DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Dominican Republic Flag
Country Description: The Dominican Republic has a developing economy. Tourist facilities vary, depending on price and area.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A passport or a Certificate of Naturalization or a Certificate of Citizenship are required for both entry and exit. A tourist card or visa are also required. In addition, the U.S. Embassy recommends identification, such as a driver's license or other photo ID. Minors traveling without their parents require additional documentation besides a passport. Charter passengers should verify entry and exit requirements with the charter company. 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, or the nearest consulate in Boston, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Mobile, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan or Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Medical Facilities: Medical care is limited. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the U.S. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including medical evacuation, has proved to be useful. For additional health information, travelers can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers' hotline at (404) 332-4559. Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Petty street crime involving U.S. tourists does occur, although infrequently, and the 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. 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 United States. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad," which provides useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad. Both this pamphlet and "Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean" are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402.

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 $10,000.00 (U.S. dollars) or its equivalent in another currency may be taken out of the Dominican Republic at the time of departure.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Criminal penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and fines.

Traffic Safety/Road Conditions: Road conditions range from excellent to very poor. Traffic laws are similar to those in 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.

Aviation Oversight: As a result of an assessment conducted by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in January 1993, the FAA has found the Government of the Dominican Republic Civil Aviation Authority to not be in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of the Dominican Republic's air carrier operations. Operations to the U.S. by Dominican air carriers are not permitted unless they arrange to have their flights conducted by a carrier from a country meeting international safety standards. The Department of Defense does not permit U.S. military personnel to use carriers from the Dominican Republic for official business except in extenuating circumstances. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation at (800) 322-7873.

Embassy Location/Registration: U.S. citizens may register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in 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. The Consular Section is a half mile away at the corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Maximo Gomez; telephone (809) 221-5030. Consular office hours are 7:30am-12:00pm and 1:00-2:00pm, Monday-Friday. There is a Consular Agency in Puerto Plata at Calle Beller 51, 2nd Floor, Office 6; telephone (809) 586-4204; office hours Monday-Friday, 9:00am-12:00pm, and 2:30pm-5:00pm. U.S. citizens are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy and to obtain updated information on travel and security in the Dominican Republic.

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