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Message for U.S. Citizens: Announcing Passport Renewal By Mail


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The U.S. Embassy in Panama is pleased to announce its new passport renewal by mail for the convenience of U.S. citizens residing in Panama.   Beginning May 2, 2016, eligible adult U.S. citizens will be able to renew their passport without appearing in person at the Embassy.   To qualify for the program, you may renew your passport by mail if your most recent U.S. passport:


·        Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application;

·        Was issued within the last 15 years;

·        Was issued with 10 year validity;

·        Was issued in your current name or, if you have changed your name, you can submit legal documentation such as a marriage certificate to prove this change; and

·        You are resident in Panama.


Detailed information on the procedures for renewing your passport by mail, including payment and mailing instructions, can be found here.  If you do not qualify for passport renewal by mail, or if you prefer to renew your passport in person at the U.S. Embassy, please follow the instructions here


We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Panama enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.


Regularly monitor the State Department's website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  


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  • 11 months later...

We submitted application for Passport renewal by mail.  What a great option to not have to travel to Panama City !

MailBoxes Etc took our photograph for the new passport.  Pretty much same day service.  Pic in the am pick up in the afternoon.

MailBoxes Etc did the DHL mailing and insertion of required DHL return envelopes.  Mail to AMERICAN EMBASSY at the address they give you on the forms

Fee was $110 for each passport renewal .  We went to our bank and wrote a check off our local account which the bank then stamped as "certified"  .  Write check to US EMBASSY.  This is different from the AMERICAN EMBASSY in the address.  ( MailBoxes Etc caught that error we made.  Had to do that part again)

In one day we had a response from the Embassy that we must have a local address where we reside here in Boquete.  (previous passport listed our permanent address as Bill's sister )  .  They also require a local phone (not a VOIP number with a USA area code) .  Embassy allowed us to make these corrections the very day they received the document. They accepted sending  the correction  by email ( took one business day for the docs to get  from here to there) . 

We are planning a trip to the USA in October and our passports would have expired in March (  6 months)  .  You must have at least 6 months on your passport valid prior to expiration in order to travel with it.  That would have put us right on the line.  We renewed to avoid problems.

We got all of this done in a couple of days.  Passport renewal by mail to the US Embassy in Panama City  is a great option !


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