DIJ Vehicle Inspection | Vehicle Shipping



Last Visited: over 1 year ago
GPS: 8.966422, -79.544762
Altitude: 22.0 masl
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This is where you have to go to get your vehicle inspected before you can ship it out of Panama. This is step one in the shipping process.


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Neighborhood looks super sketchy. As mentioned bear right and don’t go over bridge. Entrance is 1st gate is on right. Across from Mini Mendoza convenience store. We arrived at 5:20 and were given #16. We parked close to apartments and they opened gate for vehicles at 5:45. Non overlanders are included in number process.

Arrival on Calle Luis Felipe Clement you don't go up the road bridge, but bear right onto the parallel road. First corner the gates will be across the little street on your right.

They actually open the gates at 5 am, and you'll get a number from the guy walking around the parking lot assisting people to park. In our case they had a dozen or so early arrivals like us, but other people were still arriving between 7 and 7:30.

You'll line up at the gray door, then they'll call numbers. You go inside and the guy there will simply note your data on a ledger. Go back outside. Keep your number.

Just before inspections start (at about 7:30 in our case) the inspector will come out and assemble everyone for a little speech described earlier. Most of what he talks about is the documents and order for several categories of inspections, such as new plates, change of municipality, etc...Locals need a few more things than you do so don't worry as he talks about all that. You are "Salida del pais"...he'll also give a bit of a lecture about having clean motor so they can see your motor number. He'll ask who is in which category, and after he describes your document needs and order you can step up and show him your stuff. You'll need two copies. If for some reason you find yourself short a copy of something you can get a copy inside, but come prepared.

Everything else pretty straightforward. Inspections started right after the group hug in the order of the numbers.

Vehicles leaving country will go to the other office at 2pm same day as described earlier, whereas the other categories of inspection come back a few days later.....

Just providing this in case you don't speak much Spanish you"ll know what's going on.

just an addition as I was talking to some people from Panama. apparently there's only one inspector in Panamá City. So if he's ill or it rains, no inspection. so make sure you don't plan on going the last day. also make sure the engine is clean, he specifically mentioned and made some people clean up more before reading the numbers.
otherwise pretty much the same as others described. I arrived shortly before 6am and people were lining up at the grey door to get their number.

This is what you need, come early because you may or may not have more tickets jus 25 available, Copy of you tip, passport, title ,and registration if you have one, and originalls, all small cars inside of parking lot , big rigs just in front on the street, the guy in chargue will give you a number earlier morning around 5:30am you have to wait an check until another guy will come around 6:30and give speech about the papers you need and to organize the paper work in the way I described before. This morning he start with the big rigs outside and yell every one for no listening on how to organize the paperwork if you are foreign overlander he just check vin number on your car compared that match with paperwork and you are done, after thos you have to go after 2pm to the offices on the other side of the highway and pick you papers, very simple .

If you can’t fit with you back against the wall, you need to park across the street, under the bridge (or close). Once you arrive, don’t wait for 7am to get your ticket. Go directly to the gray door...although one overlander was there at 6am, we arrived at 6:45...they had ticket 17 and we got 16.... so no need to go early.

If your in a big rig park outside the compound taking the left turn just before the compound. park up. Walk across the main road when the gates open and stand inline.
you need copies of your title, TIP and

We arrived at 6.30 and yes the 'guy' was there directing parking.
At 7.00 when the gates open it was like wacky races....cars driving into the compound and drivers queuing up.
If your a big rig stay outside the compound, they will come and find you.
We were 19th in the queue. A Germany overlander turned up at 6.50 and got the last 2 tickets(motorcycle on the back).
They totally scrutinize locals. Ours was a vin plate check and when I couldn't show him where my Engine number was stamped he just ticked the box.
Part 2 across the road at 2.00pm was ???
Check the papers they give you! two guys in front of us had multiple errors.

Advice: Do not trust the guy outside giving or offering directions/consultant, they say they got many complaints about him, specially because he takes advantage if you look like a “gringo”. You need to go inside of the building (grey door with bunch of papers on it) and give your name, plate, model, and other details to get your turn number. Parking inside does not have any cost, no need to pay anything in this step. there is a copy place inside of the building. Do not give any money to anyone!

If you dont speak spanish, just make sure to get your number in the office, wait until 8:00 am for the agent to check the car, they ask for 2 copies of each in this order: TIP,

Nous sommes arrivés avec un jour d'avance ici , donc nous avons tenté notre chance vers 10 heures , pas de soucis pour nous . En short et sandales ;)
le contrôle s'est bien passé ici . Il n'ont pas choisi l'endroit le plus safe de la ville pour y implanter leurs bureaux . Prudence ...

Just beware of a scam if you happen to reach early (before 6am): one guy's around, kinda pretending to be in charge. He's nice, will help you park if you got a big rig. Then he tells you are number x and will ask for a tip. Problem is this is invalid, the only valid number you'll eventually get is by showing up at the gate soon before it opens at 6 and queue at an office with all others who were here waiting.

Attention, as we were told by our agent to arrive between 7 and 7:30 and although we were there at 6:50 there were no more places (25) available for the inspection. It was Fri and we were initially told to return on Mon. Then talking to the officials we were told that considering we were in transit they would do our vehicle after all others were done. Perhaps you would like to avoid that arriving at 6:30

Wear long pants even if you’re a man. My shipping partner (male) was sent away to change - thankfully after getting his number assigned. Several others were turned away before even being allowed in the door. Bring 2 copies of TIP, passport, title.

