Last updated: Sept 2023
There are two parts. This is the first part. See the other marker on iOverlander for the second part which happens the following day.
Open Monday to Friday. Closed on weekends.
0. Check your TIP and ensure the VIN is identical to what you have on the TIP.
1. Arrive at the inspection site at around 6 a.m. but no later than 7 a.m.
(They only process 25 vehicles per day)
2. Find a parking spot outside the gated area.
3. When they open you will get in line. Have your documents ready. The person at the desk will write your vehicle information in a ledger and will compare the VIN from the TIP with the VIN from your documents.
3. The inspector will come and check your VIN (he will not inspect the engine number or the vehicle).
2 x TIP
2 x title (or registration)
2 x Passport (photo page and page with your entry stamp)
Don't forget to bring the originals.
Why? By checking in after you’ve visited a place you let others know this place is still functional. You can also add or correct any information.
Arrived at 7 am and were the last ones. We were done by 7:45 a.m. You need 2x copies for this step.
Do yourself a service and double-check the VIN on the TIP and the VIN on your car.
Save yourself the trouble of trying to park in the yard. They are very rude and unhelpful. Find a spot outside wherever you can. The area is very poor and sketchy.Report Check-In
Arrived at 6.15 and got number 4 with about 13 vehicles by 7.30. he did all the paperwork first and inspected the cars afterwards, as 4th in line it took just over two hours in total. van was allowed to park inside the yard landcruisers and sprinters (both too big in eyes of inspector...) were sent outside to park on the road. German plated car just checked VIN no motor numbers or else. get your copies right!Report Check-In
It's not possible anymore, to receive the papers on the same day. You have to pick them up the next day at around 10 am.Report Check-In
Went there on a Friday. We were told that we can't get the document on the same day. Had to wait for Monday!! Just so you can plan accordingly.Report Check-In
Arrived at 6:15 and was number 1, no one else showed up. Was told to park across the street and wait for 7:30...
The inspector took copies of the TIP, passport, title and checked the VIN, done in 5 minutes and told to be back at the office by 13:30.
Much quicker with fewer travellers, we could have arrived at 0700
They checked VIN and engine numberReport Check-In
We arrived 5:20 a.m., the gate was open. Seven cars (!) by locals was there and we got number 12.
Some vehicles/motorcycles/trailers parked outside.
After one hour we had to stay in line at the grey door. In the office we had to filll out our data.
After a couple of minutes we got an information about the process, only in Spanish, and got told, what is the right order of our copies.
Inspections started at 7:25 a.m.
We were ready about 08:33 a.m. - our car was checked in one minute!
Patience is the word!! Nothing was complicated, but this is what to expect:
1. We showed up at the DJI (Part I) at 5:30am, parked, the official there gave us #8. There were a couple other overlanders too.
2. We waited in line with our papers for the office to open at 7am, registered ourselves.
3. Waited in the lot until about 7:30am when the inspector came out and talked for a loooong time. But all he cares is that you have your papers (passport, passport stamp, Title, TIP) and your engine is clean enough for him to see the motor number (in our case it was our VIN).
4. By 8:20 he'd gone through the other 7 vehicles before us, quickly looked at our number, and we were done. That's all.
5. At 1:45pm we came back to park in the same lot, walked down the road and across the bridge to the second DJI office (labeled Part II on the app), walk straight in, don't wait in the line.
6. Gave the lady our inspection paper. Later gave our 2nd copies of passport, passport stamp, title, TIP. Waited an hour.
7. At 3pm they gave us our approved inspection papers, done!Report Check-In
If you have something wrong with your Panama TIP ie. Vin number incorrect even after double checking the paperwork at the boarder 🤦🏻♀️, do not freak out. There is an aduana office just down the road that the vehicle inspection officer can direct you to. I left the inspection and took a taxi for $3 and was back in 30 minutes with the updated and correct paperwork. there was no one at the office so I didn't wait in any line. I still got my vehicle inspection paperwork the same day. If you have to go to fix your TIP do not forget original copies of the TIP and also the insurance as they will need both to update everything. Luckily I had brought everything. Safe travels!Report Check-In
it's really important to be here early. we arrived at 5 AM and got the number 10. it really fills up very fast. I also made a photo of the gate.Report Check-In
We arrived today at 5:00am and we were #10. People keep getting here earlier and earlier! So arrive as early as you can. Do not listen to anyone outside the parking lot that tells you they can help you (they try to scam you for money). Nothing in this process will cost you anything. Go inside and find an actual staff member (may have to ask the other people waiting who that is) and they will direct you on where to park. Bring your own copies of documents to make this easier: TIP, title, passport of owner. Be patient as you will be waiting for some time. We were done with our inspection at 8:00am.Report Check-In
I'd recommend to arrive at Part 1 even at 5:30 AM. We were here 6:05, got number 14. Now it's 8:40 and we are still waiting outside for inspection. If you arrive here early to get one of the first numbers, you can leave a lot earlier, without waiting for so many cars beeing inspected before yours (it sometimes takes the officer very long to find the engine number if cars).
