Warsaw Public Transport Ticket Inspection Explained
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.