Need to Pay a Traffic Ticket? Here’s How

I received a parking ticket in Panama City, which had been adhered to the driver's window of my vehicle. You do not have to go into Panama City to take care of it. The closest ATTT (Autoridad de Transporte Terrestre something..) is in La Chorrera. I called the phone there (244-3266) and ascertained that they were indeed opened.  Note this is considered a governement building and the dress code does apply.  No bare shoulders, long pants for men and no flip flop style shoes. The ATTT office is VERY easy to locate: as you enter La Chorerra, pass the Accel gas on your right, and as you come to the Texaco gas on your left, (NOT the one on the right) make the left.  (There has been changes to the road, therefore now you need to go pass the overpass going into Chorrera, turn left to get on the side coming back to Coronado).  It's behind and to the left (west) of the Texaco pumps.   Go inside, and go to the CAJA window. Present your ticket, and you will be asked for a Cedula, Passport or Nacional Driver's License. The attendant will ask if you are the owner of the vehicle ticketed, and put either your name (if it's not your car) or the plate number (if it is your car) in. He then has all the information on you in Panama: License status/previous tickets/outstanding tickets/passport status and registration status. The fine is only ten dollars for the summons. It was my first and I don't know if subsequent ones are more. I asked what would happen if you didn't answer the ticket. He told me there was a 10% increase in the fine per thirty days, and your registration will be blocked upon renewal date, you could expect problems at customs, then ultimately, if you are stopped by the policia, you can/will be arrested. The computer system is amazingly effective and thorough, and the local policia have hand-held versions.

The entire process took less than five minutes, and I was there at lunchtime, when you'd think it would be the worst. The attendant was pleasant and helpful (but spoke no English), and the fine is very inexpensive. So, if you get ticketed, don't just toss it, thinking it's too much trouble. You have thirty days to pay it, and the consequences of not paying it sound grim.