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Driving in Poland on a foreign license


jasiek2000
1 Jan 2008  #1
Happy New Year All!

Is anyone familiar with the rules on driving in Poland on a foreign license? I have a Polish license, but am thinking of exchanging this for an Irish one and using this for driving in Poland.

The reason I'm thinking of doing this is that I recently picked up 5 penalty points on my Polish license. When pulled over, I was initially informed that my offence (which was minor, and which I still dispute) would earn me 19 penalty points. After some negotiation, this was lowered to 5 points and a 200zl fine. I'm quite sure that the threat of 19 points was just the usual case of the police/city guards initially handing out an overly-severe penalty, and then lowering it after the usual routine of the offender grovelling enough to sufficiently inflate his ego.

However, the event has shown me how easy it could be to reach the points limit with just a couple of very minor infractions (and some help from a begruntled police officer). If I were to exchange my Polish license for an Irish one, is it then legal for me to drive in Poland on the Irish license, and hence be 'exempt' from the points system? I seem to remember hearing in the past that if a person does have a Polish license, then they must use it while driving in Poland. However, if I were to exchange my Polish license for an Irish one, then technically I am no longer in posession of it.

Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers!
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
1 Jan 2008  #2
i keep my international license handy for when i don't think i'll have gone outside the borders for a 3 month period. As well, I got a buddy with a polish one but he let it expire and uses his other licence from another non eu country, he seems to prefer the other one for some reason.
the_falkster 1 | 180
1 Jan 2008  #3
as the irish licence is a eu licence you can drive with it in poland.
do the irish have a similar point system to the uk?
if so it might happen that points you collect in poland get transferred onto your irish licence...
jasiek - | 12
1 Jan 2008  #4
Ireland does have a similar points system to the UK and Poland, but the systems are not integrated. Points picked up in one country cannot be applied to a license issued in another.
shaynelle 1 | 4
1 Jan 2008  #5
Whats this International Licence? My father is a police officer (traffic cop) in Canada and he says some people when he pulls them over produces some fake licence and insist it's an International Licence but he says there's no such a thing. I'm not saying he is right... but he is a traffic cop, yet I read people posting about International Driving licences??
ukpolska
1 Jan 2008  #6
International Driving licence

You are correct

The concept that there is an "International Drivers License", separate from the ordinary driver's license, is false. A document called that is usually a scam, misleading the driver into thinking that he or she is purchasing official documents accepted internationally. The only internationally accepted documentation is the International Driving Permit combined with the standard valid driver's license from the driver's country of residence. The IDP is a multiple language translation of the existing driver's license, and is not a license to operate a motor vehicle by itself.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Drivers_License
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
2 Jan 2008  #7
he says there's no such a thing.

shaynelle's father is incorrect and upolska is about half right (lol at quoting wikipedia vs actually having one), mine was issued by caa so i can assure you it isn't a scam.

You must have a valid licence from your country of residency plus the international licence. Having the international licence allows you to drive for extended periods of time in a given country without having to exit and return for the sake of legality and insurance. Yeah it's translated into a few languages but not that many really.

The concept of the international licence was established in 1949 and is endorsed and or recognized by virtually every political state that exists.

International Driving Permit

Planning to drive while you're on holidays? BCAA is the exclusive authorized issuer of International Driving Permits in B.C., helping to make your travel experience abroad, safe and hassle-free.

bcaa.com/wps/portal/travel/road_trips/travel_tips?rdePathInfo=xchg/bcaa-com/hs.xsl/2281.htm
ukpolska
2 Jan 2008  #8
shaynelle wrote:
he says there's no such a thing.

Therefore, her father is correct, as you seem to be quoting the International Driving Permit, as there is no such thing on paper as an International Driving licence; it is just an extension to your own country's driving licence, which allows you to drive abroad.

