Entry requirements can and do change, so the savvy visitor should check with the nearest Dominican embassy or consulate at least 6 weeks prior to departure. As of January 1, 2008, all persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean by land or sea are required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the local Department of Homeland Security. This passport requirement applies to the Dominican Republic. Upon arrival at their port of entry, visitors must also purchase a RD$333 tourist card to enter. Keep the receipt. Otherwise, you'll have to pay the fee again upon your departure from the D.R. The tourist card is valid for 90 days from the date of its issue. If you wish to stay more than that, you have to apply for another tourist card 2 weeks before your present one expires.
Before leaving home, make two copies of your documents -- including your passport and your driver's license, your airline ticket, and any hotel vouchers -- bring a copy and leave the other home with someone.
For an up-to-date, country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "Passports" Web page of the U.S. State Department at www.travel.state.gov.
Visas are not needed by U.S., Canadian, Irish, Australian, New Zealand, or British citizens for visits of less than 90 days.
What You Can Bring into the D.R. -- Just before you leave home, check with your country's Customs or Foreign Affairs department for the latest guidelines -- including information on items that are not allowed to be brought into your home country, since the rules are subject to change and often contain some surprising oddities.
Customs allows you to bring in 1 liter of alcohol, plus 200 cigarettes and gift articles not exceeding a value of US$100. Anything over that limit is subject to import taxes.
What You Can Take Home from the D.R. -- U.S. Citizens: For specifics on what you can bring back and the corresponding fees, download the invaluable free pamphlet Know Before You Go online at www.cbp.gov (click on "Travel," and then click on "Know Before You Go"), or contact the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20229 (tel. 877/287-8667), and request the pamphlet.
Canadian Citizens: For a clear summary of Canadian rules, write for the booklet I Declare, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).
U.K. Citizens: For information, contact HM Revenue & Customs at tel. 02920/501-261 (from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152), or consult their website at www.hmrc.gov.uk.
Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure available from Australian consulates or Customs offices is Know Before You Go. For more information, call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to www.customs.gov.au.
New Zealand Citizens: Most questions are answered in a free pamphlet available at New Zealand consulates and Customs offices: New Zealand Customs Guide for Travellers, Notice no. 4. For more information, contact New Zealand Customs, The Customhouse, 17-21 Whitmore St., Box 2218, Wellington (tel. 04/473-6099 or 0800/428-786; www.customs.govt.nz).
Unless you're arriving from an area known to be suffering from an epidemic (particularly cholera or yellow fever), inoculations or vaccinations are not required for entry into the D.R.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.