The driver’s license that’s been issued outside of Poland is valid here for 185 days (about six month). If you want to be able to drive a vehicle in Poland past this time period you need to exchange the license for the one valid in Poland. In this article we present the procedure of exchanging a foreign driver’s license for a Polish one, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
The institution responsible for exchanging foreign driver’s licenses is the Regional Administration (Urząd Dzielnicy / Urząd Gminy). In order to apply for the exchange you need to file an application form and an agreement to personal data processing. You can print them and fill them out at home, or you can fill out the forms available at Administration Offices – this way you can ask an administration worker to help you out.
Aside from the application and the agreement, you have to bring in the following documents:
- foreign driver’s license and its xero
- official translation of the foreign license
- identity document and its xero
- a document that confirms your legal status in Poland and its xero (only in case when it’s not the same document as the ID)
- a photograph (same criteria as for the ID photo)
- process payment confirmation (PLN 100,50)
- statement nr 1
- statement nr 2
- residency registration (zaświadczenie o zameldowanie) – in case if you don’t have a residency registration, you need to ask an Administration worker which document you should bring instead)
The Polish driver’s license is then typically issued within several months. The wait is so long primarily because of the requirement of international license verification.
Note! The procedure described above can vary depending on which country has issued the original license, when is it due, etc. The cases of typical variations in the procedure can be found below.
Driver’s license issued by an EU member state
A driver’s license that’s been issued by the EU member state does not have to be exchanged for the Polish one past the six month period. The same rule applies for international licenses.
Driver’s license issued by a country that is not a contracting party of the Convention on Road Traffic
If the state that has issued the license is not a party of the Vienna Convention, a person is required to pass the theoretical part of the Polish driver’s exam in order to apply for the license exchange. The steps are as follows:
- head to the Regional Administration Office (Urząd Dzielnicy / Urząd Gminy) according to the living address and get there a Driver Candidate Profile (Profil Kandydata na Kierowcę, PKK)
- pass the theoretical part of the National Driver’s Exam at any chosen WORD
- attach the confirmation of the exam’s positive result when applying for the license exchange.
The contracting parties of the Vienna Convention are as follows:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Cabo Verde
- Central African Republic
- Costa Rica
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Czech Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Holy See
- Iran (Islamic Republic of)
- North Macedonia
- Republic of Korea
- Republic of Moldova
- Russian Federation
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- State of Palestine
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
- Viet Nam
Frequently asked questions
When do I need a medical certificate?
A medical certificate that confirms you are fit to drive a vehicle is required in a situation when the foreign driver’s license’s due date is soon. There is no clarification in law about what “soon” means.
We’d advise you to get a medical certificate if the license is due in a couple of months. If you don’t bring the certificate and it turns out that it’s necessary, the Administration will ask you to remind you about it themselves.
Is it possible to make the procedure faster?
The reason that the procedure lasts this long is the necessity of international document verification. You can make this step shorter by trying to get a print out of your license validity confirmation from the Administration that has issued it to you. However, there is no guarantee that it will make the process faster.
Does it matter what my legal status is?
A driver’s license that’s been issued outside of Poland loses its validity in Poland after 185 days of residency. One of the requirements in the license exchange procedure is the confirmation that your stay in Poland is legal. Other than that, the residence status plays no role in the process.
I have international protection in Poland. Will my documents be checked in the country that I have fled?
A foreign driver’s license of a person who’s been granted international support in Poland (asylum, refugee status, tolerated or humanitarian residence, additional protection) does not undergo an international verification process.
What if the original driver’s license is expired?
In such a case, the procedure is exactly as described above, with just one difference: a medical certificate is then required.
Get it done with us!
Do you have any more questions about exchanging the driver’s license? Do you need help filling out the forms? Contact CPC!
In the time of coronavirus, our Help Center for Foreigners will help you remotely! Send an e-mail to: [email protected] and briefly describe your problem. If you want us to contact you quickly, you can also send us your phone number – it will make communication easier and shorten the waiting time for our response. The assistance we provide is free of charge.
This text serves informational purposes only – we do not mediate organizational issues.
Click HERE for more guidance on living in Poland and forms of help available in the Help Center for Foreigners.