It is basically a translation of your own country's licence in various languages and holds no real weight on its own. The only reason to get this is that some countries in the world require it if you are going to drive in the said country, and this can be checked through the embassy webpage.

lol at quoting wikipedia vs actually having one

lol, show me where the info is wrong then :O)
Debianco 19 | 111
2 Jan 2008  #9
i have seen a credit card size so called "international driving license" like the ones we have in the uk. it was pink had the international * symbol and where it says uk it said eu.

it had a photo ,the name and date of birth of the polish owner but not the adress- my uk one has my adress on it .

so is this a leagl-card or a scam? it says interantional on it
ukpolska
2 Jan 2008  #10
Points picked up in one country cannot be applied to a license issued in another.

This is true as I have just been through the process of getting my license transferred from a GB one to a Polish one and points are not transferable.

If anyone is wondering I replaced my GB license for a Polish one because I have lived here for seven years now and intend to stay here and it just makes life easier in the long run if you have a Polish version; although as a EU citizen I do not need to do this as you can drive throughout the EU on your own countries driving license.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
2 Jan 2008  #11
show me where the info is wrong then :O)

scam?:0)
the fact that the major motor insurancer (in canada) issues the thing as an international permit, the fact that it has different limitations in different countries? :o)

i never said it stood as a licence unto its own. But never mind, I have used one many times with the police in different countries and border crossings and you have wikipedia, my bad:o)
Harry
2 Jan 2008  #12
I've been driving in Poland for more than five years and have no intention of getting a Polish license. Why bother? I can drive here on a British license without any problem at all (provided I leave Poland every six months and even if I haven't, it's almost impossible to prove I haven't).

The IDP is something I haven't bothered with since 2003. Back then they were A6 size. No idea what they are now.
shaynelle 1 | 4
2 Jan 2008  #13
My dads a cop in the lower mainland (BC)! I just phoned and asked my dad about the CAA thing and he just laughed and said no government "regardless of what the website says" has approved any exclusive rights to CAA for this "crap piece of paper" and CAA is making an easy $15 from gullible people. He said "go ahead, phone any police station and ask them about this they either won't have a flying clue what you're talking about, or will tell you it's a scam". :( I'm going to believe what he says only because it's what he does for a living.

When you think about it, the paper doesn't do you any good, it's like handing a misc piece of paper to the cop along with your driving licence.
Harry
3 Jan 2008  #14
the paper doesn't do you any good, it's like handing a misc piece of paper to the cop along with your driving licence.

I'd love to get pulled over by your dad: he's an idiot. More than 150 governments worldwide have given the CAA (indirectly via the Canadian government) the exclusive right to issue IDPs to Canadian driving license holders.

Look here: caa.ca/english/travel/documentation/idp%20faq.html
More information here (the British AA) theaa.com/getaway/idp/index.html and here theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/idp-requirements-by-country.html and here theaa.com/getaway/idp/motidp003.html

Tell your dad from me that he's a moron who needs to try visiting a country other than Canada. He also needs to learn about traffic law if he wants to be a cop. Otherwise he's going to arrest somebody for driving entirely within the law and end up getting sued for false arrest.

When you think about it, an IDP does lots of good: it stops you from being arrested for driving illegally. In more than 40 countries you can not rent a car without an IDP!
ukpolska
3 Jan 2008  #15
I've been driving in Poland for more than five years

Well then you would have been driving illegally, because before January 2007 licenses were only issued to the country where you was resident, and you are correct you had to go out of the country every six months, but I knew a British guy from Radom who was stopped for speeding and didn't change his licence for a Polish one, and they got him through his permanent residency card.

getting a Polish license. Why bother?

Because this is my permanent home now and I intend to live here all my life, and also I had ten points on my GB licence, which have been removed since I got the Polish one.
db1874 7 | 227
3 Jan 2008  #17
Well then you would have been driving illegally

I've been here over 5 years, still drive with a UK licence and have temporary residence - so do i have to swap for a Polish drivers licence ?
Harry
3 Jan 2008  #18
Well then you would have been driving illegally, because before January 2007 licenses were only issued to the country where you was resident,

I assure you that I was not driving illegally: my British driving license was issued to me when I was a British resident and as a result of my passing the British driving test. My British license is still valid, therefore I can use it while driving here without any problem.

