Teenagers dream and a tool for professional drivers. For some of us, a document without which we cannot imagine our daily routine. Especially if we don’t live in the center of a larger city. Driving license. Today we will focus on this specific document:

What do You need, to get the driving license in Poland?

Driving License in Poland - conditions
Driving License in Poland – conditions

I will start with explaining conditions to be met in case of requesting for obtaining driver license.

  • Anyone who has reached the required age and has successfully passed a medical examination can apply for a driving license.
  • If you are a foreigner, you must stay in Poland for at least 185 days in a calendar year and have a residence card or permanent residence in Poland if you are coming out of a EU.

As this is clear, allow me to explain what the PKK number is (profil kandydata na kierowcę). It is an abbreviation from “driver candidate profile” and it is unique digital number which will be assigned to your driving license request. I had to start with this explanation and conditions, since next step will be related with obtaining mentioned PKK. In order to get it, you need to submit an application for a driving license to the city office (gmina) or the starosty (starostwo). My own tested way to find correct office, is to use in google phrase: “PKK prawo jazdy *name of your city*”.

Office and PKK

If you will find proper office, you need to deliver them below mentioned documents:

  • medical certificate stating that there are no medical contraindications for driving a vehicle. You will receive them for a fee (100 – 200 zł) from a selected doctor who has the appropriate qualifications. It happens that driving schools cooperate with doctors and offer the possibility of performing tests.
  • photo – clear, up-to-date and color, 3.5 x 4.5 cm. (20-30 zł)
  • ID card, passport or residence card – if you are a foreigner, take your passport or residence card.
  • application for a driving license – fill in and deliver to the office. You can download the application from your office’s website, print it out and fill it in at home. You can also fill in the ready application on the spot, and in case of doubt, use the help of an official. Of course, if he or she speaks foreign language.
  • a photocopy of your current driving license – take it if you extend your rights to new categories.
  • a psychological statement that there are no psychological contraindications for driving. You will need it if you want to get a driving license in the following categories: C1, C1 + E, C, C + E, D1, D1 + E, D, D + E. You will get the decision for a fee from an authorized transport psychologist who performs psychological tests of drivers.

If the application is complete, you will get the PKK immediately. In case, that your data is checked, officials may need approximately 2 days.

Categories of polish driving license in Poland

Driving License in Poland - categories
Driving License in Poland – categories

It is a good moment to present a table with categories, as well as age dependency and short description of most popular categories as well. If You would like to get full spectrum of all categories which can be obtained via polish system, click here. This link will open official Polish gov side which I used for categorization as well.

Course in driving school in Poland

Driving License in Poland - driving school
Driving License in Poland – driving school

If you have already your PKK number, you may come back to driving school and start learning. Course will be divided to theory and practice. Duration of each part depends on category you chose. For example, in case of category B, you will have 30 hours of theory and 30 hours of practice. In case of category C, it will be 20 hours of theory and 25 hours of practice. In case of a motorcycle and category A, it would be 30 hours of theory and 20 hours of practice. Each single driving school will provide you in details hours, agenda of events and material for learning within the price of the course.

As you are done with theory, you supposed to pass internal exam in your driving school. Just after this you will start practicing with instructor on a dedicated driver training yard. Instructor will explain you performing maneuvers required on official exam and give you few hours to practice. After few hours spent on a yard, you will start practicing in a city and, which means driving on a regular road. As you will “drive out” dedicated practice hours, instructor will also do with you internal practice exam. At the end you will get document with confirmation from your school, which claims that you finished course and can start with official driving license exam.

State exam

You supposed to get to your local provincial road traffic center (ośrodek ruchu drogowego) and set up your theory and practice dates. Since these road traffic centers are state offices, you may find them officially listed for example here – just click on this link. If you pass both parts of the exam, your candidate driver profile (PKK) will be returned to the communications department. It is the same office, where you applied for PKK. You need to come back there and apply for your driving license.

