How To Obtain Panama Birth Certificate of U.S. Citizens Not Born in U.S. Canal Zone


Panama Birth Certificate for U.S. Citizens Not Born in U.S. Canal Zone

Many U.S. citizens were born in Panama outside of the U.S. Canal Zone who qualifies to become Panama citizens.

If they were born between 1904 and prior to October 1, 1979 but their births were not registered with the Panama Civil Registry they can still file for a late registration.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Panama’s Consular Section, there is a process for applying for a late birth certificate registration with the Panama government.

The reasons why a child born to U.S. citizens in Panama whose births were not registered with the Panama government were that the Panama law requiring Panama hospitals to automatically register every birth didn’t take effect until October 1, 1979 and the child could enter the U.S. under the following circumstances:

  1. The child travelled to the U.S. with U.S. citizen parents where both
    Panama and U.S. officials did not require a birth certificate.
  2. The child entered the U.S. being included in a U.S. citizen parent’s
    passport for either a family emergency or medical evacuation basis.
  3. The child was evacuated to the U.S. during Operation Just Cause from December 1989 to early 1990 as a household member of a U.S. citizen when the registration with the Panama government could not be completed.

The Director General of the Panamanian Civil Registry ruled in 2005 that anyone under the above circumstances can appear before the Panama Civil Registry to apply for late registration of the birth certificate.  The U.S. embassy is not allowed to register anyone’s birth at the Civil Registry.  Neither is a Power of Attorney allowing a lawyer or 3rd party to register a late birth certificate allowed.  This application must be done by the applicant in person.

Before beginning this process go to the Panama Civil Registry to request your birth certificate to see if it is registered.  You will be required to provide the following information:

  • Complete name
  • Place and date of birth
  • Full name of both parents
  • Place and date of birth of both parents

If your birth is not registered you will need to present your

  • Hospital birth records
  • Parents marriage certificate
  • Your personal ID documents (passport, driver’s license)

To request a document by mail from Panama write a letter specifying in Spanish what documents you want at:

DIRECCION GENERAL DE REGISTRO CIVIL
Correspondencia del Exterior
TRIBUNAL ELECTORAL -Registro Civil
Apartado 5281
Panama 5, Panama
Office Phone is  (507) 207 – 8053
Fax: (507) 225 – 0522
E-mail address: lortiz@tribunal-electoral.gob.pa
Website: http://www.tribunal-electoral.gob.pa/html/

Include a self-addressed return envelope with each application. It will cost $15 for the document.  Prepare an international money order for “Tesoro
Nacional de Panama”.  An international acceptable authentication (Apostille) will be included so the document can be used in other countries.

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