Tourist Visa Extension?

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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Since the standard tourist visa was reduced from 90 days to 15, I have been confused about the legal status of the MANY tourists who spend somewhat longer periods of time in the DR, but have no desire to become residents.

I understand that the penalty for overstaying the visa is relatively paltry, and from that standpoint, the simplest thing to do is simpy pay it on departure. What this does not solve is what seems to be a dilemma for a tourist/visitor who is driving in the DR after 15 days. My understanding is that the right to drive legally (and with insurance) using your license from your home country expires when the visa does.

I cannot imagine that the only way to be in the country and drive legally for longer than 15 days is to obtain residency and a Dominican license. My first thought is that it should be possible to renew the visa for at least another 15 days, or to apply for and obtain a special visa for a longer stay. I have asked this question in other related threads before and got no answer. I'm hoping by starting this thread that either Dr. Guzman or someone else with experience in this can fill me in. I plan to spend 4-6 weeks sometime next year as preperation for a potential move in 2-4 years.
 

skyblue

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Mar 20, 2006
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spend your 6 weeks and stop stressing over this. you can drive all you want and no one will tell you different. if all else fails, you can always bribe the cops. enjoy your trip and relax already!

ps what home country are you talking about??? where is the visa from?
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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I'm from the US,

and when I say visa, I am referring to the tourist card, which is the legal document by which we enter the country. Not really stressing, just checking on what is needed to be legal and insured. I have rented a car and driven all over the country on 14 previous vacations, but as far as I know, I was always within the time frame allowed, was driving legally, and was insured in the event of an accident. No accidents yet, and I don't plan on any, but I know it could happen, and I'll be damned if I'm going to get myself in a big mucky-muck, spend a night or more in a Dominican jail and wind up a poster child for HB and others who like to say us ferners shouldn't drive in the DR. (LOL HB;) )

The information I have read here on DR1 says that when the tourist card expires, so does the validity of my US driver's license. I'm just checking on what I need to do to extend that past 15 days. I hope someone knows.
 

AnnaC

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Jan 2, 2002
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Tourist card good for only 14 days

It's been posted many times.

fines for staying more than 14 days

15 Days - 3 Months: $300 Pesos
3 Months - 9 Months: $500 Pesos
9 Months - 1 Year: $2000 Pesos
1 Year - 1.5 Years: $3500 Pesos
1.5 Years - 2 Years: $4500 Pesos
2 Years - 2.5 Years: $6000 Pesos
2.5 Years - 3 Years: $8000 Pesos
3-5 Years: $12000 Pesos
5 Years+: $15000 Pesos

Some have posted that they paid nothing but you never know. It also depends if you apply for residency once you move for good.
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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Thanks Anna,

I knew that, and I know how easy and cheap it is to pay the fine on departure. Something tells me however that if I'm involved in an accident after the card expires, "I was planning on paying the fine at the airport" is not going to cut it. My question has to do specifically with what needs to be done to enable me to drive legally in the DR using my American license for more than 14 days. Lots of people take longer vacations than that, and it's hard to believe there is not an extension process.

I say this knowing that people do it all the time and get away with it. I have a friend who lived in the DR 6-8 months per year for over 10 years without ever obtaining residencia or Dominican license, drove every day, and never had a problem. Not for me. I want to be sure I am legal.
 

skyblue

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Mar 20, 2006
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i have stayed past the 15 days on almost every trip i have ever taken and i've only had to pay once. when you leave they ask how long you have been in the country, you can a say a week or you can say a year, they will take your word for it and they never check. worse that can happen is you will pay an additional fee (in cash of course), and you will go on with your life.

please stop calling it a tourist visa, it's a tourist card, you are going to scare and confuse people. have fun and good luck on your trip.
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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Forgive me!!!

i have stayed past the 15 days on almost every trip i have ever taken and i've only had to pay once. when you leave they ask how long you have been in the country, you can a say a week or you can say a year, they will take your word for it and they never check. worse that can happen is you will pay an additional fee (in cash of course), and you will go on with your life.

please stop calling it a tourist visa, it's a tourist card, you are going to scare and confuse people. have fun and good luck on your trip.

If you go back and read my posts you will see that I incorrectly used the term tourist visa in the thread title and my initial post, but then corrected it to tourist card in my followup. If the moderator would correct the thread title, I would be grateful. I cannot do it.

Everyone seems to be missing the point here, which is that if a tourist card is only for 14 days and you can only (legally) drive with an overseas license with a valid tourist card, is there a process for extending this? I do not think this is something which should be taken lightly, and I know I am far from the only person here it would affect.
 

AnnaC

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Jan 2, 2002
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Driving legally

I take it you've read this;

If you are in the country legally and have not overstayed your tourist visa (15 days) you will be able to drive using your foreign license.

