HOW TO OBTAIN THE POLISH DRIVING LICENCE
HOW TO OBTAIN THE POLISH DRIVING LICENCE
A motor vehicle may be driven in the territory of the Republic of Poland by a person holding a valid local driving license issued by:
a Member State of the European Union, the Swiss Confederation, or a Member State of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), the party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, during the validity of the driving license.
The Member States of the European Union are:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Hungary, Great Britain, Italy.
EFTA Member States:
Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.
A state that is a party to the Convention on Road Traffic in Vienna of 8 November 1968, within six months of the commencement of a permanent or temporary stay, but no longer than during the period of validity of the driving licence.
The List of Parties to the Convention on Road Traffic in Vienna of 8 November 1968:
South Africa, Albania, Austria, Bahamas, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Philippines, Finland, France, Greece, Georgia, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Iran, Israel , Serbia and Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Congo, Cuba, Kuwait, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Macedonia, Morocco, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Germany, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Central African Republic, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Hungary, Italy, Cote d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe.
A state that is a party to the Convention on Road Traffic in Geneva of 19 September 1949, within a period of 6 months from the date of commencement of permanent or temporary residence, but no longer than during the period of validity of the driving licence.
The List of Parties to the Convention on Road Traffic, done in Geneva of 19 September 1949:
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechia, Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Vatican City, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom , United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe
The country with which Poland has concluded a bilateral agreement on the mutual recognition of driving licences.
The countries with which Poland has signed bilateral agreements on the mutual recognition of driving licenses:
Japan, Republic of Korea.
Important! In the territory of the Republic of Poland, a driving licence is not recognised valid if issued in another EU Member State, the Swiss Confederation or a member state of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) not recognized as a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, if it was held up, or if the driving rights were cancelled temporarily or permanently.
The driver may only have one valid national driving licence. The driving licence will be issued to a person who has been informed about criminal liability for the statement of untruth or concealment of truth, declares that his place of residence is in the territory of the Republic of Poland, when:
- He/she stays in the territory of the Republic of Poland for at least 185 days in each calendar year due to their personal or professional relationships;
- He/she stays in the territory of the Republic of Poland for at least 185 days in each calendar year with the intention of permanent residence solely due to personal ties
- Stays regularly in the territory of the Republic of Poland due to their personal ties, and, at the same time, due to professional ties is in succession in at least two Member States of the European Union,
- Resides irregularly in the territory of the Republic of Poland due to personal ties, because they reside in another Member State of the European Union in order to perform a task of a specified duration,
- Stays in the territory of another country due to studying or learning at school in that country.
WHERE TO LODGE THE APPLICATION?
You can send the application by post or lodge it in person:
- at the powiat starostwo office in the place of residence;
- in the city office – if you live in a city with powiat rights;
- in the district office competent for the place of residence – if you live in Warsaw;
- at the Marshal Office of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship in Warsaw – if you are a diplomat.
A national driving license on the basis of which the Polish driving licence was issued shall be retained by the authorities and immediately sent to the competent authority of the issuing country, along with the information about the reason for issuing the Polish driving licence.
WHAT DOCUMENTS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO OBTAIN THE POLISH DRIVING LICENCE?
In order to obtain a Polish driving licence in place of the national driving licence, prepare:
the filled in application for a driving licence or a permit;
the attachments to the application:
- a colour photograph 35 × 45 mm, taken on a uniform light background, with good sharpness and the natural colour of the skin, with the image of the person from the top of the head to the upper part of the shoulders, so that the face occupies 70–80% of the photograph, clearly showing the eyes, especially pupils, and depicting a person in a frontal position, without headgear and sunglasses, looking straight ahead with open eyes, uncovered hair, with natural expression of face and closed mouth; the photograph should be taken no earlier than 6 months before the day of lodging the application. A person with congenital or acquired eye defects may attach to the application a photograph in sunglasses. In this case, the application shall also be accompanied by a decision on the disability of a person under 16 years of age or a decision on the degree of disability of a person who is 16 years of age or older, due to congenital or acquired vision defect, issued in accordance with the provisions of the act of 27 August 1997 on professional and social rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons (Journal of Laws of 2016 item 2046, as amended); a person wearing headgear in accordance with the rules of their religion may attach to the application a photograph in the headgear, provided that the image of the face is fully visible – in this case, a certificate of belonging to a religious community registered in the Republic of Poland shall be attached to the application; it is allowed to attach a photograph taken with a digital technique, stored on an external data medium,
- a photocopy of the driving licence;
- a translation of the national driving licence issued or certified by a sworn translator or a competent consul of the Republic of Poland – not applicable to national driving licenses issued by European Union Member States, the Swiss Confederation or the member states of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) – parties to the treaty on the European Economic Area,
- a proof of payment of the fee for issuing the driving licence and the registration fee,
- a document allowing to identify the applicant
- a foreigner applying for a Polish driving licence shall attach to the application a photocopy of a residence card, a residence visa, or any other document confirming the right to stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland or a certificate of studying for at least 6 months.
If the driving licence issued abroad is a time-limited document that will soon expire, in order to obtain the Polish driving licence, a medical certificate confirming the absence of health contraindications to drive vehicles issued by a doctor authorized to examine drivers should be enclosed.
WHAT IS THE FEE FOR OBTAINING THE POLISH DRIVING LICENCE?
The fee for issuing the driving licence is 100.50 zł. If the matter is arranged with a representative, you additionally pay a stamp duty on lodging a document granting the powers of attorney or proxy, or a copy or extract, in the amount of 17 zł (except the power of attorney granted to the spouse, ascendant, descendant, or siblings, or if the principal is a party exempt from stamp duty payment). The confirmation of the payment of the above fees should be attached to the application.
HOW LONG DOES THE OFFICE PROCEDURE TAKE?
The matter should be completed within 30 days of lodging the application.
In case of driving licences issued abroad by a country that is not a Member State of the European Union, the authority must request confirmation of the data and information in the driving licence document to the authority that issued the driving licence, which significantly extends the duration of the procedure.
- Convention on Road Traffic in Vienna of 8 November 1968 (Journal of Laws of 1988 No. 5, items 40 and 44),
- Act of 5 January 2011 on drivers of vehicles (Journal of Laws of 2011, No. 30, item 151),
- Act of 16 November 2006 on stamp duty (Journal of Laws of 2016, item 1827),
- Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure and Construction of 24 February 2016 on issuing documents confirming rights to drive vehicles (Journal of Laws of 2016, item 231, as amended),
- Regulation of the Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy of 11 January 2013 on the amount of fees for issuing documents confirming rights to drive vehicles (Journal of Laws of 2013, item 83),
- Regulation of the Minister of the Interior of 15 May 2015 on the registration fee constituting the revenue of the Fund – the Central Register of Vehicles and Drivers (Journal of Laws of 2015, item 681, as amended).
Author: Trainee Attorney-at-law Marta Szczepanowska
Editorial Supervisor: Attorney-at-law Paweł Tokarski