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How to Convert a Foreign Driving License in Panama

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    As a foreigner, you can legally drive in Panama using your own license for the first 90 days you are in the country. After the 90 days, make sure to convert your foreign Driving Licenses to comply with local laws and drive legally while in the country. This comprehensive article gives the details of the process, eligibility, necessary documents, and fees involved, to guide in how to convert your driving license into a Panamanian one.

    Eligibility and Initial Considerations

    To be eligible for conversion, applicants must:

    • Be a legal resident of Panama.
    • Possess a valid driving license from their home country.
    • Have no outstanding traffic fines or sanctions in Panama.

    Foreign drivers can use their national driving license for up to 90 days after entry into Panama. Beyond this period, those intending to stay must convert their license if they wish to continue driving.

    Required Documentss

    The conversion process requires the following documentation:

    • Original valid driving license: Your current driver’s license, which must be valid.
    • Passport: A copy of your passport, including the entry stamp page.
    • Residence Card: A copy of your residence permit in Panama.
    • Blood Type Certificate: Required if your license does not include this information.
    • Health Certificate: Issued by a doctor recognized in Panama.
    • National Translation: In a licensed language other than Spanish, provided by a certified translator based in Panama.

    The Conversion Process

    1. License verification: The verification of your foreign license should be done by the Autoridad del Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre (ATTT) and could require help by your own country’s authorities.
    2. Medical Examination: Get a medical certificate from a nearby doctor to certify that you are able to drive. Blood tests are also necessary to know your blood type.
    3. Submit Documents: Submit all required documents to ATTT for processing.
    4. Payment of Fees: Pay required modification and licensing fees.
    5. Obtain a Panama License: Once approved, you will be issued a new Panama driver’s license.

    Understanding the Costs

    The conversion process involves various costs:

    • License Verification Fee: Approximately $40.
    • Official Translation: Between $20 to $50, if necessary.
    • Medical Examination: Ranges from $40 to $60.
    • Blood Type Certificate: About $5 to $10.
    • ATTT License Issuance Fee: Around $40.

    The assumed overall cost can be around $145 to $200 without considering legal help or fees applied by your own country’s authorities.


    • Ensure Document Accuracy: Double-check all documents for completeness and accuracy.
    • Stay Informed: Regularly visit the ATTT website for the latest information on fees and requirements.
    • Consider Professional Assistance: If language is a barrier, or to navigate the process more smoothly, hiring a local attorney or service provider might be beneficial.


    The process of converting your foreign driving license in Panama is a complex one and every step needs to be meticulously planned and understood with respect to the local terms and related costs. By following the guide, expatriates and long-term visitors can ensure compliance with Panamanian laws and the opportunity to drive freely across the nation.

    Sources & Foot Notes

    [1] Angloinfo - Exchanging a License
    [2] ATTT - Autoridad del Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre

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