. Has the Government now lifted the restriction?

    “Due to the rapid development of the public health emergency situation caused by COVID-19, at a national and international level, the Government of Spain has issued instructions with regard to road transport and aviation, published in the Official State Bulletin (BOE) on March, 19th.
    According to the Order TMA/254/2020, the opening of self-drive vehicle hire for private use offices will only be allowed with the aim of enabling the vehicle drop off by a customer in relation to contracts concluded before the 19th, March 2020.”

    • Hi John, that restriction was amended a few days later:
      Order TMA/273/2020, 23th March
      “On the other hand, it is necessary to determine the opening of self-drive vehicle hire in order to guarantee the possibility of hiring vehicles both to transport professionals and in the event of displacements allowed in the framework of the state of alarm.”


    • John says:

      Thanks MalagaCar for that valuable update. Much appreciated.

  2. David Spring says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply and information. We have our residential lease and empadronamiento with us, so should this be sufficient along with our passports.
    Many thanks for your assistance.

  3. PG says:

    In your guide you mention quote “Since you can only circulate for a reason of force majeure, it is necessary that you always carry a document that verifies it. Ask for a certificate in case you have to leave for work, and if you go to the supermarket or any establishment to get needed products do not forget the receipt. To circulate without a receipt is punishable by a fine of up to 600 euros.” unquote. Does that mean I need a certificate to go to the supermarket or other shops ? Does the receipt is the receipt of the shop ? If so what happened when you are on your way to the supermarket and you haven’t got yet a receipt.?


    • Hi, that’s right. Don’t throw the receipt until you get home, just in case. Also, it would be advisable to carry some kind of documentation to show that you live/stay in the area (empadronamiento or hotel booking confirmation).


  4. David Spring says:

    My wife and I live in Almeria and returned to the UK for a family event in March. We didn’t have any problems driving back but arrived only a couple of days before the lockdown. Our ferry crossing to Bilbao was cancelled and we haven’t been able to book an alternative. We can cross to France but will we be allowed to enter Spain and drive to our home. Would we need any documentation.

    • Hi David, currently Spanish borders remain closed, except for residents returning home and transportation professionals. Proof of home address as well as your passports should be required to show them at the check point.


  5. Andries Peters says:

    I am a foreign driver. Is it necessary that i always carry a document to go to the supermarket ? And what document is that ?

    • Hi Andries,

      The same as always, your personal identification and your driving license. Optionally, if you have any document with your holiday address, I would carry it. Just in case you have to prove you are staying in the area.


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