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Punta Cana passport: entry and exit requirements

(check out new regulations for US citizens 2007)


Advice on whether you need a Punta Cana passport seems to vary according to where you get your information. The Dominican consulate states that anyone entering the Dominican Republic needs to have a valid passport unless you are from the US, Canada or France. Tourists from the US and Canada can travel to Punta Cana with valid photo ID (birth certificate, driver’s license, etc.). French tourists can apparently travel with some sort of tourist card.

I do not suggest taking this advice! If you’re traveling to Punta Cana, a passport is a very good idea.

The world is changing, whether you are officially allowed to travel without a passport is not the question. The important question is what do the border guards think of tourists traveling without passports? You don’t want questions like – why don’t they have one? – popping into their heads. If you are able to get a passport, get one.

As of 2008, the Dominican Republic is changing their requirements anyways – tourists will all have to carry valid passports. Heck, by then you’ll even need a passport to travel between the US and Canada. There have been reports, in other parts of the Dominican Republic, of tourists not being allowed to depart without a valid passport. Return flights delayed while they have a passport issued by their embassy. Don’t be the first person this happens to in Punta Cana.

Punta Cana passport: Entry and exit requirements for people traveling with children

There is never a problem if both parents are traveling with their own children – although all children should have valid passports. When traveling abroad – one parent taking their own child or adults traveling with children other than their own should have some documentation. The best idea is a notarized letter signed by both parents giving permission for travel (with location and dates). When entering the Dominican Republic, these letters should be translated to Spanish – this can all be done at the closest Dominican consulate to where you live.

Again, there is drastically different information given online. The Dominican consulate declares that you can travel to and from Punta Cana with a child other than your own without any documentation whatsoever – as long as the child enters and departs Punta Cana with the same adult. The US State Department declares that you must have notarized letters in Spanish.

I have talked to hundreds of tourists traveling to Punta Cana without passports and with children other than their own. I have not heard of many problematic situations, but when it comes to international borders and grey areas – err on the side of caution.

Tourist visas for entering and departing Punta Cana

When traveling to Punta Cana, you will receive a tourist card from your travel agent or on your flight. Fill it out and make sure you don’t lose it – you’ll need it to exit the Dominican Republic. If you do lose it, they are available at the airport at a cost of $10.

Punta Cana Departure tax


There is a $20 US departure tax to leave the Dominican Republic via the Punta Cana airport. Make sure to keep this much cash so that you don’t slow yourself down trying to get onto your return flight. Note: this Punta Cana departure tax must be paid in US dollars so keep a US 20 in your pocket. We’ve talked to so many tourists that purposely spent every bit of cash they had on souvenirs only to find out they needed to pay the departure tax before being allowed on their flight.

Tip for a Punta Cana passport


I have only one tip as far as a Punta Cana passport goes. Regardless of what you read on other websites – get a passport!

New Punta Cana Passport Rules for US Citizens

As of January 2007, all US citizens are required to have a valid US passport to return to the United States from anywhere in the Caribbean. This has caused many travelers to have to cancel their plans.

The US passport office was not equipped to put this new regulation into place, resulting in huge delays to get passports. In the summer of 2007 we are now looking at delays of 10 to 14 weeks to get your Punta Cana Passport. You are only entitled to put a "rush" on your passport at the time of application, I strongly suggest that you do this. Better to pay a small, maybe unnecessary, fee up front than to possibly have your vacation ruined.

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