Vehicle Registration in Panama: The Final Segment 3

Vehicle Registration in Panama, Complete

Suzi Scooter, the New Tableno (resident of Las Tablas), Fully Registered and Transferred

In previous blogs* I have described initiating the process of renewing my scooter registration – first learning that my insurance expired a month before my registration (!) and getting it switched to the company I prefer, then assembling and submitting all the documents to the far-away location of San Miguelito near La Ciudad de Panamá.

Because my generous and helpful friend Soraya checked all the specifics using her excellent Spanish, I was saved an unnecessary extra expense of $55. She and her husband were making a run to La Ciudad de Panamá anyway, so they took the paperwork with them and brought it back.

Once it was back here, I still had a ways to go, both because I wanted to transfer my registration to Las Tablas and because the San Miguelito registration office was out of placas (license plates) when they went there. (In Panama you are issued a new license plate each year.) The plate will be sent here by bus as soon as they have it. This post is about the process of transfering the registration to Las Tablas.

If the computer system had not been down when Soraya and I went to the Tesoreria (treasury department), the process would have been complete that same day. However, it required a second trip, when the machines were up.  I made that excursion by myself, boldly going where I had already been before. Since the young lady at the window remembered me, I did not have to explain why I was there, only to hand her my sheaf of documents. Forewarned, I had made multiple copies of each and while she simply selected what she wanted from my pile, I went to the caja (cashier) and paid my five dollars. I presented her with the receipt, she handed me yet another receipt and a small business card-sized paper with instructions to go to Banco Nacional and deposit twenty dollars to the name and account number on it.

I went to the bank and did exactly that, then took THAT receipt out to the Traffico office about a quarter mile away.

At the Traffico office, another young lady accepted the receipt from the bank, the paper from the treasury and picked through all my pre-made copies and originals. Alas. The one thing I hadn’t made a copy of was my id. So I hustled home (not far) to my printer and did that before hustling back.

My new title was waiting. She kept the old one, the receipts and the copy of my id, and I was done.  Considering, that part was very simple.

Next year all I have to do is present my title, my insurance, my id, my inspection paper and my twenty-five dollars at the Las Tablas Tesoreria (treasury), and I’ll be done for that year. Bim, bam, boom. To have it be so simple next year will be worth all the effort and fuss of this year.

*         Previous posts on the process of vehicle registration include:

1. Vehicle Registration in the Azuero.  It sounds so simple. Ha!

2. Update on Vehicle Registration I was thwarted last time, but I’ll get it this time! Ha!

3.Registration Renewal in Panama If at first you don’t succeed…

4. This post, Vehicle Registration in Panama: The Final Segment

3 thoughts on “Vehicle Registration in Panama: The Final Segment

  • JK Mikals Post author

    Oh, one more thing. If your vehicle is some itty-bitty little cc (I forget the size – 50, maybe, but definitely less than 125cc) you don’t need a driver’s license.

    • JK Mikals Post author

      Yes. I had to take a special class at a local driving school so that my license would permit using a “moto.” None of it was especially difficult except for the fact that everything was conducted in Spanish. My recommendation is to take care of this detail while you are in the States. Also, make sure you have plenty of time left on your license and if you don’t, renew early. Once you are here, you will only be able to drive on your US license for three months (yes, your visa is for six – somebody boo-booed). Once you have your official status of pensionado, you can get a Panamanian driver’s license, but if your US driver’s license doesn’t have motorcycle authorization, you’ll have hoops to jump. So take care of this before you arrive.

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