Guidance

Notarial and documentary services guide for Panama

Documents, certificates, letters and notes available at the British consulate in Panama.

Overview

The British Embassy Panama City issues a range of legal documents for British nationals living in Panama. An appointment must be made for each service.

If there is no specific formal requirement for a notarial service or certificate to be provided by the British embassy or consulate, local notaries or lawyers can sometimes provide these services more conveniently, quickly and cheaply.

Check with the relevant authority (eg town hall/registry office/tax authorities/foreigners office, etc) either in the UK, Panama or a third country, that our consular certificate or service will be accepted. Your local British embassy or consulate cannot confirm this information, only the relevant authority can provide this confirmation. You can get examples of the wording of the consular certificates to present to the relevant authority for advice.

Services we provide in Panama

Consular staff at the British Embassy Panama City can:

  • make a certified copy of a British passport
  • administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit
  • witness a signature
  • prepare a document needed to obtain a Panamanian driving licence

Births deaths and marriages

Find out how to register a birth or death overseas, and documents such as a certificate of no impediment (CNI) and affirmations or affidavits of marital status for couples marrying or entering into civil partnerships abroad.

What to bring to your appointment

See the individual services below for details of supporting documents to bring. Make sure you have acceptable proof of address and identity, and payment for any fees. See the full list of consular fees.

Payment

We accept payment by cash, Visa or MasterCard.

Proof of address and identity

For all notarial services you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity and address to your appointment. We accept passports or national identity cards as proof of identity.

Certifying copies of British passports

We can provide a certified copy of a British passport which may be needed for some legal services within Panama.

A certified copy of your British passport is not an Apostille. Apostilles are not issued through The British Embassy in Panama, They can only be issued by the legalisation office in the UK at Get your document legalised

What you will need to bring with you:

Make an appointment for a certified copy of a British passport at the British Embassy Panama City

Administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit

This service is for those who need to swear an oath, make an affirmation or make an affidavit in front of a consular officer. Consular staff will not draft documents for you. First check the format of the document with staff at the consulate and then have the document drawn up or checked by a professional. Do not sign the document before attending your appointment.

For marriage affirmations, see the information on getting married abroad.

What you will need to bring with you:

  • the unsigned oath, affirmation or affidavit that you will swear or affirm
  • the correct fee – see our list of fees
  • proof of identity/address

Make an appointment for an oath, affirmation or affidavit at the British Embassy Panama City

Witness a signature

This service is for those who need to sign a document and have their signature witnessed by a consular officer. The document must be prepared before your appointment as we will not draft documents for you. We do not handle wills or probate, or witness deed polls. Don’t sign the document before your appointment.

What you will need to bring with you:

  • the document that you will sign before a witness
  • the correct fee – see our list of fees
  • proof of identity/address

Make an appointment to witness a signatuire at the British Embassy Panama City.

Certificate of entitlement for a Panamanian driving licence

Drivers can now see and share their UK driving entitlement and any current penalty points using the DVLA’s online service. UK driving licence holders can share their driving licence information using a unique security code which can be used to access DVLA driving records online. With this information the staff at the consulate can prepare a letter in Spanish authenticating your UK licence.

What you will need to bring with you:

  • your printed Certificate of Entitlement from the DVLA
  • the correct fee – see our list of fees
  • proof of identity/address

Make an appointment for a Certificate of Entitlement letter at the British Embassy Panama City.

Services provided elsewhere

Life certificates for British pensions

We no longer witness life certificates for British nationals claiming a British pension abroad. Please refer to the list of people working in a recognised profession who can do this for you.

Certified copies of British documents

Where local notaries can provide services, the British embassy does not offer them. Please contact a local notary or lawyer for certifying copies of any document apart from a valid UK passport.

UK Police Certificates

A certificates showing whether or not you have a criminal history in the United Kingdom is available from the Association of Chief Police Officers but not from the embassy.

Copies of birth, death and marriage certificates

Copies of British birth, death, and marriage certificates are available from the General Register Office in the United Kingdom.

Legalisation of documents

The only acceptable form of legalisation for British documents to be submitted to the Panamanian government is an Apostille. Apostilles are not issued through The British Embassy in Panama, They can only be issued by the legalisation office in the UK at Get your document legalised

Data protection

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy/ consulate by the relevant authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy/consulate will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial and legalisation services it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial or legalisation service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the embassy/consulate will be accepted.

Published 10 April 2013
Last updated 5 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. New changes
  2. Certificate of driving entitlement service added to the list of services provided.
  3. First published.