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Frequently Asked Questions about the Dominican Republic

At Caribbean Right Moves, we've done our best to create a Web site that anticipates and satisfies our customers' needs. With that goal in mind, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here, contact us.

 

Q: Why the Dominican Republic, why north coast and why us?
The DR is arguably the most beautiful spot in the Caribbean and Caribbean Right Moves lies in the most beautiful area of the DR, the North Coast. The North Coast boasts a magical strip of  virgin white sand beaches while in the area, you can choose your favorite mode of transportation, including mini-vans, horseback riding, scooters and motorcycles. You can enjoy a wide range of sports, such as golf, scuba diving, windsurfing, or tennis. The Dominican Republic is accurately referred to as "the land of dreams".

Q: Is there lending in the Dominican Republic? Who is lending? What kinds of rates?
Yes, lending is  now happening in the DR, and it is a new and fast growing concept and business. Although there are private companies that are lending. Banco Popular will lend you 80% of the value of the property. They have an appraiser that works for the bank and determines the value of the property. When borrowing for house or condo purchases you are looking at a 8-10% interest rate.

Q: What type of currency should I bring?
The Dominican peso is the official currency of the Dominican Republic and is accepted everywhere. The local currency is the Dominican Republic Peso or RD. The sign for pesos is also '$' so if your bill seems unreasonably high, it is most likely being quoted in pesos.
U.S.dollars are the most easily exchangeable; however British Pounds, Euros, Canadian dollars, and others can be exchanged for pesos. Although the currency rate is constantly changing, the generally accepted rate is about 36 pesos to a U.S. dollar.
Currency exchange and banking transactions are available at a number of local banks.
Banco Santa Cruz www.bancosantacruz.com
Banco De Reservas www.banreservas.com.do
Banco Progresso www.progresso.com.do
Banco Leon www.leon.com.do
Scotiabank www.scotiabank.com.do

Q: How is the communication system in the Dominican Republic?
The main telephone service providers on the island are Codetel and Orange which have offices found mostly everywhere. Cellular phones in the Dominican Republic operate on 1900 MHZ, the same frequency as those in the U.S. The rest of the world including Europe operates on 1800 MHZ. Internet service is generally available throughout the more populated areas of the country.

Q: What is the electricity voltage in the DR?
Generally, the electricity operates at 110 volts like in North America. However, voltage irregularities are quite common sometimes providing less or surges of far more. It is recommended to use surge protectors or voltage regulators for expensive electronics and computers. Many properties and new developments will provide their residents with both 110 and 220 volts.

Q: Is It OK That I Don't Speak Spanish?
Thousands of people visit the Dominican Republic every year without knowing any Spanish at all. English is spoken quite extensively throughout most Dominican Republic tourist destinations. Most resorts will have representatives who speak English.

Q: Can I rent a vehicle in the DR?
Yes, there are a variety of rental agencies to choose from.  To rent a car; you need your passport, and driver's license. As a permanent resident you would need a local driver's license which is easy to obtain. There are also local taxis and busses that can provide transportation should you desire not to drive.

Q: Where is the Dominican Republic? 
The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Q: How do I get to the Dominican Republic?

Several major airlines offer regular service into several cities in the DR, from cities in both North America and Europe. From the U.S. and Canada, Continental, American Airlines, and TWA have direct flights to the DR. Regular flights are available from Europe, via Air France, Air Europe, American Airlines, Lufthansa and Iberia. The DR has 7 international airports, but the three largest are in Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. Approximate Flight times are as follows:

From:
New York - 3 1/2 hours
Toronto - 5 hours
Miami - 1 1/2 hours
Major European cities: 8-10 hours

Q: What is there to do for entertainment in the DR?
Sports:
The DR offers a wide range of sports, both on land and in the water. Some of them include: tennis, golf, squash, polo, diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, fishing (and deep-sea fishing), windsurfing, sailing, caving, mountain biking, basketball, baseball, and much, much more.

Beaches:  The entire DR boasts over 400 kilometers of spectacular beaches for your enjoyment.

Gambling: Gambling is legal in the DR. Large casinos and hotels offer card games, roulette, slot machines, as well as horse-racing and boat-racing and cockfighting. You must be age 18 or over to gamble in the DR.

Shopping: The relatively low rate of the peso in the DR makes shopping a sheer pleasure. An impressive variety of local crafts, products are available as well as various outside goods imported from all around the world.

Dining: Dominican cuisine offers a unique combination of local spices and cooking styles, with several of its seafood dishes known throughout the world. The food speaks for itself- give it a try!

Q: What is the language of the DR?
Spanish is the official language of the DR.

Q: After I establish residency can I ship one container duty free?
After you establish residency you can ship one container load of household belongings "duty free".. What that really means is that some stuff won't be subject to duty. Keep in mind the packing and unpacking charges, the cost per $100lbs to ship, the potential charges while your container waits on the dock to get unloaded, and what customs might say and do after looking at EVERYTHING. This all adds up and it just might be better to leave it behind.

Q: What is the climate like in the DR?
The DR enjoys a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging in Celsius between 18 degrees in Winter, and 28 degrees in Summer.

Q: Can I get married in the DR?
Yes. All official documents necessary for the marriage should be translated into Spanish before arrival.

Q: As a foreigner, will I have to pay taxes on investment earnings in the DR?
No. The tax laws are the same as in the rest of the Latin American region; you can rest assured that interest is accrued on your bank deposits and investments, completely exempt from DR taxes.

Q: Can I bank in U.S. dollars?
Yes. Banco Popular offers U.S. dollar and Euro accounts.

Q: What are the closing costs associated with the sale of property?
Taxes = 3% of sale price and Lawyer fee = 1%. There are no other closing costs.

Q: How may I receive my mail?
Mail may be picked up at either the post office or Western Union.

Q: Would it be possible to legally work in the DR?
Yes, with a working permit, or by working for a Dominican corporation through contract.

Q: Can I purchase house hold appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.?

Yes, there are several large appliance and furniture stores.

Q: Is satellite TV available?
Yes.

Q: Are there English speaking doctors and dentists?
Yes.