Registration of Panamanian Deaths Abroad

If the registration is made at the General Consulate

The National Directorate of Civil Registry will deliver to the Consul a record book of deaths of Panamanian citizens occurring abroad. This book consists of the act of registration of death.

The people who can declare the death of Panamanians are:

  • the surviving spouse,
  • the parents of the deceased.

The same procedure established for registration of birth and marriage will be followed.
Burial permits, medical notices and burial reports will not be accepted for registration. The person concerned must present a death certificate issued by civil status or its equivalent, from the place where the death occurred. This certificate will be verified by the Consul, then he will authenticate the last signature of the Official of the country, which issued the document.
It should be clarified that the death certificate must include as essential information on the cause of death, a fact without which registration cannot be made (unless the nearest relative gives an affidavit on the cause of death of the deceased, before the Consular Officer of the Republic of Panama).

If the death certificate is in a language other than Spanish, a translation made by an authorized public translator of the country where the death occurred must be presented, which must be authenticated by the Diplomatic agent or Panamanian Consul.

Once the registration certificate has been completed, the death certificate duly authenticated, a copy of the deceased's identity card or passport, the translation of the certificate (if necessary) duly authenticated will be attached. All these documents will be sent to the National Directorate of the Civil Registry of Panama for the final registration.

If the interested parties wish to register in Panama, they will follow the same procedure indicated for the registration with the Consulates, the only difference being that the translation of the death certificate (if necessary), must be done by an authorized public interpreter of the Republic of Panama. In the death registers, only deaths of Panamanians occurring abroad will be recorded.

Registration of the death occurred abroad made personally in the National Directorate of Civil Status.

Requirements when registering a death abroad:

  • Provide the original death certificate issued by the Vital Statistics Office or the entity acting in the place where the event occurred. It must:
    • be duly authenticated by the Consulate of Panama in Marseille, accredited in the country where it took place or by the agreement of Apostille.
      In the absence of the Panamanian Consulate in the country of origin and non-subscription of the country to the Apostille Convention, the document must be authenticated by a diplomatic or consular representative of a friendly nation in that country, which must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Relations of this nation and, later, by the Panamanian Consulate in the friendly nation then confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama. If the Apostille is written in a language other than Spanish, it must be translated by an authorized public interpreter of the Republic of Panama.
    • The duly authenticated certificate must be endorsed or validated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama. This request is handled in front of the Authentication and Legalization office, located in Via Ricardo J. Alfaro, Square Sun Tower, 1st floor, premises 49 and 50. If the document is authenticated by the Apostille, this request will not be necessary.
    • If the certificate is written in a language other than Spanish, it must be translated by an authorized public interpreter of the Republic of Panama.
    • oIn the absence of an official translator in the Republic of Panama of the language of the document, a certificate issued by the Secretariat General of the Ministry of Education of Panama must be presented, certifying the absence of a translator for the language, in which case it will be accepted the translation that comes from abroad authenticated by the accredited diplomatic or consular officer of Panama in the place.
  • The cause of death must be recorded on the death certificate. If the cause of death is not found in the document, the interested party must submit an affidavit to the civil register specifying the cause.
  • A simple photocopy of the personal identity card or passport of the deceased and the applicant.

The process of registering deaths can be done by the surviving spouse or one of the parents, children or siblings of the deceased.

In the same way, the procedure can be carried out through a legal representative, in this case, there must be submitted:

  • a duly notarized power.
  • a memorial (application).

Registration of the death may also be made in the country where it occurred, if there is a Consulate of the Republic of Panama and the deceased is a Panamanian national.

The duration of the process is approximately ten (10) working days, starting from the complete presentation of the documents.

The above requirements are presented in the "Departamento de Hechos y Actos Jurídicos Ocurridos en el Exterior of the National Directorate of Civil Registration", located in the main building of the Electoral Court, Avenida Omar Torrijos Herrera, Ancon, fourth floor, left-wing.
However, the process can be presented to the regional offices of the Electoral Tribunal in each province. In this case, the duration of the proceedings is extended, because of sending the documents to the Central Office of the Electoral Tribunal for the respective processing of the personal identity card or the passport of the deceased and the applicant.

Legal Basis
  • Law 31 from 25th July 2006