Who can ask for your ID in Poland? You might be ask to produce your ID for many reasons, from buying alcohol, visiting a gun range or while driving a car on a Polish road. There are some people you must legal produce your ID to, however there are some people that you DON’T need to legally show your ID to. This article was created with the help local law firm in Warsaw.
It is worth knowing that, according to the Act of 6 of the August 2010 personal ID cards regulation (Polish), no one has the right to demand that we leave a personal ID as a pledge. A pledge means such as a deposit. Nobody can legally ask you to leave an ID with them until you pay a fine or return an item for example. Such actions are simply a violation of applicable Polish law. What is more, there is a penalty of up to one month or a fine imposed if someone was to take your ID.
In the face of more and more frequent data theft, we should be aware of who and in what situations can expect us to provide proof to protect ourselves. This is one of the main reasons the Act on personal ID cards was put in place. We should not allow a situation in which unauthorized person acquires any identifying information (such as name, date of birth, PESEL).
The information obtained, for example, from an identity card can be used by thieves to take a loan, finance against a car, or other activities that could cause legal or financal harm to yourself, the consequences of which can be very unpleasant and long lasting.
You should show a personal ID at the request of:
– Police officer
– A commercial inspection employee as part of the inspection
– Fiscal control employee as part of fiscal control
– An employee of the Social Insurance Institution during the inspection
– Officer of the Border Guard
– Officer of the Government Protection Bureau
– An officer of the Prison Service
– An employee protecting people and property
– Sellers of alcohol
– Forest guard
– Persons acting on behalf of the road administrator
– Hotel employee
However, only an officer of the Police and the Border Guard can ask for the transfer of the identity card for inspection. The representative of any other institution can not take away our identity document, to write data, make photocopies, or even more as a “pledge” in exchange for, for example, renting sport and tourist equipment. Meaning your in your legal right to hold on to the ID at all time.
Public Transport Ticket Inspectors
You must always be able to produce a valid public transport ticket when using the Polish public transport system (ZTM) failure to do so will result in a fine. It is common practice that when issuing a fine they will ask for a form of ID to validate that the details you gave are correct. You legally do not have to give them or show them your ID, However if they believe the details you have given could be false then they have the right to call the police and ask them to check your ID. A public transport ticket inspector does not have the legal right to take your ID without your consent.
This is the standard procedure when a ticket inspection takes place:
The basis for conducting a ticket inspection among passengers is the entering into a transport services agreement, which occurs when the passenger enters the vehicle, and in case of metro – the metro ticket zone.
The moment a transport services agreement is entered into, a passenger without a valid ticket or document entitling to travel freely is required to immediately validate/activate the ticket after entering the vehicle or when passing the metro ticket zone boundary.
Inspection of tickets in public transport vehicles can be only be conducted by persons authorized by the ZTM Director. Here is a picture from ZTM published late 2017 of the updated inspectors uniform:
These authorized inspectors must have a visible ID badge. If it is not visible you have a right to see it.
The ticket inspector’s ID card contains:
1) inscription “Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa – Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego” (City of Warsaw – Public Transport Authority);
2) a photograph of the ticket inspector;
3) identification number of the ticket inspector;
4) issuing date and validity date;
5) scope of competence;
6) stamp and signature of the issuer;
7) a hologram.
If you believe their ID to be incorrect we highly recommend calling the Police and asking them to attend to validate the ID.
If the passenger is found travelling without a valid ticket or without any applicable entitlements to free or discount travel, the ticket inspector requests this passenger to pay an additional charge and the transport fee.
That charge and the fee may be:
1) paid immediately — in cash with a confirmation of payment, in which case the base amount is reduced by 40%,
2) paid within 7 days — the base amount will then be reduced by 30%,
3) paid within 14 days from the day the charge was issued — the full amount of the additional charge has to be paid.
The transport fee, equivalent to the price of a single fare transfer ticket is not reduced.
The payment may be made in the Punkt Obsługi Pasażerów ZTM (ZTM Passenger Service Centre), at the post office or with a wire transfer.
In the second and third case the ticket inspector can request the passenger to present a document enabling confirmation of the passenger’s identity, and based on the document issues a request for the payment of the additional fee. Again, you don’t legally need to produce this document. The inspector will then call the Police to whom you must then produce your ID.
Ticket Inspectors Rights
In case the charge is not paid or an identity document is not presented:
1) The ticket inspector has the right to apprehend the passenger, and then immediately deliver him to Police or other law enforcement services entitled, under applicable laws, to arrest the passenger and establish his or her identity;
2) Until the Police or other law enforcement arrives, the passenger is required to remain at the place of inspection or another location indicated by the ticket inspector.
The ticket inspector has the right to retain, based on a receipt, tickets and documents confirming entitlements to discount or free journeys if there is suspicion of those being forged or changed.
If you are ever in a position that somebody is asking for your ID and you are unsure or uncomfortable we always recommend calling the Police. They will quickly explain if you need to do it or not. Nobody including the Police as a legal right to take and hold your ID without your will.