I've been here over 5 years, still drive with a UK licence and have temporary residence - so do i have to swap for a Polish drivers licence ?

No you do not, provided you leave Poland at least once every six months you can drive here on your UK license for as long as it is valid.

I've been stopped for speeding and charged with speeding (those mobile speed camera things). No problem with my British license at all. I find it very hard to believe that a British citizen was "got" through his permanent residency card for the simple reason that British citizens, as EU citizens, are not able to have permanent residency cards in Poland.
jasiek - | 12
3 Jan 2008  #19
EU citizens, are not able to have permanent residency cards in Poland

Actually, it is possible to get a permanent residency card in Poland, but only after you have had temporary residence for 5 years prior.
ukpolska
3 Jan 2008  #20
You do not now need to leave the country, before January 2007 you had to.

as EU citizens, are not able to have permanent residency cards in Poland.

This simply not true as I have one after being here for seven years :O)
A quick email to drivers.dvla@gtnet.gov.uk will tell you of this fact.
And harry I don't know where you get your info from but it is very bad advice and I suggest you get your facts right before posting :O)

Harry wrote:
No you do not, provided you leave Poland at least once every six months you can drive here on your UK license for as long as it is valid.

You do not now need to leave the country, but before January 2007 you had to.
A quick email to drivers.dvla@gtnet.gov.uk will tell you of this fact.
Harry wrote:
as EU citizens, are not able to have permanent residency cards in Poland.

This simply not true as I have had one after being here for seven years :O)

And harry I don't know where you get your info from but it is very bad advice and I suggest you get your facts right before posting :O)

*edited* admin, just came back and edited the previous for obvious reasons if you read it :O)
nauczyciel
3 Jan 2008  #21
Shaynelle... your dad is out of touch. He needs to become re-educated in the laws. Just like doctors need to keep up with new treatments. Tell him to go visit a BCAA office and get the infor first hand or even call an office. Try the one in Surrey on 152&101. That's where I got mine issued.

Let me make it easy for you-

if you are a citizen of Canada, you CANNOT use your IDP in Canada. Mexico or USA. However, you can use it in hudreds of other countries, PROVIDING your license in the country in which you are a citizen is valid. You must have both items to be valid.

An IDP does not allow you to drive like an idiot without consequences.

I've been using my IDP with my BCDL in PL for years with no problems. Then again, I have not been stopped by the police in PL or Canada since July1 2001.
ukpolska
4 Jan 2008  #22
Some education for you harry (permanent residency cards) poland.gov.pl/Permissions,1618.html
Harry
4 Jan 2008  #23
A quick email to drivers.dvla@gtnet.gov.uk will tell you of this fact.

If you want to chance a particular traffic cop knowing Article 94 of the Act on Road Transport, that's up to you. Personally I keep a photocopy of the page of my passport with my most recent entry stamp on it. Much quicker than going down to the station and waiting while they check it, find you're right and then apologise. (Of course it is always possible to avoid that trip by paying a 'fine' for not having the correct documentation).

This simply not true as I have one after being here for seven years :O)
And harry I don't know where you get your info from but it is very bad advice and I suggest you get your facts right before posting :O)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is impossible for an EU citizen to obtain a permanent residency card in Poland. While the travel site you quote is no doubt very useful for booking a hotel, I prefer to get my information from slightly better sources. In this case we are talking about foreigners in Poland so the definitive source would be the Urząd do Spraw Cudzoziemców, the Foreigners Office. Checking their website brings this page: udsc.gov.pl/files/old_file/44ffd8816f947_UdSRiC_91_2006_pl_ en.doc.

The information about permanent residence starts on page six of that document. I quote "The Union citizen who obtained the right of permanent residence is given a document certifying the permanent residence right based on the application of Union citizen." Note the word document. Could that be the same as a card? No. Again I quote "A family member who is not a Union citizen, and that obtained the right of permanent residence, shall be provided, on his/her request, with a permanent residence card of a family member of a Union citizen." So, as I said before: it is impossible for an EU citizen to obtain a permanent residency card in Poland.

