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Dominican Republic – Driving Licenses

If you’re planning on driving in the Dominican Republic, whether as a tourist or a resident, it is important to understand the country’s rules and regulations regarding driving licenses. In this article, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about driving licenses in the Dominican Republic.

General Rules for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals who plan on driving in the Dominican Republic must have a valid driver’s license issued by their home country. This license must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP) written in Spanish.

It is important to note that the IDP is only valid if presented with a valid driver’s license issued by the home country. Foreign nationals cannot use their own licenses indefinitely in the Dominican Republic; they are only permitted to use them for up to 90 days from their date of entry into the country.

License Exchange and Driving Tests

Currently, there are no agreements in place that allow foreign nationals to exchange their license for a local one in the Dominican Republic. If a foreign national plans on driving in the country for more than 90 days, they must obtain a Dominican driver’s license by taking a written and practical driving test.

Obtaining a Dominican Driver’s License

To obtain a Dominican driver’s license, foreign nationals must first pass a written test. The test covers traffic rules and regulations, traffic signs, and other important information related to driving in the country. After passing the written test, foreign nationals must then pass a practical driving test.

To apply for a Dominican driver’s license, foreign nationals must provide the following documents:


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  • A valid passport
  • A valid driver’s license from their home country
  • An International Driving Permit (IDP) written in Spanish
  • A medical certificate issued by a Dominican doctor

After passing both the written and practical driving tests, foreign nationals will be issued a Dominican driver’s license.

Renewing a Dominican Driver’s License

A Dominican driver’s license is valid for four years. To renew a driver’s license, foreign nationals must provide the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid driver’s license from their home country
  • An International Driving Permit (IDP) written in Spanish
  • A medical certificate issued by a Dominican doctor
  • The expiring Dominican driver’s license

Contact Details of Relevant Government Departments

For more information on obtaining or renewing a driver’s license in the Dominican Republic, foreign nationals can contact the Dirección General de Seguridad de Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre (General Directorate of Traffic Safety and Land Transportation) at the following address:

Dirección General de Seguridad de Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre
Av. John F. Kennedy, Esq. Dr. Delgado
Centro de los Heroes
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Telephone: (809) 688-1000

International Driving Permit Recognition

The Dominican Republic recognizes International Driving Permits (IDPs) written in Spanish. Foreign nationals must present both their valid driver’s license from their home country and the IDP when driving in the country.

Penalty System for Motoring Offences

The Dominican Republic has a penalty system for motoring offenses. The penalties vary depending on the offense committed. Some common motoring offenses and their associated penalties include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: up to three months in prison and a fine
  • Driving without a valid driver’s license: a fine
  • Speeding: a fine
  • Using a mobile phone while driving: a fine

It is important to note that penalties for motoring offenses in the Dominican Republic can be severe, and it is essential to abide by all traffic laws and regulations to avoid fines or imprisonment.

Driving in the Dominican Republic can be a challenging experience for foreigners due to the country’s unique driving conditions and road rules. As a result, it is recommended that foreign nationals obtain a local driver’s license, or an International Driving Permit, before driving in the country. This will help ensure that they have the necessary documentation and knowledge to navigate the country’s roads safely and legally.


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