Expats' Corner January 19, 2024 | 3:38 am

Don’t forget about admin before moving to the Dominican Republic

Moving to the DR as an expat or retiree is exciting but requires meticulous planning and preparation to ensure a smooth transition. You’ve got to consider every aspect of your relocation, from what to do with your residence in your home country to how you will handle your vehicle and personal belongings. One of the most important things aspiring expats and retirees overlook is organizing and updating their personal documentation, records, and affairs—basically, the admin stuff.

Here are three (3) personal administration things you should do before relocating to the Dominican Republic.

  1. Assemble Important Documents 

Before you set off, you should gather all essential documents—physical and hard copies should be scanned or digitized—and keep them in a secure and easily accessible file on a secure cloud storage platform like Google Drive and a USB. Also, you should keep hard copies of these documents as a backup.

The file should include:

  • Updated Will: Reflect any changes due to your move. And you must register your will with the Dominican courts for it to be enforceable;
  • Passports: Copies for you and all family members;
  • Birth and Marriage Certificates: Often required for various registrations abroad;
  • Medical Records: Records and vaccination details, including what, when, and where;
  • Insurance Policies: Easy access to essential policy details in the event of an emergency or claims;
  • Bank Records: You may need them for legal processes or mortgage applications.

It is also a good idea to give a close and trusted family member access to these files with instructions on what to do if something happens to you.

  1. Confirm Your Expiration Dates

You need to ensure that your ID, driver’s license, passport, debit and credit cards are still valid or not near the expiration date.

The Dominican Republic requires your passport to be valid for at least six months from your entry date. If yours is nearing expiration, renew it well in advance.

Ensure that your driver’s license, debit, and credit cards are valid well after your move. Renewing them from abroad is cumbersome, especially when you’re still settling in.

  1. Register for Absentee Voting 

If you wish to vote in your home country’s elections while overseas, research and complete the absentee voting registration process before you leave.

Again, there are many moving parts when relocating to the Dominican Republic. To ensure a smooth transition, you must plan well in advance.


Check out our other articles on what to do with your home before moving to DR

What to do with your home before moving to the Dominican Republic

Should you ship your personal items or vehicle to the Dominican Republic when relocating? 


Maria Abreu is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Abreu & Associates, a law firm practicing exclusively in Dominican Republic Immigration and Nationality law. She is also the founder of Retire and Invest DR. This organization hosts conference events for foreigners interested in living, retiring, and investing in the DR. You can contact Maria at: mabreu@abreuimmigration.com.

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