Here’s how to renew your 30-day papers for your vehicle in Panama:
Go to Suramericana Insurance Office in BellaVista to buy another month’s insurance, You’ll need the policy you received at the border, driving licence, vehicle registration and passport. It costs $15. (Remember to ask the nice man to make three copies of each plus your new insurance policy for the next step…)
Go to the Aduana office and renew your permit. This office is a bit crazy – if you’re not careful they’ll have you doing three copies of blank bits of paper. What you do is first go to the counter at the end of the corridor and present your documents (along with the copies). Here the guy will help you write a statement in Spanish which basically says “Hi Panama, I’d like to extend my vehicle permit for another month – I’m a tourist!”. You then take the papers back to an office nearer the beginning of the corridor (almost opposite the photocopy room). Here the ladies will kind of faff around with your papers for an hour or so, looking for a stapler to staple the two collections together. And then you go back to the first counter and get a blurry stamp on your original import certificate. That’s it!