And the Saga Continues ... Buying a used car in Panama

Yes, the saga continues. Please refer to my previous article on How to buy a Used Car in Panama - Well after a week I went back to get my papers from the transport department which was basically one sheet.  The idea was to bring it to Chame with other documents and the deal was done, next year I could pick my plates at the local office.

I gingerly walk into the Chame office with this sheet  and the other documents that I was told I needed:

The form filled out – Declaration Expresa

Copy of the Registro Unico de Propiedad Vehicular

8.5 x 14 Certificado de Inspection Vehicular – Particular (Revisado)

Receipt of Municipio de Panama for payment of plates

Copy of the passpor


The lady at the office checks my documents and tells me that my Copy of the Registro Unico de Propriedad Vehicular does not have my name on it but the vendors name.  Ha!  She informed me that I had to go back to the Panama office and get the proper document. and to bring a Banco Nacional receipt of $20 with me.  So again, off to the city, parked the car in a shopping center lot, took a taxi ( $10 they were asking! - walked to the main street and got one for $3).  This is where I need to mention that I can get lost in a glass of water, the diver dropped me off at the opposite entrance and I was totally confused.  Finally with a lot of finger pointing I found the office that gave me the Cambio document, he told me to go to another office - found a lady that told me that  since the pink document did not have the vendors signature on the back and I could not provide a copy of her passport, I needed to go to the 'Main Office' and get those copies.


Off I go to the department that has the lady sitting in front of the door that gives you your ticket with a number  (I guess I must have looked a little harried as she gave me the Jubilado ticket without asking!), waited around to finally explain that I needed a copy of the vendor's passport that they had in their files from almost a month ago.  They did find it but could not provide me with the amended pink copy.  Back to the lady who infomred me of all this, she nodded and told me to go see Mr. Vicente at the Concordia building which is right in the middle of a massive construction zone.    Hailed a cab and got there after going up and down a lot of streets (i.e. construction everywhere) to finally again with a lot of finger pointing find the office and find Mr. Vicente (who does not speak English).   had to run and get several copies of my documents and ended up waiting about 20 minutes in his office hoping that he understood me.  To my great satisfaction  he came back with the document with my name on it.  I I could have hugged him!  Hailed another cab, picked up the car and drove home.  First thing I did, I opened a bottle of wine!


The next day armed with my documents went to Chame where I had to pay $5  at the Tresury next door.  Once I had my receipt, she went through my documents and took all the ones that were obsolete, put them in a pile and made me a file  and told me:  - here you go, this is all you need.  Confirmed, in front of a few others in the office, that yes, indeed, I would be visiting them next March to pick up my 2013 plates. 


The morale of this story, and a lot of individuals did tell me to do this.  Give this to a Consultant.  But for the benefit of the readers I thought it would be good e to write about the experience.,  My advice after all this:  Get a Consultant.  They know where to go, what documents you require, able to verify that  what  you get back is right and would have all done this in one session.  If you count my gas, my taxies, lunches, time and lasty the wine (to either decompress or celebrate depending on my perception of the the day) it is a much better idea is to get in touch with one of them and spend the day doing something enjoyable. 

  I guess when people tell you:  I told you so, we should listen!