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A driving licence in Poland (prawo jazdy) is a document issued by the relevant government agency, regional or local government, confirming the rights of the holder to drive motor vehicles.


History of driving in PolandEdit

With the proclamation of independence in 1918, the first Polish licences were issued. In 1921 the first Polish Highway Code was passed.

In today's Poland the conditions for entitlement is defined by the law of 20 June 1997 — the Road Traffic Act (Ustawa Prawo o Ruchu Drogowym).

The licences are produced in Poland by the Polish Security Printing Works (Polska Wytwórnia Papierów Wartościowych).


A Polish driving licence issued in 2003

Licence used by drivers who are residents of the associated countries of the European Union have a standard look and contain the information of the driver, common to all countries, developed in 1998. Exceptions to this general rule apply to small parts of this document. Polish driving licences issued from the late 1990s comply with these standards.

Licence is embedded in a transparent plastic the shape and size of a credit card (85.6 × 53.98 mm (ID-1 standard ISO / IEC 7810)), which makes counterfeiting very difficult and ensures longevity.

A Polish driving licence issued after Polish EU accession

After 1 May 2004 (the date of Polish EU accession), Polish driving licences were slightly changed:

  • instead of an ellipse around the letters PL, in the upper left corner there are 12 stars
  • the photo is larger
  • the background of the new licence contains the words "licence" in all EU languages.

The licences issued before 1 May 2004 remain valid (do not have to be exchanged).

EU driving licenceEdit

In 2006 the European Parliament adopted a directive 2006/126/EEC providing for a uniform driving licence in all Member States. New driving licences are issued from 19 January 2013. In Poland, the new driving licences are mandated by the law of 5 January 2011—the Motor Vehicle Drivers Act (Ustawa o Kierujących Pojazdami; Journal of Laws No. 30, item 151), that came into force on that day.

The existing licences will expire in 2033 and will have to be exchanged for the new ones by that date.

Confusion with Irish driving licencesEdit

In February 2009, the Irish police force (Gardaí) was investigating a recidivist who received numerous traffic tickets at different addresses when they determined that Gardaí had mistaken the words "Prawo Jazdy", Polish for "driving licence", for the name of the motorist.[1] In October 2009, the Irish police force was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in literature for this series of mixups.[2][3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "You're in big trouble now, Mr. License!". Reuters. Dublin. Feb 19, 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Police in Ig Nobel Pole position". BBC Online. 5 October 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2011.