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Domestic Transport – what license is needed to perform transport with in the country?

The transport license is an essential document for companies that provide goods and passenger transport services. The name itself indicates that a specific type of authorization has been granted. The idea behind the creation of the carrier’s license is to raise and unify the standards of transport companies. How much is a domestic transport license? Where can you get it? Here is a compilation of practical information about the transport license.

What is a transport license?

A transport license is an authorization to transport people and goods in document form. The obligation for carriers to hold this license stems from the provisions of the Act of 6 September 2001 on road transport. European institutions are striving to develop common rules for all member states. These affect various areas of our lives, including transport. The international consignment note simplified customs procedures. The mobility package implemented by Poland aims to unify wages and safety standards among carriers from various European countries. The transport license has a similar goal and its rules were defined in the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council No. 1072/2009 and later implemented into the Polish legal system. Even though the license for domestic transport pertains to transport within Poland, it must meet European standards in terms of the procedure for obtaining authorizations as well as safety. The carrier’s license is granted for a specified time period – a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 50 years. Carriers with licenses are entered into the KREPTD, i.e. the National Electronic Register of Road Transport Enterprises.

Who needs a transport license?

An license is required from qualified entities which carry out commercial road transport within the country. On the internet, one can find divergent information on who must hold a transport license. Some people claim that the size of the vehicles used for transport is irrelevant and only the commercial nature of the transport entails an obligation to hold a license. Still others point to the exclusion from the Road Transport Act of domestic carriers using vehicles with a GVM of less than 3.5 tonnes. What do we know for certain? If your company is paid for the transport of goods using vehicles with a GVM exceeding 3500 kg or for the transport of passengers, it is required to hold a transport license. There are three types of enterprises that are required to have a license:

  • Carriers performing commercial road transport of goods using vehicles with a GVM exceeding 3.5 tonnes
  • Carriers performing commercial international road transport of goods using vehicles with a GVM of 2.5-3.5 tonnes
  • Companies which provide commercial transport of people in buses and coaches.

Who does not need a license for domestic transport?

  • Carriers performing commercial road transport of goods using vehicles with a GVM not exceeding 3.5 tonnes only within the country
  • Enterprises performing commercial road transport of goods using vehicles with a GVM not exceeding 2.5 tonnes
  • People, enterprises and institutions that perform non-profit transport
  • Entities carrying out road transport for their own needs, transporting employees to the place where they are to carry out an order, or transporting stock between different company departments

However, opinions are divided and there is no decision in this case in the jurisprudence of the courts. Therefore, it is worth obtaining a license for the transport of goods, even if the transport is carried out using passenger vehicles only in the territory of the Republic of Poland, or using other vehicles excluded from the provisions of the national act.

How to obtain a transport license

If you are interested in obtaining a carrier’s license, you need to apply for a domestic road transport of passenger and goods license at the Poviat Starosty or a municipal government office with poviat authority. The application may be submitted:

  • in writing during a personal visit to the competent office
  • in writing through the services of a postal company
  • in electronic form

Domestic transport license – required documents

The following documentation must be attached to the application:

  • criminal record certificate
  • copy of the certificate of professional competence of the person managing the transport
  • confirmation of the company’s financial capacity, required in the form of a bank guarantee
  • an excerpt from the KRS / CEIDG register of enterprises
  • list of vehicles (brand, type / purpose, registration number, VIN, indication of the type of legal title to dispose to use the vehicle)
  • statement of compliance with good reputation requirements
  • statement of the person managing the transport
  • statement of compliance with the requirements for drivers
  • statement regarding the exploitation base
  • proof of fee payment

Transport license cost

The cost of issuing a license for the domestic transport of goods depends on the period for which the license is issued.

  • from 2 to 15 years – PLN 800
  • from 15 to 30 years – PLN 900
  • from 30 to 50 years old – PLN 1000

The cost of the license is lower by PLN 100 for passenger transport. If the application is submitted by a proxy, it is also necessary to pay a stamp duty in the amount of PLN 17. Close family members who are proxies are exempt from the fee.

How to pay for the license

  • To the bank account of the competent government office
  • At the cash desk of the competent government office
  • By payment card at the payment machine (only for select government offices)

International transport license – differences

  • The Community license authorizes the international carriage of goods by road for commercial purposes, while the national license is limited to transport within the territory of the Republic of Poland
  • The costs of obtaining a license for international transport are higher than for domestic transport
  • The international license is obligatory for carriers using vehicles with a GVM in the range of 2.5-3.5 tonnes for the transport of goods between countries
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in domestic transport is required to obtain an international license
  • The government office that handles applications for the international transport license is the General Inspectorate of Road Transport
  • The international carrier’s license is granted for a maximum period of 10 years, while a national license can be obtained for up to 50 years.