Dominican Republic - Consular Information Sheet
March 23, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Dominican Republic has a developing
economy. Tourist facilities vary, depending on price and area.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport, a Certificate
of Naturalization/Citizenship, or a U.S. birth certificate and
photo identification is required for both entry and exit. A U.S.
passport is strongly recommended, since it can expedite entry
and exit and is more readily recognized as a form of positive
identification. Charter passengers should verify entry and exit
requirements with the charter company. Minors under 13 years of
age traveling alone or with anyone other than a parent must present
written authorization from a parent. This authorization must be
notarized at a Dominican consulate. For further information concerning
entry and exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy
of the Dominican Republic, 1715 22nd Street, N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20008, telephone: (202) 332-6280, the Dominican consulates
in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto
Rico, or Texas, or the Internet at http://www.domrep.org.
SAFETY/SECURITY: General strikes called by labor and political
groups occur periodically. At these times, American citizens should
review their security practices and maintain a low profile. Although
these strikes are not targeted at foreigners, it is advisable
to be careful when traveling throughout the country, and in urban
areas, travel should be done on main routes whenever possible.
Street crowds should be avoided. Additional advice about strikes
may be obtained from the U.S. Embassy at the telephone numbers
CRIME INFORMATION: Petty street crime involving U.S. tourists
does occur and normal precautions should be taken. Valuables left
unattended in parked automobiles, on beaches, and in other public
places are subject to theft. Burglaries of private residences
have increased, as have crimes of violence. Some incidents of
violent crime have involved foreign residents and tourists, including
U.S. citizens. The larger, better-known resort complexes, which
rely on private security services, have generally not been affected.
The loss or theft of a U.S. passport overseas should be reported
to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.
A lost or stolen U.S. birth certificate and/or driver’s license
generally cannot be replaced outside the U.S. U.S. citizens may
refer to the Department of State’s pamphlet, A
Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a more trouble-free
journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent
of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care is limited. Serious medical
problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to
the U.S. can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals
often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the U.S. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services outside the U.S. Uninsured
travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your
policy applies. Ascertain whether payment will be made to the
overseas hospital or doctor, or whether you will be reimbursed
later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include
coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains
in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies
abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in
the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure,
Medical Information for Americans
Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747; fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY/ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country,
U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly
from those in the U.S. The information below concerning the Dominican
Republic is provided for general reference only, and may not be
totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Traffic laws are similar to the U.S., but undisciplined driving
is common, due to a lack of adequate traffic controls. Travel
at night on inter-city highways and in rural areas should be avoided,
due to vehicles being driven at excessive speeds, often with malfunctioning
headlights or taillights.
For specific information concerning Dominican Republic driver’s
permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance,
contact the Dominican Republic National Tourist Organization offices
in New York, telephone 1-888-374-6361.
AVIATION OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the government of Dominican Republic's civil
aviation authority as Category 2 - not in compliance with international
aviation safety standards for the oversight of Dominican Republic's
air carrier operations. While consultations to correct the deficiencies
are ongoing, any of Dominican Republic's air carriers with existing
routes to the U.S. will be permitted to conduct limited operations
to the U.S. subject to heightened FAA surveillance. Operations
of Dominican Republic's air carriers that operate outside of the
U.S. are not subject to FAA heightened surveillance. No additional
flights or new service to the U.S. by Dominican Republic's air
carriers will be permitted unless the flights are to be conducted
by an air carrier from a country that the FAA has determined meets
international safety standards. For further information, travelers
may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at
1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign carriers for suitability as official providers of air
services. In addition, DOD does not permit its personnel to use
air carriers from Category 2 countries for official business except
for flights originating from or terminating in the U.S. For information
regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact
DOD at (618) 229-4801.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the U.S. and may
not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S.
law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in
the U.S. for similar offenses. Persons violating Dominican Republic
laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in the Dominican Republic are strict and convicted offenders can
expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
CURRENCY REGULATIONS: It is legal to exchange currency at commercial
banks, exchange booths in hotels, and exchange houses. The exchange
rate is set by the Central Bank, based on prevailing market conditions.
No more than $10,000 U.S. or its equivalent in another currency
may be taken out of the Dominican Republic at the time of departure.
REAL ESTATE: Real estate investments require caution because
property rights are irregularly enforced. Investors often encounter
problems in receiving clear title to land, and title insurance
is not available. Real estate investments by U.S. citizens have
been the subject of take-over attempts, either legal or physical.
Squatters, sometimes supported by government or non-governmental
organizations, have invaded properties belonging to U.S. citizens,
threatening violence and blocking the owners from entering their
property. Several U.S. citizens have long-standing expropriation
disputes with the Dominican government and have not received compensation.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: The Dominican Republic is a hurricane-prone
country. General information about natural disaster preparedness
is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov.
In the event of a hurricane alert, a notice will be posted on
U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo’s web page cited below.
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption
of children and international parental child abduction please
refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in or
visiting the Dominican Republic are encouraged to register at
the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo and
obtain updated information on travel and security within the Dominican
Republic. The U.S. Embassy is located at the corner of Calle Cesar
Nicolas Penson and Calle Leopoldo Navarro in Santo Domingo; telephone
(809) 221-2171; after-hours: (809) 221-8100. The Consular Section
is a half-mile away at the corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson
and Maximo Gomez, Internet: http://usemb.gov.do/acs.htm.
Consular office hours are 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.
- 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except holidays. There is a Consular
Agency in Puerto Plata at Calle Beller 51, 2nd floor, office 6;
telephone (809) 586-4204; office hours are 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.,
and 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m, Monday-Friday, except holidays. U.S.
citizens may register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy
and obtain updated information on travel and security in the Dominican