Immigration

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Exchange Your Driving License in Poland as a Foreigner

Date 23.04.2024
Agnieszka Zagroba
ProRelo Blog: How to Exchange Your Driving License in Poland as a foreigner
ProRelo Blog: How to Exchange Your Driving License in Poland as a foreigner

Navigating the roads in Poland necessitates an understanding of the country’s driving license regulations, especially for foreigners. If you have an international driving permit or a foreign driving license, you should exchange it after 6 months of your legal stay in Poland. For those holding an EU/EFTA driving license, the good news is that there’s no need to exchange it for a Polish driving license as long as it remains valid.

 

However, if your stay extends beyond 6 months, exchanging your driving license in Poland becomes essential. This applies whether you have an international driving permit issued under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic or a domestic driving license from a country party to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Understanding the process for exchanging your driving license in Poland is crucial for a seamless transition and ensuring you stay on the right side of Polish driving regulations.

1. Eligibility Criteria for License Exchange

EU and EFTA License Holders

  1. Recognition without exchange: If your driving license was issued in an EU or EFTA member state, it is recognized in Poland and does not require an exchange.

  2. Residence period consideration: EU citizens can swap their valid EU license for a Polish one after residing in Poland for 180 days. These 6 months must be documented by Local Address Registration or Residence permit or visa.

Non-EU License Holders

  1. Initial validity: A domestic driving license from countries part of the 1968 Vienna Convention should be exchanged after 6 months from the date of getting a permit to stay in Poland.

  2. Exchange requirement: After 6 months of residency in Poland, you must exchange your foreign driver’s license for a Polish one to continue driving legally. These 6 months must be documented by Local Address Registration or Residence permit or visa.

  3. Written exam (might be needed): Please note that sometimes even though the country is a party to the convention, there may be a necessity to pass the theoretical exam due to, for example, differences in the format of the driving license document.

  4. License validity post-exchange: The first Polish driver’s license obtained is valid for 5 years, and subsequent ones for 15 years.

Special Conditions for Non-Convention Countries

  1. International driving permit requirement: For licenses from countries not part of the 1968 Vienna Convention, an international driving permit is required to drive in Poland for up to 6 months of residency in Poland.

  2. Theoretical exam: If the issuing country is not a party to any Road Traffic Convention, passing the theoretical part of the Polish driver’s exam is required for the license exchange.

  3. Residence rights: Possession of the right of residence in Poland is crucial for the license exchange process. These 6 months must be documented by Local Address Registration or Residence permit or visa.

2. Required Documents for the Exchange Process

To ensure a smooth process when exchanging your foreign driving license for a Polish one, you’ll need to gather several important documents. Here’s what you should prepare:

ProRelo Blog_Exchange Driving License in Poland_City of Łódź

Initial documentation

  1. Completed application form: Available online or at local offices.

  2. Recent photograph: Ensure it measures 35 x 45 mm.

  3. Valid identification: A passport is necessary.

  4. Proof of legal stay: Include a copy of your residence card, visa, or any other document confirming your right to stay in Poland along with your resident registration (zameldowanie).

Additional Requirements

  1. Certified Polish translation of your driving license: Along with a copy of your original driving license.

  2. Process payment confirmation: The current fee is PLN 100.50.

Medical and Legal Declarations (are needed when your driving license is nearly going to be expired)

  1. Doctor’s approval (Orzeczenie Lekarskie): Obtain this from a certified doctor, which typically costs around PLN 200.

  2. Statement forms: You will need to fill out Statement nr 1 and Statement nr 2, which are necessary legal declarations.

 

After gathering these documents, submit your application at the nearest city hall (Urząd Miejski). You will receive a PKK number (Profilu Kandydata na Kierowcę), which is essential for proceeding with the license exchange process.

3. Step-by-Step Guide to the Exchange Process

Initial Steps and Medical Requirements

  1. Visit a doctor: Begin by visiting a doctor to obtain a medical certificate confirming your fitness to drive. This includes a general health check and an eye test.

  2. Gather required documents: Assemble your current driver’s license, a recent photograph, a valid ID like your passport, a document of legal stay, and the medical certificate from your doctor.

  3. Submit Your Application: Apply at the relevant local office, which could be the city hall or district office. Attach all gathered documents and pay the required fee, which is PLN 100.50.

Examination and License Issuance

  1. Receive your PKK number: After submitting your application, the profil kandydata na kierowce (driving candidate profile PKK) is issued only after the authenticity of the driving license is confirmed by the issuing Authority of your home country. you will receive a PKK number, which is necessary for registration for the written exam.

  2. Prepare for the written exam: Poland’s theoretical driving test is difficult. Although the exam itself might be available in English at your request, you’ll still need to be able to interpret pictures of Polish road signs and driving vocabulary.

  3. Take the written exam: To schedule an exam appointment, you’ll have to visit the website of your city’s Wojewódzki Ośrodek Ruchu Drogowego, or regional road traffic centre. Some centres take appointments over the phone or email, others have an online booking system. In most cities, there is online booking via the website info-car.pl where you can also choose the English language.

Finalizing the Exchange

Receive your Polish driving license: Once processed, your Polish driving license will be issued. The first license is valid for 5 years, with subsequent licenses valid for 15 years.

4. Conclusion

ProRelo Blog_Exchange Driving License in Poland (1)

The journey from holding a foreign license to becoming a legally recognized driver in Poland embodies a structured approach, ensuring compliance with local regulations and fostering a safer driving environment.

How can we help you?

For those seeking more individualized advice or facing unique circumstances, getting in touch with our Immigration Department can provide personalized advice and support tailored to your specific needs. Check our scope of services here

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