If you wish to get a Dominican driver?s license, be aware that the United States Embassy will NOT validate your license. If you still want a Dominican driver?s license, and your embassy doesn't?t validate, you will first need a cedula before you can get a license. Assuming you have a cedula, you will have to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles and take a driving test.

Taken from this post.

I guess if you want to do things legally you'll have to start your residency on your next trip. ;)
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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Thank you!

Sweetdbt,

I asked the same thing last year on this thread:

http://www.dr1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45945

Some good insights followed, some....

It still concerns me when we are down.

2parrotheads


While that thread does not fully answer my question, It is helpful. It seems there is a way to get the card renewed, although I'm not clear on where and how. I very much hope Dr. Guzman reads this and can possibly give us a definitive answer.

It makes absolutely no sense that a tourist or business person in the country for only a little over 2 weeks could not drive legally.

I get so p*ssed off when people say I should just hire a car and driver, and it costs "about the same" as renting a car. Absolute BS.
 

AnnaC

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Jan 2, 2002
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I very much hope Dr. Guzman reads this and can possibly give us a definitive answer.

Kind of frustrating isn't it? Posting a legal question in the legal forum and getting everything but what you asked for. :laugh:

Just pulling your leg ;)
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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Anna,

Believe me, there is nothing I would rather do than begin my residency tomorrow, but unfortunately that is not an option.:disappoin

Based on what I read in the other thread linked by 2parrotheads, it looks like a tourist card can be renewed, possibly for as long as 60 days. Exactly how this is done was not revealed, so if anyone knows.......
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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I deserved that

Kind of frustrating isn't it? Posting a legal question in the legal forum and getting everything but what you asked for. :laugh:

Just pulling your leg ;)

Apologies to Genesis, although she didn't seem to be offended.
 

KeithUK

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Feb 8, 2006
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Tourist Cards

I think you will find that the new Tourist Cards are now valid for 30 days. I returned in June after a 21 day visit and paid nothing.
Regards
Keith
 

skyblue

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Mar 20, 2006
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i have never heard of such a thing. let's suppose you get pulled over, how on earth would the officer know how long you have been in the country? in POP they take the tourist card from you 5 minutes after you buy it for $10 and there is only an additional cost when you stay past 30 days and you yourself tell them. no such thing as 15 days.

listen, if your concern is driving don't worry, you can drive with no problem, if you get into an accident (God Forbid) it's going to be your fault regardless.
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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Yes, in almost all cases an accident will be your fault, regardless of the facts. The old line is "if you weren't here, it wouldn't have happened." However, if you are driving legally and covered by liability insurance, the insurance will pay the damages. If you are driving illegally on an expired tourist card, the insurer will have no obligation, whether you are paying for the coverage or not.

As for how long you have been in the country, that would be revealed by the stamp on your passport.

You can do or not do whatever you want skyblue, but IMHO you are out of line in basically ridiculing someone else because they want to be sure they are driving legally and covered by insurance.

If the tourist cards are now 30 days, that's a good thing, and IMHO a more realistic length of time.
 

lunar

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Jun 14, 2006
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Hello,

Would it not be possible for you to get an international driving license from the US for your stay in the DR? They do issue them in DR so I must assume they are valid.
 

GALK

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Mar 12, 2006
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The Tourist Card you purchase upon your entrance in the airport does not indicate any validity and is for DGII purpose only.
The blue form to be filled upon entree and exit does not express any validity either and is for migration purpose.
Asking the migration officers several times (on entrees and exits), they confirmed to me that the duration of the legal stay in the country is 30 days and could be extended up to 90 days in Sto. Domingo.

Consequently I conclude driving is legal in DR with a foreign valid licence for a Tourist 30 up to 90 days if you extend your visa.
 

KeithUK

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Feb 8, 2006
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Tourist Card Extension

According to The DR Embassy in London, If you want to stay longer than 30 days an extension can be obtained from the Migration Department in Santo Domingo costing from $5us to $100us depending on length of stay.
They also state ( as you have already been informed ) that you can pay the relevant fee at the airport on departure.
Regards
Keith
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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That makes

The Tourist Card you purchase upon your entrance in the airport does not indicate any validity and is for DGII purpose only.
The blue form to be filled upon entree and exit does not express any validity either and is for migration purpose.
Asking the migration officers several times (on entrees and exits), they confirmed to me that the duration of the legal stay in the country is 30 days and could be extended up to 90 days in Sto. Domingo.

Consequently I conclude driving is legal in DR with a foreign valid licence for a Tourist 30 up to 90 days if you extend your visa.

a lot of sense, and seems to confirm what I was getting from other sources. I guess it would be a pain to go to SD to get it extended, but if I'm going to be around that long I'd probably want to spend some time in the capitol anyway. Thanks to everyone for your input!

What the heck is DGII?:ermm: