Polish driving licence in UK

It can be a little confusing knowing which foreign driving licences are eligible for UK driving. If from Poland, a question frequently asked is can i drive in the UK with a polish licence?

Poland is in the European Economic Area and a member of the European Union which entitles driver with a Polish driving licence to drive in the UK.

Great Britain residents and visitors

If you are a resident in Great Britain and providing your Polish driving licence is full and valid, you are permitted to drive in Great Britain on a Polish driving licence until 70 years of age or for three years after becoming resident in Great Britain, whichever is the longer period.

Visitors to the UK who hold a valid and full Polish driving licence can drive any type of vehicle listed on your driving licence.

UK Driving Licence
Note: This UK driving licence contains fictional information
Foreigners studying in Great Britain

If you are a foreign student studying in Great Britain and have a full, valid driving licence from a European Union country, you are entitled to drive in Great Britain until you are 70 years of age.

If you do not currently have a driving licence, you must have been studying in Great Britain for a minimum of 185 days before you can take the driving test.

Driving in the UK

Driving in the UK in comparison to Poland will see the biggest difference in terms of driving on the left. If you have little or no experience with driving on the left, it can be a little confusing initially, especially when using roundabouts and the many mini roundabouts found in the UK.

Another significant factor when driving in the UK compared to Poland, is a difference primarily in speed limits. UK speed limits are signed as miles per hour (mph) unlike Poland where signage is displayed in kilometres per hour (km/h).

UK speed limits also stay the same regardless of the time of day or night, whereas this can affect Polish speed limits. Built-up areas in the UK can see speed limits of as little as 20 mph (32 km/h) and a maximum speed limit of 70 mph (112 km/h) on both dual carriageways and motorways.

If you are a little uncertain in regards to your driving ability due to the vast differences you’ll encounter whilst driving on UK roads, one or two hours spent with a UK driving instructor may prove beneficial.

Exchanging Polish driving licence for UK driving licence

You can exchange your Polish driving licence for a UK driving licence only if you are a UK resident. As a UK resident and your Polish driving licence being issued in a EU country, you can apply to exchange your current licence for a UK licence. At the time of writing, the exchange fee is £50 and takes around three weeks to arrive.

Driving licence explained

If you intend on exchanging your French driving licence for a UK licence and would like to know what the various categories and codes mean, see driving licence explained for further information.

23 thoughts on “Polish driving licence in UK”

  1. Mario

    Hello if I need change my driving licence Polish for English I can keep my Polish driving licence or give back

  2. Hi Mario,
    Technically you can keep your Polish licence if you wish, but you’ll need to provide proof that you have passed the appropriate tests which might be difficult, or you might have to apply for a UK provisional and take the tests again. It’s usually easier to exchange it.

  3. Alex

    I would like my polish driving licence back where do I apply for it.

  4. Hi Alex,
    You need to do this through the Polish driving authorities. They will then exchange your UK licence for a Polish one.

  5. Agnieszka Piatkowska

    Hi 🙂
    I have question about my polish DL, Do I need exchange for english DL if I driving with my car in UK from 3 years or I can drive with polish Drive Licence

  6. Hello Agnieszka,
    Providing your Polish driving licence is valid, you can drive in Great Britain until you’re 70. No need to exchange it.

  7. Barbara Williamson

    That is not true.
    I use my Polish driving licence since 2013 without any issues. All car insurance companies accepted it.

    EU drivers who live in the UK after Brexit
    If you are an EU citizen living in the UK you can drive on your EU or EEA car or motorcycle driving licence until you are 70. If you are 68 or over when you become resident, you can drive for 3 years. After this time, you must apply for a UK driving licence. You cannot drive if your licence expires.

    Different restrictions apply for holders of EU and EEA lorry or bus licences who are (or become) UK residents.

    If you passed your driving test in the EU or EEA, the UK will continue to exchange your driving licence after Brexit.

    If you hold an EU driving licence but you passed your test outside the EU or EEA there are restrictions on driving licence exchange. You may need to take a driving test to get a UK licence.

  8. Agnieszka

    Hello. I have a Polish driving license since 2009, I have lived in England since 2010. And the case is as follows: I have a sight defect and the driving license was valid for 6 years, until 2005. in the current year 2020 I would like to come back behind the wheel again but my document is already several years past the deadline. is it possible to exchange my Polish driving license for an English one? Do I need to re-test my eyesight and send a dvla or new driving test certificate?

  9. Hi Agnieszka,
    The DVLA will exchange your expired Polish driving licence for a valid GB licence.

  10. Magda

    Hi . Im driving in uk for 5 years now on my polish licence. Do you know what will happen after brexit? Sholud i replace it for uk one?

  11. Pola

    I would like to exchange my polish driving licence for UK. Im here 3 years but now I start to looking for a car and to be honest 2020 was so crazy.. And I forgot that my polish licence has been expired in September. Is DVLA will exchange expired driving licence? 🙂

  12. Hi Pola,
    As your licence is expired you will need to obtain a certificate of entitlement from the issuing authority to submit with the application.

  13. Anna Gorzkiewicz

    Could we download the DVLA form needed for a driving license exchange from PL to GB?

  14. Artur

    Hello, my Polish driving license has expired (medical examination period), can I exchange it for a UK driving license, or Do I have to fly to Poland and renew it?

  15. Marcin Kubiszewski

    Hi, I lost my Polish driving licence what do I need to do now? And can I get a UK driving license, I live i and drive in UK more than a 8 years

  16. Hi Marcin,
    You will either need to apply for a new Polish driving licence in Poland, or you can contact your local Polish council and they will be able to provide you with a document confirming your right to drive. Due to not exchanging your Polish licence to a GB licence, you won’t be able to apply for full GB licence.

  17. Stefan

    Hi how much for driving licence

  18. Maciek

    Hello. I have a polish driving license category B since 1996. Can I tow a trailer up to 8.25 tonnes? I know that everyone who passed before 1st of January 1997 can do it, but I don’t know if it applies to the Polish driving license?

  19. Seb

    I had a brain injury over 6 months ago. My polish driving licence has been revoked and I’ve been told I’m not able to drive in the UK any more. I also have just received a letter from doctors that I’m fully recovered I’m able to drive. They asked me to send them the D1 form which has no option for my case. Is there a way to sort it out quickly in a way to avoid the long bureaucratic process?
    Many thanks,

  20. Justyna

    I have Polish drivers license. I try to get Car insurance online but when I try to add my license number; it is not accepted. I hold a Polish full drivers license.
    The online quote system wants 16 digits; but my license only has 11 digits (which are all numbers).
    I have tried multiple online companies and it is the same issue.

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