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Obtaining a Panama Driver's License

To better serve our American citizen community in Panama, the U.S. Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit uses an appointment system for notary services.  All individuals requiring notary services will need to make an appointment online. Be advised that an individual appointment should be made for each individual seeking a notary service.

Tourists visiting Panama may drive with a valid driver’s license from their home country for a period of 90 days.  Residents must apply for a Panamanian driver’s license.  SERTRACEN is the entity contracted by the Government of Panama for the issuance of driver’s licenses.

To obtain your Panama driver’s license:

  1. Make an appointment online, bring your valid U.S. driver’s license and a copy of both sides to the American Citizen Services (ACS) section. Licenses that are expired will not be accepted by the Panamanian Authorities. The fee for this notarial service is $50.  Consular regulations require us to charge $1.00 each for photocopies we have to make in connection with affidavits.
  2. Take your valid U.S. license and notarized documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for certification.  The MFA is located at: Plaza Sun Tower on Avenida Ricardo J. Alfaro (Tumba Muerto) by the National Bank of Panama.  Telephone number:  511-4045 or 511-4046.
  3. Obtain proof of your blood type, if your driver’s license does not include that information.  You must visit a lab certified by ATTT .
  4. Bring your residency documents, passport, valid license, notarized documents and proof of blood type to a SERTRACEN service center.

For up-to-date information on traffic conditions in Panama, we recommend two twitter links:


  • SERTRACEN Map Starting August 15, 2013, all process to apply for Panamanian driver License (first time) will be handled by the Sertracen’s Office located at Centro Galeria Plaza Carolina, by Los Pinos’s entrance, right in front of Villa Lorena neighborhood.

    For more information please contact SERTRACEN 315-0000 or