Tourist Card Punta Cana Airport
If you’re planning a vacation to the sparkling beaches of Punta Cana, one of the most beautiful and visited areas of the Dominican Republic, you’ll very likely need to buy a tourist card after you land. A mandatory $10 (€10.00 for European visitors) tax to enter the country, the tourist card is levied by the government of the Dominican Republic. It applies to visitors, including Americans and Canadians, who do not need to go through the significantly lengthier process of obtaining a formal visa.
The tourist card is valid for 30 days and can be extended for an additional fee. Citizens of some countries, including Argentina and Chile, are exempt from this requirement; while, in contrast, residents of other countries need to apply for a visa. (For a full list of country requirements, consult this guide located on one of the Dominican Republic’s governmental websites: http://www.dgii.gov.do/tarjetaTuristica/EN/about/Documents/CountriesneedingtheTouristCard.pdf.)
While the vast majority of visitors buy their tourist card directly at Punta Cana Airport upon arrival, it is also possible to buy it in advance online. This is a little known option, but one that will make it significantly faster and more convenient to enter the country after you land, reducing both the amount of time and the amount of hassle you will have to deal with. If, on the other hand, you opt to buy the card at the airport, you will very likely need to wait a long time, as there almost always long lines to purchase the tourist card. (There are two lines; the first is to buy the tourist card, the second is to clear customs.) After a long flight, you’ll appreciate the time saved by bypassing the longer of the two lines!
Each tourist card purchased online has its own barcode, which can be easily and quickly scanned. This system also makes it easy to buy tourist cards for a family or any other group traveling together, as the cards are quite generic and not attached to particular names. Cards are valid for one year (from when they are purchased) and for single-time use. They are also available at various other entry points into the country, as well as in Dominican embassies and consulates abroad.
To purchase your tourist card ahead of time, just go to the website specifically set up by the Dominican government (https://www.dgii.gov.do/Tturistaweb/). There, you’ll be able to check out using your credit card, and you will then receive your card by email as a PDF, which you can print before leaving.
When you arrive in Punta Cana, bypass the first line and give your pre-printed tourist card directly to the agent at the second line. You’ll save time and energy, and be able to make it to the beach much more quickly!