A guy showed up at 6:50 and that was obviously too late so he was turned away, although there were not more than 15 tickets issued this tuesday.Report Check-In
So I got screwed at the border and my TIP was missing 1 letter from my VIN. Double check your papers prior so You don't annoy the inspector. Had to drive to Aduana (5 minutes ) and new one issued. Plus make more copies.
This is really only a VIN inspection. Nothing needs to be cleared. Just have your docs in order
Showed up at 1:45. Got checked in and then had to wait 2 hours to get inspection papers. They spelled my name wrong so had to wait another 20 minutes.Report Check-In
Good experience for us! The policia directed us inside right away so we didn’t have to wait in the line. The whole process of picking up the paperwork took about 25 minutes. Easy.Report Check-In
DO NOT GET INTO THE LONG LINE OF PEOPLE YOU WILL SEE AT THE ENTRANCE - ask directly for the secretary general - I didn’t reed carefully so I stood in line with all the poor natives that are obviously there for a different kind of business.
Still there is a waiting time - for me it was 1,5 hours today! at least there is a/c inside .
walk passed line of people and enter. guard said “vehicle?” and instructed me to sit and wait. after 20 minutes a woman came and collected my copies (there’s a copy shop just outside the entrance on the other side of the small road) i waited another 15 min or so for the completed paper.
i was in shorts and no one seemed to care.Report Check-In
There was a large queue out front but walk in to reception area straight ahead and you'll be told which number you are. Handed over copy of TIP, registration and passport. Waited an hour then asked to check a new doct. If all good that's it.Report Check-In
We were almost turned around for tank tops, shorts, and flip flops. Both men and women. Finally talked our way in to find others dressed just like us.Report Check-In
There is a dress code for entering the building to pick up your paperwork. You must wear long pants.Report Check-In
Beware ladies, long pants (knee level at least) or long skirts only. My girlfriend was not allowed in the building with short pants ...Report Check-In
A few clarifications:
1) the 2 copies mentioned as needed for the inspection are actually 1 for the inspection and 1 to pick up the form later
2) don't leave it to the last day. System was down the Friday I went. Had to return Monday
3) bring extra copies. When they told me the system was down they took my copies. Despite my asking and them confirming that I wouldn't need to bring anything when I returned, they requested copies again. Fortunately I had brought as I figured there was a good chance they'd be just as dysfunctional an operation as I'm used to encountering.
Took me an hour to get paperwork. Copy of passport, TIP, insurance.Report Check-In
Again most difficult part is making sure take immediate right hand turn past bus stop if coming from north. Parking is bad. Will probably need to park on south side street. Need copy of owner's passport/TIP/vehicle title. Go to building directly. Do not stand in line and sign in. 45 mins.Report Check-In
Here's where you get your vehicle inspection paperwork. Bring your passport, vehicle's title and Panamanian vehicle import permit. Have a copy of each one of these copies. You'll need to fill out a registration form and hand over the copies mentioned above. They'll call your name to give you your official vehicle inspection documents. Make sure that all information was entered correctly to avoid complication during the shipping process. Make copies of your new official document take a photo and send it to your shipping agent if you were requested so.Report Check-In
Opening hours seem to be 9 am (or 10, they couldn't really tell) to 4 pm from Monday to Friday.Report Check-In
After inspection in the morning, you have to come here at 2 pm for the paperwork. We showed up 1.30 pm and there was already a long line of people. Go to the security booth and tell them why you are here. We both got a visitor pass and were able to pass by the line and enter the building. After a short wait inside a lady came to take down some basic information, while we were standing at the reception desk. Some more waiting and then she re-appeared with the form, looking like a diploma. Check thoroughly and that's it. Easy does it.Report Check-In
This is the place where you pick up your paper work after having your vehicle inspected. You can do this after 2pm on the day of your inspection. You will need copies of the following: passport, drivers license, insurance, title, import permit. At the end, you receive a stamped document that says your vehicle is clean and not wanted by Interpol. Take a picture of it and send it to your shipping agent.Report Check-In