I'm not aware of any significant process changes in the past couple of years.
You must have a valid cedula
You will need to pay the taxes/fees @ Banreserva
You will need a DR good conduct report from the PN (pay @ banreserva, print out online)
You need to know your blood type - blood test available onsite
You will need to read an eye chart to see if you are legally blind
You will need to pass a ~25 question test on a computer. Watch a short video, answer yes/no/true/false type questions. (multiple choice)
If all of the above goes well, you are issued a learner's permit on the spot.
45 days later, you pay for a road test @ Banreserva
Go back to the testing place and choose to take your road test in an automatic or standard transmission car*
Take your road test
If you pass, you are issued a license on the spot.
* If you choose to take the test in an automatic, your license carries a restriction limiting you to drive only automatic transmission vehicles.
Currently, dear the young Mrs HB is going through the process. Last week she got her learner's permit. At the medical/eye exam she was behind a guy that could not read the chart, not because he could not see it, but because he was illiterate!!
Mrs HB, a doctor, asked her colleague doing the exam, how he did it, and he said that he usually asks these persons to go learn to read before applying for a license. Sometimes he will use a chart with numbers.
Also, no need for blood test, your cédula has your blood type on it. Just make sure to show it to the examiners.
Driving school might run, here in Santiago, (Juan Carlos)about 7,000-8,000, but it is hassle-free and worth every penny.
Thanks for all replies. I was asking on behalf of a friend,--I got my original 4 years ago so thought there might be some changes. So far it looks the same but you get your own good conduct report and bring it with you.
I recently renewed while passing thru Nagua, quick and easy (after paying at bank reserves of course).
When I took my test a year or so ago in Puerto Plata, to my surprise they had me take it in their own car, which was some little Korean automatic job. I told the guy I could drive a manual car so he gave me an unrestricted licence.
By the way, the best part of the day was getting stopped by AMET on the way home and proudly producing my new licence!
Driving school seems to be the easiest way. That's what my wife did, a couple of lessons and she had her drivers license. She can't drive though, they didn't teach her how to drive backwards, how to park nor to use mirrors. I taught her more in 2 hours driving around Sosua Ocean Village than the driving school taught her. I'd still not like to see her drive in real traffic though...
Also in the new law passed in January was a provision requiring two license plates (front and back). The law (which I read) actually said that they must be issued (two of them) and displayed. I'm sure the gov't is taking its time implementing that one since it would likely require everyone with a vehicle to obtain new plates!