Do I need a passport or visa to enter?
If you are traveling by air outside of the United States, you are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. This requirement was extended to sea travel (except closed loop cruises), including ferry service, during the summer of 2009. U.S. citizens traveling by sea must now have either a U.S. passport, passport card, or other WHTI- compliant document. Be aware that the “enhanced driver’s licenses” or “enhanced ID cards” offered by many states are not accepted by Dominican authorities for ferry travel from Puerto Rico. We strongly recommend that all U.S. citizens have a valid U.S. passport in their possession prior to their arrival in the Dominican Republic. Attempting to enter on expired or invalid documents can result in direct return to the United States. Sea travelers should also check with their cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements.
Applications for the U.S. passport card are now being accepted and have been in full production since July 2008. The card may not be used to travel by air and is available only to U.S. citizens. Further information on the passport card and upcoming changes to U.S. passport policy can be found on our website.
We strongly encourage you to apply for a U.S. passport well in advance of anticipated travel. Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website or call 1-877-487-2778 for information on how to apply for your passport.
For information concerning entry and exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Dominican Republic at 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 332-6280. There are also Dominican consulates in Boston; Chicago; Glendale, CA; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Miami, New Orleans, LA; New York, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Visit the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in the United States for more information.
Visas: Visitors who do not obtain a Dominican visa prior to entry must purchase a tourist card upon arrival to enter the country. Tourist cards cost ten U.S. dollars, which must be paid in U.S. currency. Tourist cards may be purchased at the Dominican Embassy in Washington or Dominican consulates prior to arrival, as well as at Dominican airports at the time of entry. Tourist cards normally permit a legal stay of up to 60 days. Visitors who would like to extend their time in the Dominican Republic should visit the Migration Department in Santo Domingo and request an extension. Failure to request an extension will subject the visitor to a surcharge at the airport upon departure. The surcharge, assessed on a sliding scale, ranges from $30 for one month to as high as $500 for five years.
Travel of children and exit requirements: Strict exit requirements apply to minors under 18 years of age (of any nationality) who are residents in the Dominican Republic. Such children traveling alone, without one parent, or with anyone other than the parent(s), must present written authorization from a parent or legal guardian. This authorization must be in Spanish, and it must be notarized at a Dominican consulate in the United States, or notarized and then certified at the Dominican Attorney General’s office (Procuraduria de la Republica) if done in the Dominican Republic. More information, including current fee information, can be found at the Immigration Office's website. Though not a requirement for non-resident minors (in the Dominican Republic), we recommend that any minor traveling to the Dominican Republic without one or both parents have a notarized document from the absent parent(s). In addition to clarifying the reason for travel, this will facilitate departure from the Dominican Republic. Regulations governing the travel of children in the Dominican Republic can be found in Spanish on the Dirección General de Migración web site.
Importation of firearms into the Dominican Republic is prohibited. However, if a private citizen wants to bring a weapon into the country for a certain period, the person must obtain authorization from the Ministry of the Armed Forces prior to the weapon entering the country. A request for permission in Spanish needs to be submitted to the Minister of the Armed Forces, copying the Director of the Intelligence Department of the Armed Forces, and must be sent several weeks prior to the travel date. The Ministry of the Armed Forces is located at Avenida 27 de Febrero esquina Av. Heroes de Luperón, Frente Plaza de la Bandera, Santo Domingo. The phone number is 809 530-5149.