If shipping with Boris, follow his google doc directions which are incredibly helpful. Just past the green building and past the adjacent side street you’ll see what looks like an impound lot. Find a parking spot between the dusty, seemingly abandoned cars and go to the poorly (basically un-) marked door on the building.

Provide copy of passport and TIP for easiest check-in, otherwise you have to tell reception all the info that’s on these docs. Since my Spanish sucks I was grateful for the lack of conversation. You’ll be given a hand-written number. I was #8 and arrived at 7:00am.

I waited inside until an inspector came to round me up. The others #1-7 were waiting in their cars with the hoods open.

The inspector started at 7:30 and I believe he inspected everyone who was checked in at that time. 2 additional inspectors joined in around 7:50. My turn came at 8:10 and took less than 2 minutes. Return at 2:00 to obtain paperwork.

Showed up at 7:45am. Went inside, checked in and got #14. Waited outside for 35 minutes. Inspection took 30 seconds.

FYI- they wouldn't let me in the building with shorts on (even though they let my buddy in with shorts). Have a pair of pants handy in case they hassle you...... the guy that told me "no shorts" turned around and took a pee in the middle of the parking lot so apparently dress code is more important than using a proper toilet.

The early arriving (6am) is not really necessary because of the number (we arrived at 6.30 and had nr 13) but the limited parkingspace. Our rig is 21ft and we had to park outside in the neigbourhood... we were two cars, it was ok, but yes it‘s a sketchy place

arrived at 6:45 got number 12. parking lot was almost full. i added a photo of the sigh where you need to bear right. if you don’t have copies they will do them for you for $.25/each. the neighborhood around seems a bit sketchy i started to walk around and some locals indicated it wasn’t safe.

We were there at 7.20am. Took about 1,5 hour, essentially waiting time. The control itself takes only a couple of minutes. You will need some copies: 2 copies of TIP (keep 1 copy for second step when you go to get the attestation at the Investigation judicial), 1 of owners passport, 1 of ownership doc.

Easy to find. Bring copy of your title, TIP, and passport. That's all you need. Red roof building near the overpass. Look for a chainlink fence and lots of cars with their hoods up.

Police Inspection (Things I did not know): You can turn up at that parkinglot very early to draw a number if you want. Some people got Number 9 at 6 am (??!), but we got number 14 at 7:30 am and did not have to wait long to have the car inspected, so I think it is not worth it getting there THAT early. One thing which did take much longer than expected (and was a problem for others because they had an appointment with their agent or something) was picking up the Papers at 2. We waited for over an hour, so have that time accounted for.

Most difficult part is getting here - make sure you take side road under and next to overpass. No sign on fenced area. But a number of vehicles with engine compartments hoods up is your clue. When parked, go to man with clipboard and sign in and get your number. Process is quick for Overlander. Panamanian's have a longer process. Our entire time once our number was called was 5 mins. Need copy of owners' passport/vehicle/TIP.

Contrary to prior post, this place is still open.

I'm not sure why this place was reported closed, it is definitely still open. I, and many others including fellow overlanders, got their inspections done on February 6/2017. A fairly painless process actually.

This place has closed.

Here's where you get your vehicle inspected. Bring your passport, vehicle's title and Panamanian vehicle import permit. Arrive at 8:00 am. Have a copy of each one of these copies. You'll be ask to go to the La Secretaria General across the road in the afternoon starting at 2:00PM

You have to park at the big parking lot behind the building. You pass it BEFORE the building itself (where it says PIJ) so if you miss it you have to drive all around again. It is a fenced parking and there is a sign but it does not say policia but something else. We arrived at 7:30 am and didn't have to wait long once they started working (around 8/8:30).

Even with GPS hard to find; a lot of oneway streets and flyovers. From the highway it says Policia on the building (not on the other side, where you have to be). The dumpy parking lot was full, park at the curb on the other side of the viaduct that runs over the road. They say your car has to cool down first, so everyone had their hood open. Panamanians come here to have their car checked too, so it's busy. Just inform the inspection guy (no uniform, carrying a small toolbox) that you are there. Checking itself is super fast: just VIN. We had the papers drafted by our agent (Wilhelmsen, shipping to Europe) including all the necessary copies. They keep 1 set. Our agent told us inspection was between 10 and 11 am. We showed up at 9 am and had to wait a bit. We recommend to be here early. You have to return at 2 pm to collect the paperwork at the other side of the highway.

First shocking as it looks like a junkyard, but fairly fast process. Have copies ready of passport, seguro, import permit and car regustration.

Opening hours for vehicle inspection is on working days from 8am till 10am. Be sure you have at least two copies of your vehicle paper, passport from the vehicle owner and the custom paper of your vehicle from the panama entry. After the inspection you can pick-up the inspection paper at 2pm from the building across the street.

Every shipment car, bike gets checked here. Getting here can be tricky as main DIJ office is on frangepene street but this check point is across the highway from there so you go up a street and turn left , go around roundabout and enter it from your right. Next street to this place is called calle M. Plan it carefully as we had to go round a few times before we found it.

This is where you have to go to get your vehicle inspected before you can ship it to Colombia. Just show up before 10am and a guy will come out to inspect it eventually. You need a copy of your drivers license, passport, panama insurance, import permit, and vehicle title. You head back across the street to the Secretary General later in the day to pick up the final document.