Vehicle registration plates of Poland

Poland vehicle license plates / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Vehicle registration plates of Poland indicate the region of registration of the vehicle given the number plate.

According to Polish law, the registration plate is tied to the vehicle, not the owner. There is no possibility for the owner to keep the licence number for use on a different car, even if it's a cherished registration. The licence plates are issued by the powiat (county) of the vehicle owner's registered address of residence, in the case of a natural person. If it is owned by a legal person, the place of registration is determined by his/her address. Vehicles leased under operating leases and many de facto finance leases will be registered at the address of the lessor. When a vehicle changes hands, the new owner must apply for new vehicle registration document bearing his or her name and registered address. The new owner may obtain a new licence plate although it is not necessary when the new owner's residence address is in the same district as the previous owner's. In such a situation the licence plates are usually carried over to the new owner, because the change carries an additional cost. Upon purchasing a vehicle from another person, if the vehicle has an EU plate, the new owner must replace it with a registration for their address and area, and give the EU plate to their powiat licensing authority to free up numbers in the future. If the car has a plate dated before May 1, 2006, the owner is free to do whatever they wish with it, as long as it is legal under Polish law. The plaque cannot be replaced if destroyed. The change of the whole set is required.

The change in system shown below in 2001 is related to the reduction in the previous year of the number of voivodeships in Poland from 49 to 16, based on the country's historic regions. The pre-2001 licence plates (white letters on black background) can be used indefinitely, but since they are obsolete they have to be replaced in case of change of vehicle's ownership.

In the pre-2001 model, there were not sufficient letters in the Polish alphabet for each of the old voivodeships to have a single letter. Only the standard latin alphabet was used (excluding Q), and the specific Polish characters with diacritics were excluded in order to make the plates fully internationally readable. Therefore, two letters had to be used to indicate the vehicle's origin (the middle administrative level of powiat was not introduced until 1999). Since the change, the first letter has always denoted the new voivodeship. One additional letter is used in cities with rights of powiat (this applies to 47 of 49 capitals of the old voivodeships, the exceptions being Ciechanów and Sieradz, and numerous major cities). Two additional letters are used in any other powiat.

It is not necessary for EU citizens to immediately re-register the vehicles they have brought with them if they are duly registered and taxed elsewhere in the EU, when living in Poland. This emerges from European law, although local regulations have to date not been changed to reflect the law, leading to officials locally sometimes giving incorrect advice on this point. If in doubt, refer to your Embassy.