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Getting a Polish drivers license / Poland's residence permit (how long it might take to get?)

Driver 1 | 2
12 Mar 2015 #1
Good evening,

I'm an EU citizen and I will soon go to work in Poland, I'll start on the first of April.

I want to do a drivers license in Poland, since it's much cheaper there and I don't have one in my home country.

I've been searching the internet but couldn't find more than a few helpful threads on this forum. However there is no clear facts anyway and I would like to know how the process really goes.

As I understand it, I will need to have a five year residence permit, do 30 hours of theory and another 30 hours of practical driving and after this I can do the exams, theory and driving.

In the threads I've read it says that one needs the have the residence permit for at least six months before it's possible to do the license. What I wonder is if I could start with the classes before six months and then just do the tests when I've been there for six months?

Also in some other thread it says that it's might be possible to do less than 60 hours of classes, if one does them in English and pays a bit more. Is this correct?

How much is one hour driving class? I've done about 15 hours already in my home country.

And also I would like to know how long it might take to get a residence permit? My employer will help me get it, but how long time would it take?

Please correct me if anything I've been writing is wrong. I'm happy to have found this forum, lot's of useful information since I'm soon to be living in Poland.

Just saw this site:

Apparently I need a PKK card to start the training, and I can only get a PKK card after I've had a residence card for 185 days. Could anyone confirm this? :)
Looker - | 1,131
13 Mar 2015 #2
Could anyone confirm this?

Yes. First what you need is the Driver Candidate Profile (PKK). And one of the requirements is residency in Poland since at least 185 days.

Also in some other thread it says that it's might be possible to do less than 60 hours of classes, if one does them in English and pays a bit more. Is this correct?

Never heard of that. From what I can see, everywhere it states, that the minimum learning hours for "B" category (automobiles) is 30 for both - theory and practical driving.

How much is one hour driving class? I've done about 15 hours already in my home country.

To my knowledge you need to take the whole course, not just single hours of driving. (of course you may take additional private hours of driving if you wish). Prices vary in different cities and different places. I see one offer in Wrocław - 1000PLN for the course and its cheap. However for English course the price is higher - 1600PLN. Of course there will be additional costs - for exams (approximately) 160, medical examination 80, driving license printing 100PLN.

And also I would like to know how long it might take to get a residence permit?

From the submission of the residence permit application - about 30 days.
Forfour44 9 | 94
13 Mar 2015 #3
I wouldn't get the license in Poland. It is hard to pass here and many people have to take 3-4 tests.
If you can do it before you move here then do.
All you would have to do is pass the written test here and they will swap it for a Polish license.

Might be cheaper if you pass first time. 3-4 times would prob cost more.
pigsy 7 | 304
14 Mar 2015 #4
most countries to pass the test takes 3/4 or more tries if one is not good at driving anyway,Poland is not different in that case.
JollyRomek 7 | 461
14 Mar 2015 #5
Poland is not different in that case

Oh, I am sure you would change your mind once you have had the great pleasure of driving in Lodz :)
OP Driver 1 | 2
14 Mar 2015 #6
Thanks guys, that' sucks a bit that I'll have to wait more than six months to even start and then do 60hours of classes after that. I'll still do it in Poland though, much cheaper than in my country. And actually it's Lodz I'm moving to.

I understand that it depends depending on driving school, but this 60hours of training, could it be on weekends and evenings?

Tried to edit my last post but I couldn't, user delphiandomine states that Yep. 30 hours must be completed, although if it's in English, many driving schools are willing to do it intensively for more money in less time. For instance, 6 hours is about the "norm" for 1-1 classes in Poznan. in this thread:
JollyRomek 7 | 461
14 Mar 2015 #7
much cheaper than in my country.

The cheapest country to get your license in Europe is Ireland. I am German but i have an Irish license. All in all i paid approx. 200 Euro which included the theory test, the fee for the provisional license, the photographs, three driving lessons and the actual driving test. I passed first time round.

If you want it cheap, find a way to proof an address in Ireland, get your provisional license and take the test when you are ready. There are different versions about when you can take the test in Ireland. I took it three months after i got my second "first" provisional.

