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Drinking and Driving:

Poland has one of the strictest blood-alcohol laws in the world: a reading of 0.02% will trigger an arrest and revocation of driving privileges while in the country, at the very least. For most people, just one drink will register a reading of 0.02%. The rule for drinking and driving is simple: don`t do it. Take a taxi or some other form of transportation if you want to drink at bars or nightclubs.

Seat Belts:

Seat belts are mandatory for drivers as well as for front and back seat passengers.

Cell Phones:

Cell phones are only allowed to be used by drivers in Poland if the call can be conducted hands-free (like through Bluetooth and car speakers). You will be given a citation if you are caught using your cell phone without these hands-free devices.

Navigation Aids

Navigation aids such as GPS are legal to use in Poland, but must be mounted onto the dashboard or windshield and can only be accessed (as in to search for destinations, etc.) while not in motion.

Speed Trap Detectors:

Radar detectors and jammers are illegal to use in a moving vehicle in Poland and will result in a fine if police catch you using one.

Driving Age:

To drive in Poland, one must be 18 or over. If you are a legal driver at 16 or 17 in the United States, that does not mean you are allowed to do so in Poland. Cars can be rented in Poland by all drivers over age 21. Young driver surcharges may be levied for drivers under 25 depending on the car rental brand.

Using Indicators:

Indicators must be used when overtaking and any other time it is applicable. You will notice some locals not using indicators, but rest assured it is illegal and you will be fined on the spot if you are caught not properly using them.


The rule in Poland is drive on the right and overtake on the left. An indicator must be used when overtaking. Overtaking is prohibited when facing oncoming traffic, at intersections, at bus stops or tram stops, at pedestrian and bicycle crossings that are uncontrolled, at railway crossings, and in places where overtaking cannot be safely executed. Trams have to be taken on the right with no exception. The tram lane can be used for this purpose but it must be quickly vacated and cannot disrupt the tram car as it goes about on its trip. Stop to allow tram riders to cross the street at tram stops where there are no pedestrian islands.


Traffic from the right has priority over lanes on the left (or interior). When approaching a roundabout, note that the vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way.


It is compulsory for all motor vehicles to use dipped headlights or daytime running lights, day and night, all year round.

Losing Your License:

You must keep your International Driving Permit with you at all times. Your United States driver`s license is not sufficient for driving in Poland; it must be paired with the International Driving Permit.

Fines for Motoring Offenses in Poland:

Fines are allowed to be collected on the spot from foreign nationals who break the rules of the road. Failure to do so puts you in front of a magistrate and almost certainly guarantees a revocation of your driving privileges while in Poland. Fines can run into the hundreds of dollars, taking into account the exchange rate. Be sure you have such money on hand just in case you are pulled over for speeding or another infraction.


Children under the age of 12 and shorter than four feet eleven inches must be restrained either by a seat belt which is adapted to their smaller size, or in a special seat. Child seats are not allowed to be placed rear-facing on the front passenger seat if the front seats are equipped with airbags. Children under 7 are exempted from wearing helmets while riding on mopeds or motorbikes if the speed is kept under 40 kph (25 mph), otherwise they must be worn by everyone at all times.


If there is an accident, please stop your car and put on your reflective jacket before exiting. Remove the warning triangle from your car and place it approximately 100 feet from your car so it will warn travelers that you have stopped and you are in need of assistance. If you are in a more urban area, it is acceptable to place the triangle fewer than 100 feet away, but not immediately adjacent to the accident. If your accident involves another driver, exchange information. That includes car registration numbers, insurance information, name, and address. Write the license plate number down as well. Call 112 and make a formal statement, which the other driver will also do. Polish emergency services (the number 112) will have someone to take your call who speaks English; just kindly request to speak with someone who can take your request in English. Similar resources exist for French speakers. Request a copy of the statement from the police so you can file it with the insurance company.