We renewed our passports by mail, and picked up our new ones today. Yay!
I wrote about the application process here. It was a bunch of various steps but we eventually got it all done. The next thing was to go to DHL to get it all shipped to the embassy. They were super professional and knew what exactly what was needed, like they do this every day. I appreciated the on line tracking so I knew the application arrived at the embassy as planned.
We got an email a few days later. What is your address in Panama? The application has blanks for address, city, state, and zip code so I put in our California address. The next day I got another email saying they got the address information and would add it to our application.
On Feb 20th, we got emails saying our passports were ready. (We sent applications on Jan 30) There we’re instructions for picking them up at the embassy, and also said if we were renewing by mail we needed to reply to the email telling them this, which I did. The next day DHL tracking said the package had left the embassy and was expected to arrive Fri, 23rd.
On Friday evening , tracking showed the package still in Panama City, but this morning, Sat 24th it arrived in David. I also got a WhatsApp message from the DHL office telling me the package has arrived, in both Spanish and English.
The package contained our new passports, our old passports with holes punched through the cover and first page, reciepts for the application fees, and a couple informational flyers about passport services and travel with your passport.
It feels odd to be our of your native country without a passport, so I’m glad to have this all done. Now I need to be sure my information is updated all over town. When you arrive your passport number is your ID. Once you get a cédula, a Panamanian ID card, that is your permanent ID. I’m sure I’ve forgotten to make the change here and there, but it will all get sorted out eventually.
I would say allow at least a month to renew a passport before any travel plans. It was a process getting the application, photos, bank check, etc but once the application was sent, I felt like both DHL and the embassy took very good care of us.