Are expats allowed to drive in Poland? Can they use their international driver's license? Find out in this article.
If you are planning to move to Poland, you are probably wondering whether you can drive in your host country. First of all, you are advised to inquire on the road traffic regulations and road safety conditions. In general, foreigners are allowed to drive in Poland, provided they have a valid driver's license.
European Union nationals, for instance, can drive in Poland with their original driver's license since 2005. In case of loss of their driver's license, they are required to request for a duplicate from the relating authorities in their home country. This document should be accompanied by either a certificate or a Pole driver's license issued by local authorities.
Good to know:
Nationals of non-European countries which have signed the Vienna Convention can drive in Poland with an international driver's license even if they are not a resident in the country. Note that the international driver's license is valid for six months only in Poland.
Appling for a local driver's license
Non-European Union nationals holding a driver's license are subject to strict conditions before being authorized to drive in Poland. Indeed, they are required to apply for a local driver's license, just like Pole nationals who are requesting the document for the first time, that is taking part in theoretical and practical driving examinations. However, the practical examinations should be rather easy if you already have a driver's license.
Good to know:
You can hire a German or English-speaking instructor for your driving classes. However, this will be considered as an extra, and therefore, will be more expensive.
You are entitled to a minimum of 30 hours of theoretical and practical driving courses with an accredited driving instructor. Once you have successfully completed these courses, you may register for the exams which may be held on the same day.
Since Poland has become a member of the European Union, it has greatly invested in road development given that the country is a major exchange platform for the region. Thus, new roads are built every year so as to ease access to all big and small cities.
The highway is subject to toll by different segments. It can be paid by credit card in major cities. The big toll posts accept payment in new zloty, euros and dollars. In general, toll rates vary according to the type, size and weight of the vehicle. As regards utility vehicles, rates vary between 4.5 and 15 by segment.
Road safety and regulations
Speed is limited at 50 – 60 km/h in city-centers, 90 – 120 km/h outside city-centers and 140 km/h on highways.
Like in most countries, you will drive on the right and be overtaken on the left.
Priority goes to tramway in cities and to horse carriages in small villages.
A maximum of 0.02g of alcohol is tolerated in the blood.
All vehicles have to be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Otherwise, the driver will be liable to a fine.
Headlights must be on, both during the day and at night, all year round.
If you have been fined, you are required to settle it within 7 days following receipt. In general, the amount ranges from 50 to 500 new zloty. In the case of dangerous driving due to alcohol consumption (0.05g per liter), you are liable to imprisonment.