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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
In such a case, the procedure is exactly as described above, with just one difference: a medical certificate is then required.