Foreigners Driving in The Dominican Republic

chicagoan14

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Apr 2, 2019
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I think these are increasingly important questions with the introduction of INTRANT and new transportation law last year, and I await the legal opinion.

Post #2 is also very important and applies to many Dominicans residing in the USA and other countries and who return from time to time. I suspect the new law does allow for validation of these licences.

Having spent some time currently working alongside loss adjusters, insurance companies and the under writers (remember a significant amount of insurance is still under written by Lloyds), it is clear to me that many claims get audited at all levels and if there are breaches of the policy conditions and it gets picked up, the policy does not pay. For a serious accident that could be as significant event for someone. All the motor insurance policies I have seen here specifically exclude cover if you don't have a valid driving licence.
I understand that too. However, they insured me with my passport and not my license. They've actually never even seen my license.
 

Fabio J. Guzman

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Jan 1, 2002
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I reviewed Decree 6-19 (see attachment), the enabling regulation to Law 63-17 that deals with driver's licenses, and did not find the answer to the question. Here's the text, In Spanish and English, regarding foreign drivers's licenses:


SECCIÓN IV

De las licencias de conducir extranjeras y para diplomáticos acreditados

Artículo 28. Licencias válidas para conducir en la República Dominicana. Los titulares
de una licencia de conducir expedida por la autoridad competente de otro Estado, que
residan legalmente en el país podrán solicitar la expedición de una acreditación nacional
mientras este documento mantenga su vigencia, previo cumplimiento de las formalidades
que mediante este Reglamento se establecen.

Artículo 29. Son válidos para conducir en la República Dominicana:

1) Los permisos y licencias de conducción reconocidos en convenios internacionales
multilaterales y bilaterales en los que la República Dominicana sea parte y en las
condiciones que en ellos se indiquen.

2) Las licencias internacionales expedidas en el extranjero de conformidad con el
Convenio Internacional de Ginebra, del 19 de septiembre de 1949, sobre circulación por
carretera, o de acuerdo con la Convención Internacional de París, del 24 de abril de
1926, para la circulación de automóviles, o del Convenio Internacional de Viena, del 8
de noviembre de 1968, sobre circulación por carretera, si se trata de naciones adheridas
a estos convenios que no hayan suscrito o prestado adhesión al de Ginebra.

Párrafo I. La validez en la República Dominicana de las licencias a que se refiere el
artículo anterior estará condicionada a que se cumplan los siguientes requisitos:

1) Que la licencia de conducir se encuentre en vigor.

2) Que su titular tenga la edad requerida en la República Dominicana para la obtención de
una licencia dominicana equivalente.

3) Que no haya transcurrido el plazo de seis (6) meses, como máximo, contado desde que
su titular adquiera su residencia legal en la República Dominicana, debidamente
acreditada.

Párrafo II. Si su titular no acreditara la residencia legal en República Dominicana, las
licencias internacionales solamente serán válidas para conducir en la República
Dominicana si no han transcurrido más de seis (6) meses desde su entrada en territorio
dominicano en situación regular.

Párrafo III. Transcurrido el plazo de seis (6) meses indicado en el numeral 3 del párrafo I,
las licencias a que se refiere el artículo 32 carecerán de validez para conducir en la
República Dominicana y, si sus titulares desean seguir haciéndolo, deberán obtener una
licencia de conducir dominicana, previa comprobación de los requisitos y superación de las
pruebas correspondientes.

SECTION IV

Foreign and Diplomatic Driving Licenses


Article 28. Valid Licenses for Driving in the Dominican Republic. Holders of a driving license issued by the competent authority of another State, who reside legally in the country, may request the issuance of a national accreditation while this document remains valid, after fulfilling the formalities established by this Regulation.

Article 29. The following are valid for driving in the Dominican Republic:

1. Permits and driving licenses recognized in international multilateral and bilateral agreements to which the Dominican Republic is a party, and under the conditions specified therein.

2. International licenses issued abroad in accordance with the Geneva International Convention of September 19, 1949, on Road Traffic, or the Paris International Convention of April 24, 1926, for the circulation of automobiles, or the Vienna International Convention of November 8, 1968, on Road Traffic, if the nations have adhered to these conventions but have not signed or adhered to the Geneva Convention.

Paragraph I. The validity in the Dominican Republic of the licenses referred to in the previous article is conditioned upon meeting the following requirements:

1. The driving license must be valid.
2. The holder must meet the age required in the Dominican Republic to obtain an equivalent Dominican license.
3. No more than six (6) months should have passed since the holder acquired legal residence in the Dominican Republic, duly accredited.