There are two things worth remembering here. You may check online status of your driving license via InfoCar. Second thing seems to be more important because of pandemic situation. Your driving license might be sent to you directly. You just need to mark proper check box during applying for your license. This opertion cost you 100,50 zł. And as we talk about the costs.

Total Cost of Driving License in Poland

Driving License in Poland - total cost
Driving License in Poland – total cost

Finally, “the juice“. How much does this cost in total? Obtaining PKK number cost nothing, but to get it, you need to deliver medical checkup which cost around 200 zł and around 20-30 zł for picture. The course itself variate between 1500 zł to 3000 zł per category. Why the spread is so large? Price depends on category you choose, city where you live and prestige of a driving school. Course for a regular car or motorcycle will be the cheapest but the trucks and buses would be the most expensive.

Price of the exams are established by the government, so they variate only on the base of a category. Table which is valid on this specific moment below.

CategoryFull priceTheoryPractice
AM170.00 zł30.00 zł140.00 zł
A, A2, A1210.00 zł30.00 zł180.00 zł
B170.00 zł30.00 zł140.00 zł
B1, C1, D, T200.00 zł30.00 zł170.00 zł
B+E200.00 zł –   zł200.00 zł
B96170.00 zł –   zł170.00 zł
C,D230.00 zł30.00 zł200.00 zł
C1+E, C+E, D1+E, D+E245.00 zł –   zł245.00 zł
Exams price in January 2021

An Example

Let’s take an example of costs for Driving license made in Kraków for category B.

PKK number 0 zł
Picture25.00 zł
Medical checkup 200.00 zł
Course in Driving School2,000.00 zł
Theory Exam 30.00 zł
Practice Exam 140.00 zł
Applying for license in the office100.50 zł
Total 2,495.50 zł
Driving License – total cost

2495 zł in total. You need to remeber that if you will fail with any exam and you will need to repeat it, you need to pay for it once again. As RMF 24 claims, one of a potential driver candidates approached theroy exam 162 times. I will repeat: 162 times. So, 162 x 30 zł = 4860 zł. It took 15 years to approach exam so many times. I am saying this because final price and duration of obtainig driving license depends mainly on you.

Language

Language
Language

What about language? Majority of driving schools in Poland provide lessons (theory and prctice) in English. There is also one more common practice – we can find more and more cases, where western part of Poland offers lessons of course except Polish, in English and German. On the other hand, eastern part of Poland offers lessons in Polish, English and Russian. The relation seems to be pretty obvious. Also, category B is the easiest one to find as we talk about English speaking instructor. Category C or D is much more complicated and category T (tractor) almost impossible.

So, what about exams? Theory exams for categories A, B, C, D are available in every bigger road traffic center in Polish, German and English language, so you can sign up for each of the available exams. However, it is not possible to read the questions in the database in advance. In addition, you do not need to provide any language certification. Everyone can approach one of the 3x available languages.

Practical exam is slightly more complicated, since You need to drive with sworn translator, who will translate Live instructions given by your examiner. In this case, you may choose the language preference – sworn translator may talk English, Spanish, French, Arabic or any other. Sworn translator has to be paid by you. One more thing. Sworn translator may enter with you into theory examination room, only for live translation of the rules explained at the beginning. But! He or she can’t stay with you, as the theory exam starts.

Do I need to exchange my current Driving License into Polish, if I am a foreigner?

Driving License - Exchange
Driving License – Exchange

If you are citizen of countries that have ratified the Convention on Road Traffic, upon arrival in Poland, you can move on Polish roads on the basis of your native driving license. If you want to stay in our country longer, before the lapse of 180 days from arriving in Poland, you must apply for a driving license exchange for a Polish one, returning your native one. The Polish driving license is issued with the same validity as the previous one. It is worth mentioning, that the citizens of countries mentoined by CRT (Convention on Road Traffic) do not need to undergo any training or pass an exam. Except members of the CRT, citizens of countries with which Poland has signed a bilateral agreement, can also count on document exchange after 180 days. This rule applies for example in case of citizens of Japan and South Korea.

