Ship Captain’s License


Gente de Mar is in charge of executing all administrative acts for the licensing of seafarers onboard Panamanian merchant marine vessels and ensuring the correct application of the legal regulations in force.

Licenses may be for national waters, which must be renewed every two years, and for international waters, which must be renewed every five years.

A lawyer is not required to obtain such licenses. The General Directorate of Seafarers has implemented the Automated Applications System (SAA) for the registration of technical documentation procedures for seafarers.

Requirements to obtain a captain’s license

  1. One (1) color photograph, 4 x 4 cm (shoulders and face exposed, without hat, white background) taken recently (no more than six (6) months), attach the application form.
    1. 1.The seafarer who applies in person at the AMP main office in Panama will be exempt from submitting the photo, as it will be taken at the time of application.
  2. Original document: valid passport (for foreigners) or valid personal identity card (for Panamanians).
  3. Certificate of Good Health (valid for 3 months from the date of issue), issued by a qualified Panamanian doctor and must have the seal of the doctor and of the clinic, hospital, or health center.
  4. All applications submitted to the Department of Titulación (Dirección General de Gente de Mar Mar Marítima de Panamá of the Panama Maritime Authority, main offices in Panama) have a cost of US$8.00, by stamped franking machine [based on Article 55 of Law No.8 of March 15, 2010] or payment at the offices of the Dirección General de Ingresos (DGI) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, bring the receipt.
  5. Technical Requirements:
    • 5.1.Basic safety training courses issued by a Maritime Training Center recognized by the Panama Maritime Authority: 5.1.1. IMO 1.19 – Personal Survival Techniques.
    • 5.1.2. IMO 1.20 – Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting.
    • 5.1.3. IMO 1.21 – Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities.​
    • 5.1.4. IMO 1.13 – Basic First Aid. ​
    • 5.2. Pleasure Craft Skipper Course (1st, 2nd, 3rd) class (depending on meters of length).
    • 5.3. Ship Navigation Patent or Company Charter.

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about captain’s licenses or have any questions, please contact us at Our team will be happy to answer your questions.