Driving License

In general, Poland is known for rather straightforward driving rules. Whatever is established by the law, should be implemented on the road. This applies to the use of seatbelts (they are always obligatory), strict drunk-driving law (the acceptable limit of blood alcohol level is 0.02%) and many speed restrictions (beware of radar traps and policemen hiding behind a corner).

Who needs a driving license?

If you are an EU citizen – lucky you, you can drive using your own license as long as it is valid and not restricted in any way. Nevertheless, please bear in mind that after 185 days of residence in Poland you are obliged to exchange your driving license for a Polish one, otherwise you will be facing problems with car insurance. Your original document will be collected and sent back to your home country, but you will be able to retrieve it upon coming back.

People from outside the Eurozone can also use their license provided it is accompanied by the International Driving Permit. This passport-like document has to be paired with your own driving license and, as in the case of European documents, it is valid only for 185 days. After this period foreigners residing in Poland need to either exchange their driving documents or apply for a Polish driving license.

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How to apply for a Polish driving license?

In order to do that, four conditions need to be fulfilled:

  1. You need to be a resident of Poland.
  2. You need to meet the age requirements for the category you want to obtain.
  3. You need to pass medical tests.
  4. You need to pass a theoretical and practical driving exam.

Point no, 4 from the list above involves dual examinations of theoretical and practical knowledge. Both tests are organized by local road traffic centers called WORD. Before attempting to pass them, new drivers are obliged to enroll for a driving course. There is a variety of driving schools in each city and even smaller towns, although exams are conducted only in those which host WORD facilities. Courses are paid (around PLN 1000, depending on a school) and include a min. of 30 hours of theoretical lectures and a min. of 30 hours of driving. There are even schools offering instructions in foreign languages, but it depends on the city.