If you are a person from country that have not signed the Convention on Road Traffic, you are in worse situation. Foreigners from, among others, China, the United States or Canada cannot drive on Polish roads with their driving license – they must have an international driving license or Polish one. To obtain a Polish document, you must pass only theory driving exam in Poland, exactly on the same terms whcih I described above. There is one more important thing worth mentioning, which affects citizens of United States.

US embassy in Poland claims:

In order to drive in Poland, American citizens must have either an international driving permit or a Polish national driver’s license: a U.S. State driver’s license without an IDP is insufficient. Americans may use an International Driving Permit for six months from the date of entry into Poland. In the U.S., you can obtain an IDP from any local AAA.

Source: US Embassy in Poland – link

Summary of Driving License in Poland

This would be all, as we talk about driving license in Poland. I did my best to cover most frequently asked questions which I found on the internet regarding this specific topic. I hope that this post will help you with you own driving license. Drive safe.

Would you like to read more publications about “Transport” on my blog? Click here. You may also get to main “Table of content“, which is available here. Do you want to stay in touch and get updates about new posts? Subscribe now.

https://europa.eu/ ; https://autokult.pl/; https://www.gov.pl/; https://prawo-jazdy.egzaminy.dlakierowcy.info/; rmf24.pl; wiki.pl

Source

43 Comments

Marco Oliveira · 08/01/2021 at 19:46

Great work, from your information we need to change if we the driver license if i am from Portugal and I am living here more than 6 months, where we can change or apply to change to the polish driver license?
Miss you from the office
Regards

    Mateusz · 08/01/2021 at 20:25

    Hey Marco!

    Thanks for your comment. Yes – officially if you live in Poland for longer than 6 months, you should change your driving license to Polish one. You can do it “starostwo powiatowe” or “urząd miasta”. In case of Kraków, it is “Urząd Miasta Krakowa, Wydział Ewidencji Pojazdów i Kierowców.” Just click the link. You would need to call them first, to set up a meeting in the office.
    PS. I miss you and all of the co-mates as well 😉

Magda · 08/01/2021 at 20:58

Thank you for a very nice guidance!
I would appreciate your answer on several points:
“At the end you will get document with confirmation from your school, which claims that you finished course and can start with official driving license exam.” – is it impossible to take an official exam without taking the courses at school?

“You need to drive with sworn translator, who will translate Live instructions given by your examiner.” – is there no chance to take an English speaking examiner?

Thank you in advance!

    Mateusz · 08/01/2021 at 21:48

    Hey Magda,

    thank you for your comment. Allow me to clarify:

    „At the end you will get document with confirmation from your school, which claims that you finished course and can start with official driving license exam.” – is it impossible to take an official exam without taking the courses at school?
    No – mentioned PKK number conatins informations about driven hours and history of your driving education. You need to accomplish the course (all theory and practice hours + internal exams) in order to approach the state exam.

    „You need to drive with sworn translator, who will translate Live instructions given by your examiner.” – is there no chance to take an English speaking examiner?
    You may do this, but still, sworn translator has to be with you, since this is national state exam. Not much what we can do about it – this is a part of internal rules.

    Thank you in advance! – You are very welcome! 🙂

sJame · 08/01/2021 at 21:19

As a US license holder, my local Polish government office tells me that to convert the license, I only need to take the theory exam, not the driving exam. I think your information is incorrect.

    Mateusz · 08/01/2021 at 23:14

    sJame – actually you re right. I checked this sentence: “(…)you must pass a driving exam in Poland(..)”. It is confusing. I fixed it with “(…)you must pass only theory driving exam in Poland(…)”.

