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published: 11 Dec 2018 in Arrival & stay

How to exchange a foreign driving licence in Poland?

Joanna Czarnecka
Joanna Czarnecka

Editor

Regardless of whether you are staying here for longer or just going on a road trip through Europe, you may want to know if your driving licence is recognised in Poland. EU citizens have it easy - they can drive around freely. What about the others?

Is your driving licence valid in Poland?

  • a driving licence issued in the EU or EFTA member state is recognised in Poland and can be used as long as it is valid. It does not need to be exchanged.
  • an international driving permit issued in countries that are parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic is valid for 6 months in Poland. After 185 days of residence in Poland, it has to be exchanged for a Polish driving licence. The list of countries that are signatories to the Geneva Convention is available here.
  • a domestic driving licence issued in countries that are parties to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic is valid for 6 months in Poland. After 185 days of residence in Poland, it has to be exchanged for a Polish driving licence. The list of countries that are signatories to the Vienna Convention is available here.

Domestic driving licences issued in countries that have not ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention (such as the United States or India) may not be recognised in Poland. Drivers who hold such licences usually have to obtain an international driving permit in order to be allowed to drive in Poland for the period of up to 6 months from the date of entry into the country. Moreover, holders of such licences are required to pass the driving theory test in order to exchange their driving licence for a Polish one.

Would you like to take the Polish driving test but do not know where to start?

Here you will find all the necessary information: Getting driving licence in Poland

Where to apply?

In order to exchange your driving licence for a Polish one, you need to submit your application by post or in person to the relevant office. Depending on the place of your residence, the application should be submitted at:

  • starost’s office (starostwo powiatowe)
  • city/town hall (urząd miasta) in bigger towns and cities
  • district office (urząd dzielnicy) in Warsaw

Required documents:

- completed application form (available online or at the office. It is advisable to ask for assistance at the office if you do not speak Polish)

- your recent photograph (size: 35 x 45 mm)

- passport or residence card (karta pobytu)

- a copy of your residence card, visa or any other document confirming your right to stay in Poland and your resident registration (zameldowanie)

- certified Polish translation of the driving licence along with a copy of the driving licence

How much does it cost?

PLN 100.50

The fee can be paid at the office or prepaid by bank transfer (in the latter case you will be required to provide the proof of payment at the office).

How long does it take?

The whole process can take a few weeks since it may be necessary to verify the validity of the applicant's original driving licence. Applications that do not require additional validation take up to 9 working days to process.

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