Want to move to DR

Hello, my name is jay, I’ve been trying to find out as much as I can about how to move to the DR. I need a lot of advice and guidance from those that made the move. I already know the area I want to live in, it’s the getting started is where I’m stuck. What is the first few steps I need to do?  Thanks in advance.

Welcome to the forums. Start reading honey, lots of info here already.

Some questions: do you need to work? Bringing family? What area you thinking.

That will help us guide you.

Welcome. There is lots to read here on the forum.  So read it all and ask specific questions.
Have you been here before?
What part of the country are you looking at?
Will you need to work here?
Do you have your residency (you need this to work here legally)
Do you speak Spanish?
What kind of housing are you looking for?
These are a few things to think about .

Bob K

Thanks Bob. I guess I should have more specific. Do I speak Spanish, yes. I am retired so I won’t be looking for employment. No, I haven’t been there...yet but it is in my immediate future plans. I know I will have to visit a couple of times if not several. Housing, not sure what I can afford. I’ve also thought about apartment dwelling. I have some money in my thrife savings. I took a real big hit in 2008.  I have just over 3k to live on and I do pretty well here. I manage my money well and stay on a budget. I read a post where a guy only had 900 bucks to live on. Someone answere he could but it would be tight.  I’m not looking for extravagant ( couldn’t afford it anyway ). Just a nice place to live among the people.  Do you need a license to drive? What about health insurance, does the one I have be sufficient (bcbs)?

With that budget you should do fine here.  Especially if you do not need imported products for everything.
We have been on the north coast full time for nearly 12 years.
Let me know if you have specific questions.

Bob K

Your questions - yes you need a license! Your license from there is good for the duration of your tourist visa only - 30 days.  Then you need residencia to get a Dominican license.

Your income should be adequate.

Health insurance uo to age 65 - I have a group plan and premiums range from about 37 to 49 US per person per month and include prescription and dental. If you are already 65 plans change drastically but I can arrange it.

Where are you thinking to settle?

Hello “planner”, thanks for the info. You say that health insurance changes drastically at or after age 65. Could you elaborate on that a bit?
I have been reading on how to get residency there. Wow! The paper work tha is involved! How long does it take to get it all done? How much money is involved?  Thank you again for the helpful information.


Oh yeah, I want to live in the Santiago area. Maybe not the city proper but in that area. But after visiting there a few times, I will have a better idea.

Santiago is a non touristy area and so pricing is often much more reasonable!

Your residency will be a few thousand dollars and if  you are not fluent in Spanish will require using a lawyer.  BOth Planner and I can recommend one to you.

Santiago is cheaper but for me it does not offer much other than a congested city and some reasonable shopping.  You are still 1.5 hours or more (depending on traffic) from the beach.

Bob K

residency as you have been reading, starts at home.  You will need likely  45 days to get all that done, but I do know people who got it done in  3 weeks.

Once you arrive here you have  60 days to deposit the paperwork and make your application. Both Bob and I know lawyers who are good and reasonably priced.

However,  most will move here, make sure they really want to stay and then start their process by going home for a few weeks and getting their paperwork done!

Insurance -  up to age  65 you have a lot of options.  That changes for NEW inscriptions once you hit  65 and the options are very limited.   IF you are already inside a plan, then you coverage continues as long as you pay.  At age 70 the price goes UP! At age 75 it goes up again based on the  base cost of the plan!

IF you want more info happy to send it to you. Message me and I can help you.

Planner/Bob K,

Do the lawyers that you recommend work with folks while we're here in the US? My wife and I and I are in Florida through mid-January, then off to the DR with hopes to make it our permanent home.

We want to be able to spend time throughout the country before making our final decision on the long-term rental but a BIG PROBLEM is only being able to rent a car for our first 30 days in the country. Residency seems to be the only way to have drive a car beyond 30 days. And as I've seen many times in the forums we need our boots on the ground. We starting of for a month in Juan Dolio to see the south coast then want to spend at least a month on the north coast before we decide on our long term rental (spent 2 1/2 months just recently on the east coast). It would really limit our searches to have to rely on drivers/taxis after 30 days.

If it wasn't for the driving restrictions we wouldn't consider trying to rush through the residency process. We'd probably hold off until next spring when we plan on returning back to the US for a few weeks.

Thanks for any advice and words of wisdom!!!


Yes Wilson Rood can work with you from there.  He is at wilsonrood[at]gmail.com  He speaks perfect English and splits his time between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. He goes by Billy,  fire him off an email and he can assist you.

The lawyer we, our friends and clients work with is Dolly.  She will hold your hand through the whole process and is based in Santiago. She speaks perfect English and will work with you remotely before you are in the DR.

There are also  some private car rental places (not the national brands) that will cover  you for insurance long term.

Dolly Cabrera
809-307-3337 cell

Hope this helps

Bob K

Planner/Bob K,

Thank you both.

Bob, I thought if you drove after your 30 day tourist card expires that you were driving against the law and that would negate any insurance. Last thing I'd want is to end up in a Dominican jail or having to pay out tons of money if someone hit my parked rental car after 30 days  :)

By using these private companies would I be protected?


You would need to check with the rental agency.
Friends (snow birds) do this every year for 4-6 months.

Bob K

Thanks Bob can you share the names of any of the companies. We'll be in Sosua just as our 30 days come to an end. Not sure if it's OK to ask for referrals on the forum or if I need to do this through a PM. Please forgive me if this question should not be in the forum.


I can tell you it is ILLEGAL to drive here on an any international license after your 30 day tourist card has expired. YOU HAVE NO LICENSE THEREFOR if you have an accident YOU ARE AT FAULT.  Your insurance can and will refuse to pay.  You can be taken to jail.  You can be charged and it will cost you big money to get out of jail.

I have confirmed this with various lawyers!  30 day tourist visa = 30 days of driving legally. 

After that you take the risk!

AND yes please ask for recommendations and referrals here. Absolutely!

John no big deal.  The company we use is Lund I car rental (recently changed their name). The guys name (owner ) is Luis Polanco
Phone is 809 -571-2452
cell: 809 222 3255
They rent older well cared for small SUV (like Honda CRVs).

If you are flying into PP they will meet you at the airport.


Thanks Planner and Bob K, looks like I need to determine if I want to roll the dice, or get started on the residency process.



Residency certainly would be safer.

Bob K

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