Purchase and registration of a car in Poland

The purchase of a car becomes effective as from the moment of signing the sale agreement or issuing a VAT invoice and as from the moment of paying the price referred to in sale conditions.

In the case of the sale of a car, the seller should provide the new owner with the following documents:

  1. Vehicle Information Package (karta pojazdu). This is the most important document of the vehicle. It contains all data on the vehicle and its owners (including previous owners).
  2. Vehicle registration card.
  3. Insurance policy, if valid
  4. Car keys (as a rule: 2 sets of keys).

The car should be registered within 30 days as from the day on which the car was purchased.

In order to register a car, the owner should go to the department of motor vehicles of the administrative county district (wydział komunikacji starostwa) (often a branch office of the county department of motor vehicles operates in a commune office) or to the municipal office competent for the place of residence of the owner. The owner may be represented by his/her proxy acting on the basis of a power of attorney. If the owner is represented by a spouse, ascendant, descendant, brother or sister no fees are charged. If the owner is represented by any other person, the stamp duty of PLN 17 is charged.

Documents required:

  1. Application to register a vehicle filed by the vehicle owner.
  2. An ownership title document (the ownership title document includes in particular one of the following documents: a VAT invoice confirming the purchase of the vehicle, a sale agreement, an exchange agreement, a donation agreement, an annuity agreement, a final and non appealable ruling of the court establishing an ownership title, a chattel lien and ownership transfer agreement, e.g. with a bank, an initial chattel lien and ownership transfer agreement supplemented with a declaration on transferring the ownership title back to the original owner and with a declaration on repayment of all debts). Do not forget to check whether the car purchase agreement included all car owners. All car owners are specified in the vehicle registration card. If the vehicle registration card contains a co-owner but no name of that co-owner is mentioned, you should ask the seller who the co-owner of the car actually is.
  3. A vehicle registration card containing the date of the next obligatory technical vehicle inspection.
  4. Vehicle information package (if issued).
  5. Numberplates.
  6. An ID of an alien: a passport and a residence document (a visa or a residence card).
  7. A confirmation that an alien is temporarily domiciled (the vehicle registration card will be valid by that date).
  8. A document certifying that a power of attorney was granted to a proxy (if any) (template of a power of attorney).

After submitting the documents above, a clerk will immediately issue the so-called temporary vehicle registration card (valid for 30 days). After 1-3 weeks the so-called permanent vehicle registration card will be issued.

After the registration of a second-hand car bought in Poland, you also have to provide to the tax office with PCC-3 forms and pay the tax on civil law transactions amounting to 2% of the car value. Usually, the tax is paid by the car buyer; the party obligated to pay that tax is specified in the sale agreement. The tax on civil law transactions is not due if you are an entrepreneur and if a VAT invoice regarding the car sold is issued.

The tax must be paid within 14 days as from the day on which the car was purchased.


Motor vehicle fees charged for the issuance of:  
Standard numberplates     80,00 zł
Invidiual numberplates 1000,00 zł
Vehicle registration card     54,00 zł
Temporary permit     13,50 zł
Windscreen license sticker      18,50 zł
Registration sticker      12,50 zł
Registration fee        2,00 zł
TOTAL (in the case of standard numberplates)

    180,50 zł

TOTAL (if old numberplates are not changed)

       81,00 zł

TOTAL (in the case of invidual numberplates) 1100,50 zł

If the second-hand car was registered in the same city or in the same county, the numberplates do not have to be changed (in that case the registration cost will amount to PLN 81). Should that be the case, only new registration stickers will be applied.

Remember to update the third party liability certificate for your car. According to Article 31 of the Act on Obligatory Insurances, the Insurance Guarantee Fund and the Polish Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the seller is obligated to notify the insurer on the sale of the vehicle and the buyer is obligated to update the insurance policy.

The new owner is also entitled to terminate the agreement with the current insurer provided that the insurer is notified thereon in writing, preferably by registered mail. Insurers can provide you with drafts of notice of transfer and notice of termination. It is advisable to use the drafts to be sure that all data necessary for such notices to be valid are included. If the insurance policy purchased by the previous owner has expired, you are obligated to buy a new third party liability insurance before you can use the vehicle in road traffic.

If the car is sold, the previous owner shall be obligated to inform the office in which the car was registered about the sale of the car within 30 days.

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