If you are going to go to Poland and plan to drive there, you should know that driving in Poland is not so simple. The main problems are bad road and unsafe car condition, and not cautious drivers. Moreover, Poland is a major east-west transit route, so there are many heavy vehicles on the motorways and expressways. Therefore, Poland has the highest number of deaths in road accidents of the European Union countries.

For driving foreigners must have their original driving permit and International driver license. In Poland, foreign driving permit without its International translation is insufficient. Foreign drivers may use their International Driving Permits for up to six months after entering Poland. After that term, they need to obtain Polish driving license. Anybody applying for a Polish driving permit is obliged to pass a written examination on the Polish language. It is necessary to pay the examination fee and bring to the examination center:

  • an application form;
  • a receipt for the driver license issuance fee;
  • a sample signature;
  • a photograph;
  • an authorized translation of the National driving permit;
  • a photocopy of the National driving permit.

The main Polish road traffic rules are:

  • Road traffic is on the right side of the road.
  • Minimum driving age is 18 years.
  • Drivers and all passengers must be fastened the seatbelts.
  • Children under 12 years and 1.5 meters in height cannot travel without a suitable restraint system.
  • Making a right turn on a red light is not allowed.
  • Maximum speed limits are: in towns and cities, 50 km/h (31 mph) from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 60 km/h from 11p.m. to 5 a.m.; outside urban areas, 90 km/h (56 mph); on dual carriageways, 110 km/h (69 mph); and, on motorways, 130 km/h (81 mph).
    It is prohibited to use the mobile phone without a special speaking device.
  • The maximum allowed alcohol content in blood is 0.2. Driving under the influence is a crime for which people can be punished by arrest for up to 8 years.
  • It is required to have in a car a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and an emergency triangle.
  • Parking is only allowed in permitted places. In some parking places, there are special machines to pay for the car parking.
  • No payment is punished by a fine.
  • Traffic approaching from the right has priority. 
  • It is required to have the national identification on the car from non-European Union countries.
  • Third-party insurance is required.
  •  In urban areas, using horns is illegal.

Useful Information for foreign drivers:

  • You should always carry your passport with visa, domestic driving permit, International driver license, vehicle registration document, and a motor insurance certificate. If the car is registered in not your name, you should have a letter from the owner giving you driving permission.
  • Dipped headlights should be used at all times.
  • Despite the fact that using horns in urban areas is illegal, when driving in poor visibility you should use your horn to give warning.
  • Outside inhabited areas with poor visibility, you should be especially careful as pedestrians may use the road.
  • Caution signs have a yellow background.
  • Some roads are in a bad condition.
  • Be careful at railway crossings, many of them are unguarded.
  • Buses moving from bus stops have the right of way.
  • Trams have the right of way at equivalent intersections.
  • In polish cities, there are streets where only taxis and coaches are authorized to enter.
  • On the highways, fuel stations are located roughly every 35 km (22 miles).
  • Do not pick up any hitchhikers.
  • If you need to contact the emergency services in Poland call 112.

Poland Traffic Signs

 Driving Overseas - Short Information