And Now I Know - Renewing Panamanian Drivers License Ain’t Easy For Seniors
Every resident applying for a renewal Panamanian driver license (good for 4 years) must pass an eye and hearing exam. For people 70-85 years old, a certificate of good physical and mental health from a Panamanian doctor who specializes in internal medicine or geriatrics is required. All this plus an actual test in parallel parking and back-up maneuvers is required for residents over 85 years old. For us seniors the renewed license is valid for only two years.
Since I meet the requirements for the actual test, I used my very small car (named Tiny Tim) and practiced for a week prior to my test date. Everyday Bud had me out doing the backing up and parallel parking drill. The word is that if your car even touches a cone on the driving test range then you fail. The cones are sometimes small and generally not visible to the driver taking the test.
During my first attempt at test parallel parking on the actual license renewal day the inspector saw me turning my head to look out the rear window. Maneuver was successful, but he made me repeat the procedure and this time I used the vehicle mirrors only....instead of turning my head and looking backwards. Managed the back-up maneuvers, so inspector gave me a thumbs up and approved my drivers license renewal request.
I understand that no one 90 years old or older is approved for driving in Panama. Individuals can try to renew a license at 89, but probably won't be successful. Everyone at the David Sertracen office was courteous. The only downside is the very rapid Spanish used by employees when giving instructions for taking the eye and hearing exams.
Many people 85 years of age can't pass the health requirements... certainly can't perform the actual test maneuvers, so I'm celebrating my success. 🙏🙏👍👍👏👏