Can they take away your license for having hundreds of fines?


In Germany, a driver has lost his driving license for accumulating 159 parking tickets and fifteen more for speeding: despite being minor penalties, the authorities have considered him unfit to drive. Can something like this happen in Spain? Is it possible to lose your card for having hundreds of unpaid fines?

Auto Motor Sport tells the story of this driver who, in July 2021, had 159 tickets for illegal parking and fifteen for not respecting speed limits: in total, 174 proceedings against him. He claimed that the violations had been committed with three vehicles registered in his name, that it was not possible to determine who exactly committed them, and that he was relying on the driver’s license he had for his job.

Usually in Germany minor infractions do not usually result in permit withdrawal of driving and they are not taken into account when examining the fitness of a person to drive, but, in this case, they allude to the fact that the driver is not willing to respect the traffic rules. Thus, the Administrative Court of Berlin has decided to take away his driving license because it considers that he is not fit to drive on public roads due to the large number of minor offenses committed and accumulated.

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Not paying a fine in Spain

In Spain, what happens if a driver does not pay a fine? Once the voluntary period (twenty days) and the ordinary period (25 days) have elapsed, the executive route is activated: the DGT gives the relief to the Tax Agency so that she is in charge of collecting the pending sanctions. The Treasury will send the driver a notification of the enforcement order to inform him of the new term that he has to pay his pending fines.

If you don’t, the order of seizure will arrive. First of all, they will seize the bank account and if there is not enough money in it, the order will come to seize the salary, pension, securities and, in the most extreme case, the car itself. Once all these avenues have been exhausted, the immovable property will be seized. So no matter how many unpaid tickets someone accumulates, in principle, they will not lose their driver’s license.

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Losing your driving license in Spain

And it is that the theory establishes that, in our system, the withdrawal of the license occurs when a driver stays no points or when you commit a crime against road safety.

lose all points

When a driver loses all the points on his license, Traffic declares his invalidity and sends a notification so that the permit can be delivered to the corresponding Provincial Headquarters. For professional drivers, the withdrawal is three months: for the rest it is six. Of course, the DGT will not return your license without further ado: you will have to pass a road re-education course.

Committing a crime against Road Safety

There are infractions so serious that they are considered crimes against Road Safety: exceed the established speed limit by 60 km/h (urban roads) or 80 km/h (interurban roads), drive with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.60 mg/liter in exhaled air or having used drugs, refusing to take breathalyzer and drug tests, reckless driving or reckless driving showing manifest disregard for the lives of others, among others.

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In these cases, it is a judicial decision that establishes the withdrawal of the card during the period of time imposed by the judge. If the term is less than two years, the driver will have to carry out the aforementioned re-education course; but if he is superior, he must take the course and a theory test.


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