Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Receiving and paying for a speeding ticket with foreign plates in Panama

I was able go to through the exciting process receiving and paying for a speeding ticket in Panama with a foreign license (US driver's license) and US plates.

Beware Panama is the only country in all of central america where I have seen police with radar guns.  I received a speeding ticket about 20 minutes over the border, clocked at 94 km/h in an 80 km/h zone.  If you have driven in Panama, you probably noticed the speed limit often changes from 80 km/h to 100 km/h and back, not necessarily with signs telling you.  Regardless...

If you are stopped for speeding in Panama, BRIBE THE POLICE, again, try to pay the officer off.  It will be cheaper and save you several hours of time.  $20 appears to be the going rate to pay an officer if you are a gringo, but you should try $10 first to see if they'll take it.  I personally did not bribe the officer because I had no intention of paying the ticket anyway.  The problem, known after the fact, is that they do a police check on your car if you are shipping your vehicle to Colombia.


So, I finally decided to pay the ticket (you have 30 days) while I was in Panama City.  On the back of the ticket it lists a few places you can pay...I went to Los Pueblos which is a commercial shopping area with many, many stores, a cinema and a mall (I believe) on your way out going towards the airport in Panama City.  The office of Autoridad del Transito y Transporte Terrestre is also here.  

The office is located at GPS coordinates 9.047201,-79.451306 on Google Maps (across the street from a Rodelag)

This office is across the street from Rodelag and directly behind a large store named Campeon, which is next to another large store clothing/households store, named Conway.  You can park in the parking lot here because it is a huge shopping area.  When you go around the back of Campeon, you will see red signs for a Claro store.  The ticket office is to the right of this Claro store when you are facing it.

You will need only 1) your speeding ticket and 2) a copy of your passport to complete the process and there is an office to make copies for $0.15 each two stores down to the left if you are standing in front of the transportation office.

Enter the office of Autoridad del Transito and go to your right, to the last window on the left labeled "Departamento de Infracciones Menores".  Give the lady your ticket and passport copy.  She will process it then hand the paperwork to another woman behind her and ask you to wait.  When the other lady feels like finishing your process, she will print out a piece of paper for you to bring to the "Caja" to pay your fine.  $50 for my ticket (mier

You walk to the other side of the office where there will be a line of people waiting to pay.  Wait your turn, then hand the lady the new printed piece of paper you were given and the money.  She will print you a receipt and you are on your way.  Have fun trying to beat the traffic in Panama City.


  1. Geesh, how corrupt are the police in Panama? You can just bribe them to get out of a ticket? Sounds crazy.

    Sarah | www.convictioninsure.co.uk

  2. Not the majority. You need to be careful. If the police is not corrupt you will be in a major problem. :/

  3. Not the majority. You need to be careful. If the police is not corrupt you will be in a major problem. :/