How does mail work in the DR?

Hello, I am moving to the Dominican Republic in less than a month and I would appreciate it if someone would be kind enough to explain to me exactly how receiving mail like packages works? Do I need to set up a USPS box and have it sent there then have it sent over to me from there? Any accurate information on this from experienced expats would be very much appreciated.

Very slowly. Xmas cards received the following June.
I have my mail sent to stateside address and pick up whenever I visit the states. For things like credit cards I ship them via FedEx 3 day shipping. You'll never get it next day so why pay for the premium service.

What if I want to purchase A computer off amazon or some other website as an example...It will take months to get to me?

Have it shipped FedEx or DHL is safest. Living here is not like what you're used to when it comes to mail. Things get "lost" all the time with the local service. Especially gifts and high ticket items

Both of those are way too expensive. For.most items use a freight forwarder. From here you open an account with a company: CPS (but not in Puerto Plata) BM cargo are two good companies.

Basically you pay by the pound so consider the weight. And don't buy online and ship anything over US 200 or you are subject to tax and duty!!!

FedEx etc are very expensive and I would only use for legal documents etc.

And I forgot mail service pretty much doesn't exist!!!

The "non existent" mail service is one of the things I love about this country.  In 10 years I have received 4 or 5 letters. Non in less than 6 months of mailing.

For shipping packages or mail I have to have I use CPS here in Sosua and am very happy with their service.

NEVER ship anything over $200 or as Planner said you will be hit with taxes (up to nearly 30%) of the value of the item on top of the shipping costs.  Having said that we did ship a 70 pound BBQ and paid the tax and shipping and the price was still $200 less than the same BBQ  here in the DR.

Bob K

I have used CPS all over this country with great service BUT not in Puerto Plata. The office was a franchise and the service sucked!!!!  I am now with BM Cargo here and so far so good.

Take note CPS that you have an issue here. Sadly the head office has paid no attention at all!!!

HI! Im hoping to find some more information about this topic. Specifically, I will be in Cabrera and am wondering about my shipping options TO the states. I understand the $200 max price point before tax but so far its been unclear on how this is determined. If I were to ship art or anything I create, how are they going to assess a value to it? Some things weigh about 20 pounds... Thanks!

PS- I am Patrick, 30, Currently in Richmond, Va

The 200 applies for shipping INTO the DR. You need to understand the exporting rules from here and the importing rules for the USA

Hello planner. I know this thread is old, but did you have to sign the user agreement when you used CPS?  If yes, what was the fee for notarization?

Great question @Darkremy.  Does anyone know what is the membership fee for CPS OR MAILBOX ETC in Las Terrenas?   Can't find it on their website

No fee or Notary required at CPS in Sosua, at least.  Not even a visit in-person.  Everything was done online, and they even deliver for free to most places.

No fees for establishing an account with CPS Las Terrenas or Mail Boxes, Etc. CPS does have an optional fee you can pay to get discounts on shipping. I've glanced at the poster in there before, but it didn't seem to be something worth pursuing for us.

We didn't have to have anything notarized either.

Darkremy wrote:

Hello planner. I know this thread is old, but did you have to sign the user agreement when you used CPS?  If yes, what was the fee for notarization?

I never had to do that honey.  I  have  a new account at Mailbox etc, and signed it online digitally, no notarization needed.

Thank you.

@planner do you know where my fiance would pick up a package that I would send him to the Dominican Republic if I send it through the United States Postal Service

@planner so if mail service doesn't exist pretty much in Dr do you know how I would send a package through the USPS to Santo Domingo like where would the person pick up the package at ?

I need to know a safe way besides FedEx that I can send a package to someone in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic make a safe way they could pick it up somewhere or something I don't really know how it works

I use Mail Boxes Etc in Punta Cana. When you set up an account, they give you an address in Miami. Anything sent to that address (mail, Amazon, etc) is automatically forwarded to the location in Punta Cana (inside Jumbo.) Price is based on weight, around $5 USD per pound. Takes about 1 week once it gets to Miami. They have many offices throughout the DR.

There is NO safe way with Dominican Mail. NONE zero, nada!

you need to use a mail forwarder and that means having her set up the account here,  near her.  You mail the package to the mail forwarding address in miami. You must declare the value (under US $200) and she will pay US 5 a pound when she picks it up here.  So be careful of value and weight of the package! 