And actually it's Lodz I'm moving to.

Well, with an Irish license you would feel much at home then :)
OP Driver 1 | 2
15 Mar 2015 #8
The cheapest country to get your license in Europe is Ireland.

Thanks for the tip JollyRomek but now I'll will start work in Poland so it will be easiest to get it there as I will be starting work on the first of April and the company will help be get the residence permit. Just hoping I get it done before the winter months as I don't like the cold too much.
16 Sep 2015 #9
if I had a license in Canada for 18 years. but I no longer have one. is there any way the process can be sped up for me in getting a license. perhaps complete just test and exam ..

I have my old photo card from Canada. would they know if its actually still valid or not in Canada.
kpc21 1 | 753
17 Sep 2015 #10
The theory course is no longer obligatory, I think, from the beginning of this year.

I think that if your Canadian driving license is no longer valid, you have to do here everything from the beginning. I don't know what the regulations in Canada are, but if you can get there just a new document, you should do so. Then, I am not sure, but probably you will have to pass the theory part of the exam in Poland to exchange the Canadian license to a Polish one (it concerns the countries that didn't sign the Vienna convention on road traffic, and I think Canada belongs to the countries which didn't, it's because you have to know the European road traffic regulations and road signs, even though in terms of the regulations, the difference between 2 European countries might be bigger than between one of them and Canada, like in Poland a road intersection cancels a speed limit, and in the most of the Western-European countries it doesn't).

In such a situation making a Polish license from scratch seems not to be much more difficult, but much more expensive. About 1200 PLN - a course (in smaller driving schools you may try to negotiate with them, maybe they will unofficially shorten the practical course since you already can drive and charge you less, just for the preparation to the exam - but you must find one where they speak English). Then, I think, less than 200 PLN (I am not sure) for issuing the document.
istannbullu34 1 | 100
31 Mar 2016 #11
Hello everyone,

I have a question, if anybody encountered that

I have Polish driver`s license - I changed my address, so when I asked Urzad, they said I have to change my driver`s license and registration papers.

When I went to the office and took new driver`s license (I only have B) I saw that they put date for AM and B1 either, looks like I am also able to use bike and small car or sth like that :) I did not want to ask them as I thought they would say there was a mistake and I have to change again, I hate paperwork. The question is, why did they put these to my license, any ideas ? Next to AM, there is a bicycle photo and next to B1, I see a small car photo.
kpc21 1 | 753
1 Apr 2016 #12
They did it because with a B category driving license you are also allowed to drive the AM and B1-category vehicles. That's all.

No idea why they did so, on my driving license it's only B category marked, but I wouldn't consider it an error. Maybe in different offices they have different customs.
istannbullu34 1 | 100
1 Apr 2016 #13
kpc21, thanks for the answer.

I also thought like that but could not be sure. I changed the license 1-2 years ago to Polish one from same office and these were not marked, that is why I was suspected that something was wrong. I did not wanna deal with paper work again, it is big pain in the ....
peter0conor 3 | 5
3 Aug 2016 #14
I have a B and C driver license from an EU country which I am about to exchange transfer for a Polish driver license. Do you know how much is the medical check-up for it? Also, I have a B and C driver license which I may try to get the Polish drive license for (even though I don't need my C driver license anymore). Do you know if the medical check-up will be different for the C driver license? I don't speak Polish, so if it gets to complicate the medical check-up I may just transfer my B driver license. Any help will be appreciate.

Thanks in advance,
kpc21 1 | 753
4 Aug 2016 #15
For B the medical check-up is really basic. The doctor checks if you can see correctly (if you need glasses, you will be obliged to drive always with them) and makes some basic tests, like blood pressure (I am not even sure about that, I don't remember - but the vision is for sure checked).

For the C category, it seems, the medical examination is more detailed, and apart from the medical one, you will also have to do a psychological one.

The medical examination costs 200 zł, the psychological examination 150 zł, and it seems these are official fixed prices.
Stybsen - | 1
22 Mar 2017 #16
I am a EU citizen who is working in Poland for over a year.

I never got a residence card, as I am leaving the country every 3 month anyways to go home.

