It finally happened ... I got a 500zl (yes, 500zl!) ticket from a cop for driving without an International Driving License (IDL). Can you imagine how pissed off I am? I think you can. The IDL is probably the biggest scam since cigarette companies tried to convince us that smoking was actually OK and healthy.
From all I can tell, possession of the IDL proves only that you have paid the money to get one. It has no other value. It does not prove I have insurance. It does not prove that I know the laws of driving in Poland. It proves absolutely nothing. For the life of me, I cannot figure out its purpose other than someone, somewhere is making some money off of people. It also gives the Polish government more revenue because of the insane cost of the citation. I can understand ticketing a person for some sort of endangering behavior. Speeding or jaywalking are good examples. But to ticket someone for not having a document? It is absurd. Even the cop who gave me the ticket could not explain why I needed and IDL. Either he was stupid or didn't care or realized he had no appropriate answer because he could see the absurdity as well.
Here is my theory: If and when the US allows Polish citizens to travel to the US without a visa, then Poland will suspend this silly and expensive practice of requiring an IDL.