I see exactly where you get your info from and it is clearly wrong. I suggest you get information from better sources so that you avoid getting facts wrong when posting.

Hope you enjoyed the education.
ukpolska
4 Jan 2008  #24
I know what you are talking about now, this system was reviewed and changed last year and they stopped issuing a card stating that it is a "permanent residency card" so in that essence up to last year you are correct and apologises for that, but those of us who have been here longer and applied before that date were given a "permanent residency card".

This system is being reviewed again this year after they found that permanent residents were left with just a piece of paper to prove this and maybe they will go back to the old system again of issuing a card with your photo and address on it because we as permanent residents have no I.D. documents apart from our passport and no one wants to carry that around with us all the time.

Therefore, we will just have to wait and see what they decide in the coming months.
Sorry for the misunderstanding, we were both correct but in different ways :O)
Harry
4 Jan 2008  #25
lol Oh well if you want to live in your fantasy world that's ok then, I will just have to rip my permanent residency card up then, thanks again for your expert advice :O)

Let's see now: you quote a travel website and I quote the Foreigners Office website. I say that it is not possible for EU citizens to have permanent residency cards and the Foreigners Office website says exactly the same thing. Why not write to them and thank them for their expert advice? mateusz.trzcinski@uric.gov.pl will be a good contact point for you.

Do keep on posting here about your permanent residency card. It shows that you are either lying about having one or lying about being an EU citizen.
ukpolska
4 Jan 2008  #26
Let's see now: you quote a travel website

This is a Government website organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

It shows that you are either lying about having one or lying about being an EU citizen.

wow, is there a need for this???

And I suggest you read at the bottom of page 7 of your document where *quote*

In case of annulment of the document certifying the right for permanent residence or permanent residence card of the Union citizen’s family member or death of the family member the said documents shall be returned immediately to the authority that issued the card.

It clearly says card, which implies the old system of issuing a card and the new system where is doesn't; your document not mine!!
Harry
4 Jan 2008  #27
So now you're claiming that because the text does not say “the document or card.” UK citizens are entitled to a permanent residence card. That is just pathetic.

Let me quote from the actual law for you: the act of 14 July 2006 on the entry into, residence in and exit from the Republic of Poland of nationals of the European Union Member States and their family members ), )

(Journal of Laws No. 144, item 1043)
“Article 27
1. The registration of the residence is made in the register of residence of a Union citizen.
2. Union citizen whose residence was registered is issued a certificate of registration of Union citizen residence.”
See? Certificate. Not card.
You might claim that your permanent residence card predates the 2006 law. Want to try doing that?
the_falkster 1 | 180
4 Jan 2008  #28
Ireland does have a similar points system to the UK and Poland, but the systems are not integrated.

just to clear that one up...

if you are driving with a foreign licens in any other country (within the eu) and you commit an offence that would give you points this WILL be passed on to the issuer of your driving license and you WILL get points for your offence...

otherwise i could be speeding and drink driving for all my life in a foreign country and even run into other people without loosing my licence...

not quite possible.

the question is though if the copper can be bothered to take care of that for minor offences.

at the moment there is a bit of a greyzone with these things but the eu is working on it to ensure more efficiency in tackling bad driving...
ukpolska
4 Jan 2008  #29
Oh Harry, there is no use talking to you, lets just forget it eh?
I have had this card since July 2005, but what can I do to convince you, nothing it seems!!
Enough said :O)
the_falkster 1 | 180
4 Jan 2008  #30
Ireland does have a similar points system to the UK and Poland, but the systems are not integrated.

just to clear that one up...

if you are driving with a foreign license in any other country (within the eu) and you commit an offence that would give you points this WILL be passed on to the issuer of your driving license and you WILL get points for your offense...

otherwise i could be speeding and drink driving for all my life in a foreign country and even run into other people without loosing my license...

not quite possible.

the question is though if the copper can be bothered to take care of that for minor offenses.

at the moment there is a bit of a greyzone with these things but the eu is working on it to ensure more efficiency in tackling bad driving...


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