Ask the Consul
How to Have a Safe Stay in the Dominican Republic
July 11, 2011
Summer is here and that means tourism is on the increase in the Dominican Republic. The Embassy wants all U.S. citizens to enjoy a safe stay in the country. Just as at home, Americans are reminded to exercise good safety and security practices.
While most U.S. citizens have a trouble free visit, the Embassy has received reports of American citizens and other travelers whose U.S. passports and other valuables have been stolen after they leave Las Americas Airport en route to their hotel or home. Some travelers returning to local residences have been followed, assaulted and robbed upon arrival at their home. Typically the attackers are armed and ride motorcycles. Police are aware of these robberies and have broken up at least one organized ring.
Deterrence measures by citizens are important. Travelers should keep car doors and windows locked at all times to deter criminals, and be mindful of surroundings to be sure no one is following. It is good advice to utilize the taxi service authorized by the airport if you did not make arrangements before arrival. Even when using such an authorized taxi service, you should always be aware of the potential for a criminal to stalk travelers leaving the airport parking area.
U.S. citizens who become victims of crime while in the Dominican Republic should report the incident to the Dominican police (and obtain an official police report). You should also report the crime to the U.S. Embassy's American Citizen Services unit.
More safety and security information is available at www.travel.state.gov or at the Embassy website at santodomingo.usembassy.gov. If your U.S. passport is stolen while you are in the Dominican Republic, you can obtain a replacement via the U.S. Embassy's Consular section. For your convenience, passport appointments can be made online at the Embassy website. If you need to return to the U.S. quickly, you can request expedited processing.