EU vs non-EU Driving Licence
Having an EU issues driving licence will make things easier for you as you are not required to make any changes to your licence and you are not to change your licence.
Even if you are EU citizen then when your driving licence expires, you must renew it in the country where you have your normal residence. Your new licence may have a different validity period and will be subject to any restrictions/conditions that apply in your new country.
You can drive for one year in Poland on a non-EU licence. After this time period convert your licence to a Polish driving licence.
If you have an EU driving licence that was issued in exchange for a non‑EU licence, and you wish to move to another EU country with your converted licence, do not assume your new licence will be recognized there. This is up to each EU country.
You need to check with the local authorities in your new country what the conditions are for recognising non-EU licences.
The EU driving licence you were issued with when handing over your non-EU licence licence should contain a code indicating the country that originally issued it (e.g. 70.0123456789.NL).
Where and when to change
If you hold a driving licence issued outside the EU, you must exchange it within six months (180 days) of the date on which your permanent or temporary residence in Poland began.
Conditions concerning the exchange of driving licences issued outside the EU:
If you hold a valid driving licence issued abroad, you can ask to obtain a Polish driving licence for the equivalent category, but you will have to pay for it. You current licence must be returned to your foreign licence to the body that issued it. If a driving licence issued abroad is not covered by the road traffic conventions, you will also have to pass the theory part of the national exam and present a certified translation of the foreign licence.
The conversion from non-EU to Polish driving licence costs 100 PLN (about 23 Euros)
To change your licence you must take both your paper and plastic counterparts (if you were issued them both, some counties don’t issue paper licences as well as plastic). You must then find your location ‘Wydział komunikacji’. Here is where you can begin the process of changing your non-EU issued driving licence.
Translation and Karta Pobytu
When submitting your paperwork at one of the many Wydział komunikacji’s in Warsaw you’ll also need to provide a professional translation of your driving documents from your home county’s language in to Polish. As this is an official document it needs to be of high quality. We recommend searching your mouth tongue to polish in Google with the word ‘sworn translator’ at the end:
‘Spanish to Polish sworn translator’
‘Russian to Polish sworn translator’
‘Dutch to Polish sworn translator’
What is a ‘sworn translator’?
THE STANDARDS OF TRANSLATION IN POLAND ARE REGULATED BY A RELEVANT DEPARTMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AND EVERY TRANSLATOR WISHING TO PROVIDE SUCH SERVICES MUST PASS A STATE EXAMINATION. AFTERWARDS SUCH A PERSON IS ENTERED ON AN OFFICIAL LIST, ISSUED WITH A STAMP AND RECOGNIZED AS A SWORN TRANSLATOR. HOWEVER, FOR ORDINARY TRANSLATIONS (BUSINESS, ADMINISTRATION, CORRESPONDENCE) IT IS ENOUGH TO HAVE AN INDEPENDENT EXPERT IN THE FIELD
To convert your driving licence you must have a Karta Pobytu. A Karta Pobytu card means a residence card document confirming the identity of a foreigner during his stay in Poland. This document, together with a valid passport, confirms the right to stay in Poland and entitles the foreigner to cross the Polish national border numerous times without the need to have a visa. When crossing the border, the residence card should be presented to the Border Guard Service officials, together with a valid foreign passport.