    I am happy that you pay some much attention to the details. Good Eye – thank You 🙂

Azamjon · 08/01/2021 at 21:33

I would like to take the driving licence

    Mateusz · 08/01/2021 at 21:53

    Azamjon – fingers crossed! Good Luck 🙂

Ali · 08/01/2021 at 23:26

Hello sir, i have question. After passing C, C+E category lincense, possible to give exam of qualification exam, code 95 in English?

    Mateusz · 10/01/2021 at 19:08

    Hey Ali,

    I recommend to call driving school and ask them directly for it – your questions here is oriented very much on a professional driving for leaving and I do not have any familiar truck dirver, who would be able to tell me this. Anyway, I found one driving school in Poland, who you can call – they do C+E and 95 in English. Contact details below:

    Contact link – qualification code 95

    Good luck 😉

Peter · 08/01/2021 at 23:54

I think it is worthy to add that if you come from an EU country you don’t have to do anything. You can drive on your national license till it expires – then you can replace it with a PL one. I have driven in Poland for 10 years with a NL driving license before trading it in for a PL one, never the police questioned it.

    Mateusz · 10/01/2021 at 19:14

    Hey Peter,

    thank you for your comment. I admit, that it is a kind of “dead law”. Police officer who is controlling you, has no obligation to check how long are you registered in Poland. And I will be honest – I never met anyone, who recevied a fine for “not exchanging” drvining license. Anyway – the law say clearly, that every foreigner supposed to replace it, but I found nothing about consequence of not doing it 🙂

Fabio · 09/01/2021 at 03:42

Dear Mateusz
I would like ask about exchange driving license to polish one , do I need TRC to exchange it ? Or I can exchange with my student visa

    Mateusz · 10/01/2021 at 19:34

    Hi Fabio!

    I would need your help with explaining what do you mean with: “TRC”

Dorothy · 09/01/2021 at 11:53

Americans need to have an Apostille of their lisence in order to opt out of the practical driving part and this is the thing which I just cannot get my hands on. They also must have a sworn translation of their originsl lisence.

    Mateusz · 10/01/2021 at 19:56

    Hey Dorothy,

    this might be challenging – I agree. What would you think about taking an exam in Poland once again? Wouldn’t this be more convenient for you in such case?

Ilona · 09/01/2021 at 17:03

Terrific information, thank you.
However, me and my husband got upset about the rules on American license exchange in Poland, mainly about having to take the test.
We both have the US and British driving license, though our British one is out of date as we are just over 70. Thinking of moving to Poland and taking two cars with us, do we really need to go through the rigmarole of taking Polish tests?

    Mateusz · 10/01/2021 at 19:52

    Hi Ilona,

    First of all, I am happy to hear, that you think of moving to Poland 😉 For the second: yes. You really need to go through a Polish tests. But not worries. You may take it in English. Also – this test is simple – especailly if you have already experience as a driver.

Aziz Beyrakdar · 09/01/2021 at 20:57

Hello Mateusz,

Thanks for this great article,
I’m Tunisian, Tunisia is a part of the Vienna Convention.
I went to Urząd Miasta Krakowa in order to exchange my Tunisian Driving License, They refused and asked me to pass the theoretical exam in Poland in order to be able to exchange my Tunisian Driving License for a polish one.

Why is that ??

    Mateusz · 10/01/2021 at 19:46

    Hey Aziz,

    thank you for your comment. Actually, Tunisia is not listed as a member of Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. This might be the issue here. Have a look on a link to wiki with all countries who signed it: Vienna Convention

Egle · 11/01/2021 at 19:29

Hey! I passed my DL last month & one thing I wanna add. non-EU citizens can use residence card to get PKK, but for EU- only pesel is not enough. They have to register in foreign affairs office ( possibly to do with work contract or certification of employment). I’m from EU & had pesel once i registered my address. But it was not enough

    Mateusz · 11/01/2021 at 21:16

    Hey Egle!