I sent a Christmas card about 3 years ago and my friend went to the post office and the guy there told him he could ck the back bin for it himself… 😂 , he found it and it was ripped open , they were searching to see if there was money in it ( Christmas envelope)  , my friend asked what happened to this the man just shrugged and said that's how it came…nope no post office here

When I reg'd for Cdn social security checks, I used my DR address.

One day , when downtown, a woman stopped me and asked if I knew Willie Web...... That's me !!

Well, she said - you have mail ..... come with me

Thousands of dollars in checks and she said another would arrive tomorrow from Nagua.

I was returning to Canada the next day & went  straight to the gov't offices.

I cancelled that check for 'tomorrow' and switched to direct deposit in Canada.

But the point is - Yes, the mail works......

I suppose just sometimes, but it worked for me

Right now you are unable to mail anything to Canada via regular mail.  You have to use a service such as MBE or CPS and it isn't cheap.  You can receive mail but quicker to send to your MBE or CPS USA address.

We successfully sent paperwork for our residency to our attorney (Lishali Baez) in Santo Domingo using UPS. It arrived on time (next day? can't remember) and intact! But, in SD, she actually has an office with an address to deliver to.

We had a refund from Aduanas (because our container was cleared so quickly) that went to our customs broker. They cut us a check and sent it to us from Santo Domingo to Las Terrenas via UPS! The driver called us once he was in LT, we sent our location to him via WhatsApp and then we walked down to the main street to meet him. I was not an easy undertaking, but since it was over $1000 USD, it was worth the effort!

I haven't registered for an account with the private post office here in LT, but from the stories I've heard from people who have, it's a disaster!

We've also had an item sent to us via Caribe Express that we had to pick up at the closest office, which is in Samana. It was our whole house water treatment system sent from Sosua, not an inexpensive item, and they didn't even ask for ID! We said we were there for a package for McGhee and they just handed it over!

BMCargo offers courier service within the country too

Couriers work. Mail forwarding companies work. Mail does not. Pretty simple.

Hello all,

I have used Caribe Express. They are the part of Caribe Tours, a bus company used for transport and travel within the country. I had first travelled by Caribe tours at many places, it's extremely safe and fun if you go with a group.

Also, they have Caribe Express for courier service, you need to put down the name, number from Cedula and phone number of the receiving person. You do not get it at your doorstep. You need to go to the nearest Caribe Tour station that you mention for pick up and the receiving person can pick up the courier there.

They check the ID, cedula etc. and hand over the item to the right person. It's very safe and convenient.

@Traveller1101 so when mailing from the US what steps do I take ? I want to just mail a very small package

Generally the postal system does not work.  Use UPS.

The postal system is non-functional in all aspects. Courier or FedEx is your only hope. Did you notice most buildings don't even have addresses.

@Jaime Hatfield are you sending something to yourself or someone else? What part of the country?

if you are sending to someone else, ask how they prefer to receive packages. Before moving down, we sent all out residency application materials to our attorney via UPS overnight. She's in SD and has regular UPS delivery to her office building. It worked perfectly!

We live in Las Terrenas where addresses don't exist - our street doesn't even have a name! We use MBE and CPS for our packages. We have an account with both and use their addresses in Miami for all our packages and pick them up in the local offices.

This is a classic example of one of the questions  down here where the answer is truly, "It depends"!

@ddmcghee      puerto plata is where we want to send it .

long story short, my daughter meet a kid while we were on vacation and wanted to send a bracelet with longitude and latitude on it . Totally innocent.

the bracelet is maybe $20 . So from everything I'm seeing it's going to cost $70 or more going through UPS or FedEx .

It's easy to use a mail forwarder but if you don't have an account already it's tough. If you send to my mail forwarder then I can get it to the friend in Puerto Plata.  There are some rules to follow so I will message you

@Jaime Hatfield

    Don't bother w/the mail in PP , I sent someone $20 around Christmas to a guy that helped me out while I was here…. Well he never got it ,, called him around the holiday and asked him if he received it and he said no , he went down to the post office and the guy said he could look in the back bins if he wanted after going through 2 - 3 mail bins he found the Christmas card ,ripped  and torn opened  no money..he confronted the the guy and  he shrugged and smiled and said file a complaint……. There is no postal service here