• Met with landlords Julissa and Jorge for lunch
    • They are an engaging couple
    • Signed lease and left security deposit
    • I asked Jorge where to get a grill and we talked about the Weber I had in Cincinnati. Before we parted, he agreed to set up his extra Weber grill at the Perlamar Condo with 2 full tanks of propane
    • They agreed we could wall mount a TV in the bedroom
    • They also connected us with their cleaning lady (Ellie) who we met when we toured the condo. We plan to have her back once per month to do a deep cleaning.
  • Chilled at the pool until it began to rain.

The last 2 full days in Panama City (Monday/Tuesday) were filled with activity to get our Panama Drivers Licenses.


US Embassy: We went to the US Embassy to get forms notarized showing that we each held valid US Drivers Licenses. Before leaving, we asked where we should go next to get the US Embassy apostilled – that means you pay Panama to stamp your US Embassy document. The guard at the Embassy gave us the address and we took an Uber there.

Department of Immigration: When we arrived, we recognized that this was the same location we received our temporary Visas. We quickly found a great employee there who attempted to help us “Old Folks”. They really do put old people first here in Panama. He let us know that we needed to go to the Ministry of Foreign Relations. So, we took another Uber to that office.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: We arrived at the Ministry office located in scenic Casco Viejo. We were greeted by a guard who spoke no English so he called a worker at the Ministry to speak with us. The woman we spoke with directed us to a side office/waiting area while she researched our request. When she returned, she informed us that we were in the wrong location and that she had called her associate at the correct office. They cleared us to have our appointment that same day versus going through multi-day waiting for an appointment. Wow, people go the extra mile again! Calling Uber…

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Location 2: We keep meeting great people. The person at the routing desk understood our request and directed us to register online and upload our US Embassy Documents and Passports. After multiple failed attempts he realized that I was using an iPhone. iPhones are unable to upload due to a software bug. He spoke with the manager about our situation, and she directed us to the bank down the block. At the bank we paid 4$ each to cover processing cost and returned with the deposit receipts. We stood in que and the documents were stamped multiple times. That cleared us for the last step in the process to go to Sertracen (basically Panama’s BMV) for our licenses.

Sertracen – Albrook: We took an Uber to the Sertracen office in Albrook. Craig was issued a driver license after going through their process. However, things didn’t go so well for Karen. They asked questions about her use of her cane and knee surgeries. In the end, Karen was rejected and asked to take the driving test as a prerequisite for approval. We still had our celebratory dinner at a great restaurant but under the surface, Karen was secretly devastated.


At 8:00 AM, Craig chatted online with Sertracen. Thank you Google Translate. We were directed to their Costa Del Este location.

Sertracen – Costa Del Este: After making her case, Karen was informed that she must take the driver test. We didn’t have a car but there was a car rental conveniently outside of Sertracen’s gates. We rented a car for $30 Karen and used it to take her driving test. After a few hours, Karen took the test and PASSED IT! We found that we needed to go to yet a different office to get the actual license. Uber please…

Sertracen – Plaza Carolina: This office was major! There were at least 100 people waiting there for service. When they checked Karen in, they gave her a number 60 Verde (green). We found that the green numbers were for the older customers. As a result, of having a green number Karen moved quickly through the process and was given her Panama Drivers License! Age again has it’s priveleges in Panama. Uber please… Alcohol please…


We packed our belongings, checked out of our AirBnB and were met by our driver Darrius. Darrius moved us and our stuff to Perlamar/Casamar, our new home for the next 12 months, located in the San Carlos district. David had not purchased the TV as he was unsure whether we would be allowed by the landlords to wall mount it. Since we were just given permission by Jorge and Julissa, we decided that we would buy it ourselves and use the installer they recommended.

Upon arrival to Perlamar, we leased a car from David to help us explore, get stocked with groceries, and incidentals.


Drove to La Chorerra to purchase our TV. Explored the neighborhood, hit the pool and beach.

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