Paragraph II. If the holder does not prove legal residence in the Dominican Republic, international licenses will only be valid for driving in the Dominican Republic if no more than six (6) months have passed since their entry into Dominican territory in a regular situation.

Paragraph III. After the six (6) month period indicated in numeral 3 of Paragraph I, the licenses referred to in Article 32 will no longer be valid for driving in the Dominican Republic. If the holders wish to continue driving, they must obtain a Dominican driving license, after verifying the requirements and passing the corresponding tests.
 

Attachments

  • Decreto 6-19 Licencia de Conducir GO-3.pdf
    180.1 KB · Views: 46
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CristoRey

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I have been in a car as a passenger and I've also been directed to pull over as the driver (especially around the Xmas holidays) and the only thing they have ever asked for is MONEY.
No ID, no Driver's License, no proof of Insurance..nothing, nada.
Only money.
At least 2 dozens times over the last decade with the most notorious being the PN Detachment a top the mountain road (ruta 25) crossing from Gurabo, Santiago to Montellano.
I do not expect to see this change anytime soon.
 
Nov 9, 2023
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Thanks mr. Guzman. This is the interesting part for non residents:

Paragraph II. If the holder does not prove legal residence in the Dominican Republic, international licenses will only be valid for driving in the Dominican Republic if no more than six (6) months have passed since their entry into Dominican territory in a regular situation.

So after rereading and rephrasing the post is this right?: All valid accepted foreign drivers licenses are legal for the first 6 months. For both legal and non legal residents (see paragraph II). After 6 months (3.)legal residents need a dominican drivers license, non legal residents (paragraph II) can’t drive anymore.
I am only confused by the terms “driving license” and “international license” , do they mean the same (original foreign license) or is “international license” a referral to the special international drivers license you can get based on your original foreign license? The distinction is not clear.
 

Fabio J. Guzman

DR1 Expert
Jan 1, 2002
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You nailed the problem: the six months refer to international licenses, which are issued in accordance to international treaties , not to foreign licenses. I've come to believe that the validity of a foreign driver's license and the time a foreign national can drive with it in the DR depends on bilateral agreements between the foreign country and the DR.
 
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Thanks. I checked my country’s drivers license validity and international license requirements. Actually there are 3 models of international licenses: model 1926, 1949, 1968.
The check for each country in the world includes required type of license and validity duration.
For the Dominican Republic my drivers license from The Netherlands is valid without need for an international license. There is no time limit other than the 6 months stated in the Dominican law.
I can be happy with that.
 
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SKY

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All due respect to Sr. Guzman, but if he cannot be sure how will the genius's of AMET or whatever they call themselves now know?...............I can just see one of them contacting the Netherlands for clarification.............
 
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All due respect to Sr. Guzman, but if he cannot be sure how will the genius's of AMET or whatever they call themselves now know?...............I can just see one of them contacting the Netherlands for clarification.............
I will show him this part of his own law together with my foreign license and set up a big smile. It’s not my problem if he doesn’t know.

Many years ago I had a similar situation and they sent me back on the road without issue. Play the game like they do…
 
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Btw I will get an international license just in case. Its only €25 and valid for 3 years. It’s basically a translation with some stamps. Bring your original license and 2 photo”s and it is done within minutes.
 

2020

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You nailed the problem: the six months refer to international licenses, which are issued in accordance to international treaties , not to foreign licenses. I've come to believe that the validity of a foreign driver's license and the time a foreign national can drive with it in the DR depends on bilateral agreements between the foreign country and the DR.

Help me understand this Mr. Guzman,

If I get an International Driver's license (which is "basically a translation with some stamps") I can legally drive in the DR using my US driver's license for up to 6 months in the DR.

Otherwise, it's 90 days having my sole US driver's license as a credential?
 
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Liberator

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Thanks. I checked my country’s drivers license validity and international license requirements. Actually there are 3 models of international licenses: model 1926, 1949, 1968.
The check for each country in the world includes required type of license and validity duration.
For the Dominican Republic my drivers license from The Netherlands is valid without need for an international license. There is no time limit other than the 6 months stated in the Dominican law.
I can be happy with that.
An international drivers license doest exists in The Netherlands, however, it's just a piece of paper provided by ANWB. In the DR it has NO value, it can never replace your real license, so if you are pulled over you must always be able to show your original one.

I am also very happy with my Dutch driving license 🚗
 
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An international drivers license doest exists in The Netherlands, however, it's just a piece of paper provided by ANWB. In the DR it has NO value, it can never replace your real license, so if you are pulled over you must always be able to show your original one.

I am also very happy with my Dutch driving license 🚗
Yes that is correct, always carry your original license with it. I forgot to mention that.