Panama is a very interesting destination for expats, including those looking for a place to spend their retirement and those who are entrepreneurs and investors.

This is because of the year-round warm weather (and no hurricanes), beautiful scenery, excellent and affordable healthcare options, reasonable cost of living, and a positive scenario for conducting business.

Foreign people who want to make Panama their new home have interesting immigration options such as the pensioner visa, the visa of friendly countries and having the intention of investing their own financial solvency visas for investment.

The identification documents that you receive for the application and subsequent residence permit are the following:

Temporary Temporary Resident Card

When submitting the application for permanent residence in Panama at the Panama Migration Service, and the application is complete.

The applicant receives his temporary residence card.

This meat usually has a validity time of 6 months, although it may vary depending on the category requested.

Panama Permanent Resident Meat

Once the request for permanent residence is approved, the applicant receives this meat which has no expiration date.


The e-cedula is an OPTIONAL form of identification that provides a unique identification number that becomes a personal identity document in Panama.

Permanent residents are not required to apply.

If it is recommended that it be requested because it facilitates the permanent resident a series of procedures that require an ID in Panama. The difference with meat is that, for example in a bank, it must be accompanied by a passport, with the ID is enough.

The e-ID is sufficient document to present yourself as a personal identity.

Driver’s License

This document is necessary if you are going to live in Panama and want to drive.

For tourists, the driver’s license from your country of origin is only valid for the first 90 days you are in the country. 

Once a foreigner receives a temporary residence ID, he is no longer considered a tourist and must obtain a Panamanian driver’s license.

To receive the driver’s license, the resident foreigner must authenticate his foreign driver’s license at the consulate of his country in Panama and then certify at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

You will also need a blood test to verify your blood type, unless your foreign driver’s license already includes information about the blood type. 

Once the required documents are ready, the resident foreigner can apply for a Panama driver’s license at any of the SERTRACEN offices.

I hope this article has given you clarity in the various documents that are issued in Panama and any questions we are always at your service.