I have a contract proving i am living in Poland for over a year. Is it still necessary to get the residence card, even if I can proof that I live and work in the country for longer than 185 days?
7 Apr 2017 #17
Hey Stybsen,

yes, it is obligatory to have a residence card, proving you are in the country for longer than 185 days!!

No other choice.
Einstein 7 | 54
12 Feb 2019 #18
I am an American citizen and recently passed my Polish driving exams. I was issues a PKK and paid the 100 PLN for my driving license. But then I was told that they won't give me the license because I haven't shown them a residence permit or visa. However, I have lived in Poland legally for over 3 years now, on the basis that I am waiting for my residence permit application to be decided on, and on the basis that it has been less than 90 days since I last entered the country. I have big red stamp in my passport from the foreigners' office which states I am allowed to be here. The head of my driving school and various websites say that any document proving I am allowed to be here should be acceptable. So why has the district office refused to issue my license? Where is it written in the Polish law that a residence permit/visa is required? Poland doesn't issue visas to Americans since we are allowed to enter the country without a visa.
12 Feb 2019 #19
They are wrong. Prawo o ruchu drogowym only says that you should reside in Poland for at least 185 days in a calendar year. A regulation by the Ministry of Infrastructure (§ 5 ust. 1a rozporządzenia Ministra Infrastruktury z dnia 21 stycznia 2004 r. w sprawie wydawania uprawnień do kierowania pojazdami - Dz. U. Nr 24, poz. 215 z późniejszymi zmianami) further stipulates that

Cudzoziemiec ubiegający się o wydanie prawa jazdy do wniosku dołącza ponadto kserokopię karty pobytu, wizy pobytowej lub innego dokumentu potwierdzającego posiadanie prawa pobytu na terytorium Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej albo zaświadczenie, że studiuje co najmniej od sześciu miesięcy.

The stamp give you the right of residence, so stamp + meldunek should be enough.
Einstein 7 | 54
12 Feb 2019 #20
I went back to the foreigners office today with a print out of this law. They said that my passport is not an acceptable document because it is not polish and because "anyone could enter Poland with their passport". When I asked them what document other than a residence permit or visa would satisfy their requirements, they said that a letter from the foreigners office stating that I am allowed to be here would be acceptable.

Any idea if the foreigners office would write such a letter, and how long it would take? In my experience they are rarely helpful.

I have looked at the Dziennik Ustaw that they are using at the office and it does not define what other documents are acceptable, nor does it say that a passport is not acceptable.

Should I go waste my entire day standing in line at the foreigners office to get a letter that they likely will refuse to write? Or can I make a formal appeal to the head of the Starostwo Powiatowe?
delphiandomine 87 | 18,086
12 Feb 2019 #21
You should appeal first to the director of the department responsible for issuing driving licences. There will be something like "wydział spraw obywatelskich" - that's who you want to appeal to first and foremost. If that fails, then you should file a claim in the administrative courts.
Einstein 7 | 54
13 Feb 2019 #22
Thank you for this information. I looked at the wydział spraw obywatelskich website for Pruszków but there is nothing there about driving licenses.
Dougpol1 30 | 2,567
13 Feb 2019 #23
To be fair Einstein, all governments are guilty of this nonsense. Your passport is worthless inside the country. A friend, who was 26 at the time, went to a liquor store in Canton to buy a bottle of gin. "Your Ohio state drivers' license for ID please sir"

"I don't have an American drivers' licence.. I have my Polish passport..........." (spoken in a meek voice, as befits my friends character...)
"I didn't ask for your goddamn passport. I asked for your Ohio state drivers' licence.........."
ruben - | 1
24 Oct 2019 #24
Hi Einstein,

I'm going to work in Poland and I'm very interested in your experience obtaining a license. Also maybe the office is expecting 'a favor' in return for the license. I'm curious to find out what happened and if you got your license in the end.
Einstein 7 | 54
21 May 2020 #25
Warsaw refuses to issue a license to anyone who doesn't have a residence permit, even though the law does not state this restriction anywhere. However I have heard that in Łódź it is possible to get a license without the permit and I plan to get this next month.

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