    Congrats! I am happy to hear this. Thank you for your input here. I know that it does depend from specific office as well. Some of them will be very picky with each single detail and the others will have completly different approach. Anyhow, ID card and residence permit should be enough.

      Egle · 14/01/2021 at 19:16

      EU citizens do not get residence cards 🙂 and we need to prove that we are in Poland at least 185 days per year. So Legalizacja pobytu obywateli Unii Europejskiej is needed. This is how driving school also advised.

    Tom · 27/01/2021 at 17:53

    Hi, in which city do you live? I though PESEL-Number would be enough, as I registered today.

      Mateusz · 28/01/2021 at 22:07

      Actually it should be enough in every city, unless you come from out of EU union

Daud Ali · 11/01/2021 at 20:09

Hello, Sir Mateusz says
How are you
I need some information from you
you can tell me i have Pakistan driver’s license can i change in Poland 🇵🇱

    Mateusz · 11/01/2021 at 21:23

    Hey Daud,

    I am fine, thanks 🙂 Pakistan is a member of Vienna Convention, which means that you should be able to replace it. Check your local communications department office (wydział komunikacji). They should give you the form to fill in for it. Take into the consideration, that it does depend from your local authorities in Pakistan as well. Polish office will send request for driving license validation to them, which needs to be confirmed via equivalent of the communication department in Pakistan.

Daud Ali · 28/01/2021 at 18:38

Hello, Sir Mateusz says I want to ask you, please, can you tell me. on which website we can check our Polish driver’s license

    Mateusz · 28/01/2021 at 22:09

    Hey Daud,

    Do you mean page to check the status of your driving license as a document, when exam is passed?

    Vahid · 29/08/2021 at 09:21

    Thanks for the great article!
    My Australian licence is expiring soon. Can I exchange it and also extend it in one go and get the Polish one for a few years?

      Mateusz · 31/08/2021 at 17:01

      Yes, but you will need to deliver the results of doctors examination.

Daud Ali · 29/01/2021 at 19:45

Sir Mateusz says you are right because my friend told me because he has polish driving license and he wants to check if you can tell me or can you send me website I want to ask you sir I Also want to get polish driving license how can i get sir can you tell me because i live in italy

Be · 01/05/2021 at 16:44

Hi Mateusz!

Thanks for the great article. Do you know how long it takes on average for the practical exam?

    Mateusz · 04/05/2021 at 05:25

    Hi Be,

    the exam itself takes aroind 1 hour. Awaiting time for the “first exam” shouldn’t be longer than 2x weeks. Awaiting time for every next exam should not be longer than 1x month.

Serdar · 09/07/2021 at 21:33

Hey Mateusz,

Got one question, after passing theory and practical exam, going to urzad office with ID is enough or do I need to take some photos etc with me? Btw I am asking for Warsaw if it does make a difference.

Cheers,
Serdar

    Mateusz · 14/07/2021 at 05:22

    Hey Serdar,

    Going to Urząd with ID will be enough, since you need to bring them a picture while making PKK number.

Rob · 10/08/2021 at 12:58

Hi , Thanks for the article, really useful

If i am using a UK license and want to change to Polish one. Will it matter that I have been here more than 180 days already?

    Mateusz · 10/08/2021 at 23:17

    No. If you ask about any potential consequences, then I have never heard about fine for not exchanging driving license after 180. You could for example live in the city center, so you wouldn’t need to exchange it.

      Rob · 17/08/2021 at 09:18

      Thank you for reply. Do you know the process to exchange it. I have PESEL and registered with local council i am resident. But i don’t have Polish resident card. I am Irish national (EU) but UK license.

Mira · 15/02/2022 at 04:54

Hello,
If I didn’t provide my foreign driving licence when applying for the PKK, how can I fix it?
The school at the time told me it wasn’t important, but now I see that I was simply able to exchange it after passing the theoretical exam instead of having to pay for 30hrs of driving classes.
Thank you in advance.

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