Why Do You Need to Get New Plates Every Year In Panama for Your Car?
This was of course the question I asked. The answer is that they have never used stickers like we use in the United States. Where we would pay and get new stickers to attach to our old worn plates, here they just give you new plates every year with the current year clearly marked on the plate. You will only receive one plate in Panama every year and it is to be placed on the rear of the vehicle.
What You Need to Do to Register Your Car Every Year and Get New Plates
Residing in David made this much easier. We got up early one morning and went to Auto Centro on the American Highway near the Mae Lewis Hospital. It is a huge bright yellow building on the right as you are headed west. They are open at 7 am. Go early to avoid waiting. They have several auto bays and can accommodate you quickly. Just park and go in and tell them you are there to get an inspection done for new plates.
Documents to bring with you,
- The old inspection from last year. They need this to look up your vehicle. This is called “Autoridad del Transito Y Transporte Terrestre Certificado de Inspeccion Vehicular.”
- Copy of title. This is called Autoridad del Transito Y Transporte Terrestre Certificado de Inspeccion Vehicular.”
- Copy of registration from last year. This is different depending on what city you had the vehicle registered in.
The auto center will take pictures of your car on all 4 sides. These photos are automatically uploaded and sent to Panama City for verification. Usually within a few minutes the word comes back that all is okay. The auto place will then give you a new, Autoridad del Transito Y Transporte Terrestre Certificado de Inspeccion Vehicular.” The cost is $11.00.
The whole process took us less than 20 minutes. Most auto dealerships and auto repair places are authorized to do this for you. Do not go directly to the Municipal to get your new plates. Go home or somewhere where you can make copies of the document you just got and make sure you have all the necessary other documents (origninal and copies) before you get in a line at the city municipal where you need to get your new plates for the year.
Documents and Procedure to Get Your New Panama Plates Every Year
Whatever municipality you have to go to, always bring the following documents. It is better to have them and not need them, then have to go home and dig out more documents.
ALWAYS HAVE THE ORIGINAL AND 2 COPIES OF THE FOLLOWING:
- The inspection form that you got above from the auto center. “Autoridad del Transito Y Transporte Terrestre Certificado de Inspeccion Vehicular.”
- Your title that states that you own the vehicle.” Autoridad del Transito Y Transporte Terrestre Certificado de Inspeccion Vehicular.”
- Car Insurance Coverage-The companies cover page of your auto coverage with its coverage dates.
In our case, the car is registered in Bugaba. I had to go to 2 windows. One to give the paperwork and the other to pay $31.00. Unfortunately as does happen, we went on February 2 and the plates for that month had not come in yet. However, we received the paperwork stating that we had paid and were told to come back on the 28th to get the physical plates. So another trip to Bugaba. The whole process only took about half an hour, because we had all our paperwork necessary to get the new 2013 plates.