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  • Richard, I believe that since Migracion issued the Carnet, they are the only ones who can duplicate it.

    The Tribunal Electoral can only replace documents which they issued, such as Birth Certificates and Cedulas.

    As suggested, you can check at the T.E. office here in Boquete, and also at Migracion in David, but I think you’re going to end up on the 2do piso in Tumba Muerto. Good luck.

    • Another interesting fact about the Cedula, the first one must be applied for at the main office of the Tribunal Electoral in Panama City.  Replacements can easily be ordered from any local Tribunal Electoral office.

      I wonder if a local Tribunal Electoral office can order a replacement Friendly Nations visa id card or does one have to return to Panama City like they do for the Pensionado visa?

      • If you have an E-Cedula, I don't know why you would ever need to show your permanent residency visa card to anyone again.  I no longer carry it in my wallet for fear of losing it, but the only possible reason I can think of is that it might be useful in replacing a lost E-Cedula.

        • Doug,

          That's an interesting point.  However, your permanent residency visa is the reason you're here so I'm guessing there are some instances where you're required to provide it.  The cedula is only an id card.

          One instance is that you're applying for a work permit, people possessing pensionado visas aren't issued work permits.  Another one might be that you're here as a dependent on a spouse's pensionado visa and you apply for say a marriage license.  You'll probably be denied if not deported unless you're somehow able to show the dependency no longer exists through divorce or death.

          I've heard about dependent spouses having to re-apply for residency after death or divorce.  One friend was here by marriage to a Panamanian, divorced them and a couple of years later got detained and was to be deported unless he did a border hop and paid the back overstay tourist visa fines.  They jailed him and gave him 48 hours to come up with the necessary $2,000 or get sent back to his home country.  Apparently in his case they converted him back to tourist status after his divorce without notice.  The way he tells it's pretty funny, at a routine stop requiring his cedula the officer responded "Get in back of the truck."  He was floored!

          Good questions.

          • Just wondering. How would the authorities know by looking at a man's i.d. that he was divorced or a widower? I find it hard to believe that the government looks at the spouse's immigration status when someone dies or divorces. And, in what computer base is this information so as to result in one's being detained in, presumably, a routine stop. What am I missing?

            • Amanda, some of the police here have "PELE" hand held units where they can scan your carnet, drivers license, etc. They can do that at will! The info that is stored in their database, then comes up on the screen.

              • Floyd, I know about the PELE units, but I thought they contained only driving and vehicle related information. It’s always been my experience that the various agencies rarely share information. In fact, I’ve gotten into some ridiculous situations because of this. It would seem to me to be more likely that an immigration stop at the airport or frontera would have this info than would the transitos.

                • The PELE has cedula info. The locals that were stopped were all on foot and non drivers.

                  Also, and I think this applies to everyone, if you don't have official identity docs on you, you will be detained and fined.

                • Correct.

                  Ministry of Labour inspectors have their own hand-held devices which are co-ordinated with Immigration.

              • Here is an article and foto of a PELE device: http://www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20111022102402546

                There was controversy at the time of the legality of using these. I know people who were stopped and checked (all locals) who were not doing anything illegal.

                National Police Statement In Reaction To "Pele Police" Court Decision Called A "Coup" and "Subvers…
                Panama Guide, thousands of news articles in English about the Republic of Panama
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