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:
- Who can apply for Driving License – Conditions
- Obtaining a driving license – course and exam
- Total cost
- Language of lessons and exams
- Do I need to exchange my current Driving License if I am a foreigner?
What do You need, to get the driving license in Poland?
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
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
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.
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
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.
|AM||170.00 zł||30.00 zł||140.00 zł|
|A, A2, A1||210.00 zł||30.00 zł||180.00 zł|
|B||170.00 zł||30.00 zł||140.00 zł|
|B1, C1, D, T||200.00 zł||30.00 zł||170.00 zł|
|B+E||200.00 zł||– zł||200.00 zł|
|B96||170.00 zł||– zł||170.00 zł|
|C,D||230.00 zł||30.00 zł||200.00 zł|
|C1+E, C+E, D1+E, D+E||245.00 zł||– zł||245.00 zł|
Let’s take an example of costs for Driving license made in Kraków for category B.
|PKK number||0 zł|
|Medical checkup||200.00 zł|
|Course in Driving School||2,000.00 zł|
|Theory Exam||30.00 zł|
|Practice Exam||140.00 zł|
|Applying for license in the office||100.50 zł|
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.
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?
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.
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