Commonwealth of Dominica

Driving

The left is the correct side of the road on which to drive in Dominica as the pictures of the trip north from Roseau shows. This convention is confirmed by the “Auto Driver Club”. It can be seen from the “YouTube” vision that the roads are predominantly two-way highways with occasional stretches dual carriageway. Those from developed first world nations will immediately notice a lack of multi-lane freeways. The bikers show some disdain for the “left side” convention as well as ignoring a few other rules of the road. A less than encouraging description of driving in Dominica and of local drivers and roads is given in the “dominica-guide.info” web site. Details of the various forms of public transport which the Auto Driver Club recommends can be found at the “Dominica Embassyhomepage” site. Long distance driving is not a problem that will be encountered in Dominica for those who have traveled in U.S.A. Europe or Australia as might be expected on an island which is just 30 miles (48 kms) long and 15 miles (24 kms) wide. High speed is not easy to achieve nor is it recommended.

The links at the "Resources" tab of this site will augment the information given on this page as will the book "How to Retire in the Commonwealth of Dominica" by Les Johns, which can be purchased from this site.

Driving Licenses

Getting a driving license in Dominica would seem to be a well defined exercise and straight forward. The official regulations are clearly set out in the rules published by the government. The rules are perhaps more simply put and found at the “Autodriver Club” site. The “Dominica-Guide.info” site clarifies the situation for visitors. A home driving license is necessary to obtain a local permit from the airports, car rental firms, or from the High Street Traffic Division office in Roseau. Such a permit would be valid for the period of the visit. An International Permit not issued in Dominica is also valid so long as one page is in the English language. This should be no problem because a major advantage of such a permit is that it usually contains details in many languages and English is usually one of them. The age restrictions for driving in Dominica are, for a motor cycle, 17 years and, for a motor car, 18 years.

Life in Dominica, as in so many Third World and aspiring First World countries, can be a Kafka-like and casual experience with little certainty and changing attitudes from authorities even in situations that have been experienced previously. Precedents may hold no authority nor be any guide to current or future problems. A mitigating factor for Dominica is the generally happy and engaging demeanor of the people which seems to be a national attribute. This kind of detail will not usually be given by any of the many and popular “authorities” whose major commercial interest is in encouraging life and/or retirement abroad. Caveat emptor has to be the watchword and observation of the “Golden Rule” (visit before settling or committing to anything that may be irreversible) is essential

The book "How to Retire in the Commonwealth of Dominica" by Les Johns, available from this site, will add to this topic as will the links at the "Resources" tab of this site.