Acquiring Your “Tarjeta de Propiedad Vehicular”-“Vehicle Property Card”

It’s As Easy As 1-2-3! My faith in getting anything done here in Panama, conveniently, has been restored!  My husband and I went to Panama on Friday to run some errands and pick up the ‘new card’ which we all need for our vehicles.  The most difficult part was actually getting to Auto Depot on Tumba Muerto.  The rest was a piece of cake!

A big ‘Thank You’ to both Glen Rennie and Kathy Bishop who originally sent out the word that all licensed vehicles in Panama must now carry a “Tarjeta de Propiedad Vehicular,” (Vehicle Property Card).  And if you are on any of the Panama Forums, I am sure that you have been following many of the discussions regarding “the card”.  The card is issued by the Autoridad del Transito y Transporte Terrestre (literally, Transit Authority and Land Transport) and can be obtained (FREE) by going to their office at Auto Depot on Tumba Muerto.  The card has all of the information regarding your vehicle, including a picture, and will be used by the police to identify your vehicle if you should happen to get stopped for anything.  It is my understanding that it can be used in place of the Registration (pinkish paper), and if you do not have the card with you, you can be fined.

Need your card??  In just a few easy steps, this is what you need to do:

Go to see if your card is ready.  When you get to the site, you will need to put in your license plate number.  You can enter only one plate at a time.  If there are letters on your plate, enter only in uppercase.  Do not enter hyphens or spaces. 
If your card is ready and if you are a foreigner, you will need to take the following items with you to Auto Depot: 
Original and Copy of immigration card which matches your passport that you used to register the vehicle in the “Registro Unico Vehicular Motorizado” (Motor Vehicle Register).

Original and Copy of the passport which matches the immigration card.

Original and Copy of Certificate of Ownership of Vehicle (CPV).  This is the pinkish sheet that is identified as Registro Unico de Propiedad Vehicular.

Incidentally, we did not have any originals with us, only copies, and there was no problem.  However, the site clearly states Original and Copy.

Getting to Auto Depot!  It may seem like a long way out there, but don’t give up!  Auto Depot is directly across Tumba Muerto from a very large Casa de Materiales store.  If you follow Tumba Muerto out from Transismica, you will probably feel like you are going forever, but, eventually, you will come to an area where there are newer stores, and you will notice a newer ‘Do It Center’ on a little hill to the left.  A short way beyond, there is the large Casa de Materiales, also on the left, and the entry to the Auto Depot is directly across the street from Casa de Materiales .  Auto Depot is a large circle of buildings where you can find cars and numerous car services.  You will notice a large ‘circus tent’ structure just inside.  Once you go through the entry, go straight ahead to the parking area.  You will notice that the ‘circus tent’ actually encloses a food court area, and the ATTT (Autoridad del Transito y Transporte Terrestre) is located at the end of the row of stores and offices on the right side of the court.  There are two doors.  Enter the one on the right.   There will be three desks; the first two are for the Tarjeta Propiedad Vehicular.  The person will ask for the information given above and ask you to take a seat and wait until they can find your card.  (There are A LOT of boxes of cards there!)  Once they have found your card, all you need to do is to sign a book and give your passport number and the date to confirm that you have received it, and you are on your way with your card.  Very easy!  We got there at 11:25 and were out the door by 11:34.

Now, “the card” is really impressive!  It is in full color and Very Compact!  Don’t Leave Home Without It!   Always have it in your car in case you are stopped by the Policia and they ask to see it!  And, I hope that the experience is as convenient for you as it was for us!