Criminal Record

Criminal Record in Panama – Certificate of good conduct

The government issues the Panama Police Clearance Certificate or criminal record for both nationals and foreigners who have lived in Panama.

This criminal background check is for the whole country, not as in other countries where different background certificates are awarded by provinces. Panama is different; here is one for the whole country covering all provinces.

As long as nationals are in the country, it’s easier for them to get it.

Panama Police Clearance Certificate or Criminal Record for Foreigners Who Have Lived in Panama

This article is especially for foreigners who have lived in Panama and need to obtain their police clearance certificate or criminal record to carry out any immigration or work procedure abroad.

While outside the country, the only way that a foreigner can obtain the Panama criminal record certificate is through a lawyer.

Requirements to Request a Criminal Record Certificate

A copy of the passport scanned and sent it to our email.


The criminal record or police clearance certificate is processed at two institutions in the country.

After this, we will proceed to send you the original document by courier (we usually work with DHL).


The time it takes to request this certificate of good conduct or criminal record is 3–7 business days.

It is important that the client clarify the purposes for which the criminal record certificate is required abroad, if it is for immigration or work reasons.

Expiration of the Panama Police Clearance Certificate

Once it is requested, it has an expiration time of 90 business days, so it is advisable to send it through a courier system as soon as possible, so that it arrives in 2 or 3 days at the destination country and the corresponding procedures.

The Content of the Panama Police Clearance Certificate

It contains the following:

At its head is the title «Republic,» «Ministry of Public Security,» and underneath that is the entity that issues it, which is the Directorate of Judicial Investigation.

Of course, it contains information on whether the person has a criminal record or not in the Republic of Panama.

Then who is concerned?

The name of the person to whom the certificate is issued, indicating that he has not been punished for any crime

At the end, there is usually the signature of a commissioner representing the Directorate of Judicial Investigation.

The apostille for the Panama Police Clearance Certificate

The police records that will be used in other countries must necessarily carry the apostille because it is precisely the apostille that gives validity to all international documents, which is why it is clarified that there are two types of police records.

A police record without an apostille is one that will be used within the national territory and is for labor, immigration, or judicial purposes.

Police record for international use: This is the one that bears the apostille and is the one that will be used outside of Panama.

Panama is part of the Hague Convention, like many other countries around the world, and all of these countries recognize the apostille for international documents.

Countries that are not registered in this agreement also recognize legalization instead of apostille.

Therefore, all documents that go abroad must go through the Foreign Ministry in Panama, either for an apostille or for legalization.

There are countries like Canada, for example, that are not part of this agreement, but all the documents that leave Panama for this country must be legalized at the Foreign Ministry.

What happens when a document like a police record goes to another country without the apostille?

The country that receives it automatically does not recognize it and rejects it, and the person has to do the procedure again in Panama.

The Passport Theme

To request the police record, it is important that the passport is up-to-date and not expired. The authorities in Panama do not accept expired passports to process this important document.

Some Commonly Asked Questions by Customers

I was only in Panama for 2 months; will I appear in the system? Will Panama give me the police record?

Answer: Yes, as soon as one person enters the country, they are automatically entered into the system, and with only two months of having lived in the country, this document is recognized.

Do you do all the paperwork and send the document to another country?

Answer: Yes, we do all the procedures and send you the apostilled document via courier.

How long does all the work take?

It takes us between 3 and 7 business days plus the shipping time by courier.

Is the service guaranteed? Do you really have the document?

It is 100% guaranteed; we have never had problems, and we will send you the document; if not, you will get your money back.

Right now I have an emergency, and I need the police record as soon as possible. Could you speed up the procedures?

Yes, we can take the client’s situation into consideration and process everything as soon as possible.

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