Obtaining the building permits in the Dominican Republic in 2023: Detailed guide

Obtaining the building permits in the Dominican Republic in 2023: Detailed guide by RealeStateLasterRenas
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You've fallen in love with the stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and friendly people of Las Terrenas, and now you've decided to build your dream house in this Caribbean paradise. Congratulations! But as exciting as this decision may be, building a home in the Dominican Republic can also be challenging. You may experience a cultural shock and find the approach to the building process in the Dominican Republic quite different from what you're used to.
However, don't let that discourage you. With the right guidance and preparation, obtaining all the necessary building permits in Las Terrenas can be a much smoother and more rewarding process. In this article, we'll guide you through the required documents and costs for obtaining building permits in the Dominican Republic in 2023. By working with local professionals and taking the time to understand the local culture and customs, you can ensure that your building process is as smooth and successful as possible.
In this article, we will discuss all types of permits that are required to obtain before starting the construction of your house or project. There are many permits that lead up to one that is the most important and takes the longest. The entire process takes somewhere between 6 and 12 months if all goes according to plan.
Table of contents:

1. Municipal Council permit (Ayuntamiento)

ayuntamiento de las terrenas permit

If you're planning to build a house in Las Terrenas, the first step is to obtain the first permit for construction from the municipality. This process involves requesting a Certificate of No Objection to Land Use from the Plan Processing Department.
The service is open to the general public and is offered by the Processing Department of the Urban Planning Directorate. You can request the service online or by phone, and it involves submitting several documents, including:
  • a letter of request
  • property title certificate
  • cadastral survey plan
  • project location plan
  • survey of land use and surrounding density.
You'll also need to make several payments, including a land use receipt payment of RD$2,000.00, an inspection receipt payment of RD$1,000.00, and urbanization and/or subdivision land use receipt payment of RD$30,000.00.
Once you've submitted all the necessary documents and made the required payments, the municipality will conduct an inspection of your lot and review your file. If everything is in order, the Processing Manager will send it to the Cadastre Department for review of legal documents. Then, it will be sent to the Urban Planning Department to carry out Land Use, and if the project is approved, a Certificate of No Objection to Land Use will be elaborated.
The entire process takes around 15 business days, and the municipality will verify what has been approved. The cost of the permit varies depending on the requirements, and inflation indexation is applied to these rates each year.
It's worth noting that the municipality offers a consultation service to verify projects prior to entering the urban planning department. This service allows you to check boundaries and height allowances in the area where you plan to build. Consultation days are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

2. Water & Sewage permit (INAPA)

water and sewerage permit inapa

The second step in the permit-obtaining journey is the 2 different permits from National Institute of Drinking Water and Sewerage. Keep reading to learn about the purpose of these permits as well as the full list of documents required to obtain them.
  1. No-objection request for connection to an Aqueduct and/or Sewerage network operated by INAPA

The no-objection request for connection to an Aqueduct and/or Sewerage system operated by INAPA allows project promoters to verify the feasibility of the source (diameter, type, and characteristic of the existing distribution network) that will be considered for the supply of drinking water from the project and/or the feasibility of connecting to an existing sewerage network to discharge its wastewater. INAPA will verify that the connection does not affect the existing system or service in the area and/or whether or not it is available.
This non-objection is essential for the promoter and designer of the Hydro-sanitary facilities to carry out the design of the project with the knowledge of whether it is possible to make said connections and where, so it must be prior to their submission to INAPA for review and approval. Failure to comply with this may cause delays in project approval and additional costs to the promoter that are not attributable to INAPA.
To request a no objection for connection to an Aqueduct and/or Sewerage network operated by INAPA for the purpose of supplying a project with potable water and/or allowing it to discharge its wastewater into the sewer system, the following is required:
  • Communication addressed to the Executive Director of INAPA, requesting the issuance of the certificate of no objection to said junctions, specifying: the name and telephone number of the person or company in whose name the no objection will be issued, together with the correct and unique name of the project.
  • Descriptive report of the project indicating: the nature, objective and description of the project; georeferenced location.
  • Supply-demand of the project and connection point and/or proposed download.
  • Title deeds for the location land in the area of catchment and access area or authorization of the owner in case it is a person other than the owner of the project.
  • Copy of the identity document of the applicant and of the representative submitting the project (identity card or passport).
  • Receipt of payment of RD$10,000.00, non-refundable, made in cash by means of a certified or administration check in the name of the National Institute of Potable Water and Sewerage (INAPA), for the concept of Reception of the communication with the basic information of the project for no objection request for connection to an Aqueduct and/or Sewerage network operated by INAPA. (Requires prior receipt available at the Engineering Department to be delivered together with the cashier's check).
  1. Project approval request

Developers can request hydro-sanitary system approvals for their projects from INAPA before obtaining construction licenses from MIMARENA and MOPC. INAPA does not provide certificates of approval for preliminary projects, except for source studies to ensure feasibility. Single-family housing projects with connections equal to or less than ½” may request connection authorization directly from INAPA regional commercial office. All other projects must be reviewed and approved by INAPA's Directorate of Engineering, unless the project meets certain criteria and receives written communication from management.
To request project approval, you need to submit the following:
  • A communication to the Executive Director of INAPA, including a brief project description, signed by the person and/or company in whose name the approval will be issued.
  • Two sets of printed scale plans of the plumbing system signed by the engineer responsible for the designs.
  • Two sets of plans printed to scale with the location and location of the project approved by the city council or competent municipal authority.
  • Two printed technical reports (descriptive and calculation report).
  • Two CD discs containing location plans, dimensioned architectural plans, plumbing plans, and technical report.
  • Approval of the Urban Planning Office of the City Council.
  • Certificate of No Objection from INAPA.
  • Copy of the "Previous Analysis" letter from the Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), if applicable.
  • Land ownership title.
  • Cadastral map of the property.
  • Copy of the identity document of the applicant and the representative.
  • Receipt of payment of RD$5,000.00.
  • Document receipt form with project and contact information.
Upon completion of the review process, you will be asked for a third set of already corrected plans (if applicable) for the corresponding sealing.

3. Electricity permit (Luz y Fuerza)

electricity permit

The third step in obtaining all the permits necessary to start the construction of your dream project, is the 2 permits from the electricity provider called Luz y Fuerza.
  1. Requirements and Procedure for the Interconnection of Approved Projects

This permit is required for the interconnection of your approved project to the electrical grid. To help you navigate the process, we've outlined the requirements and procedure for obtaining this permit:
  • Have the plan duly approved and within the term of its validity.
  • To have completed the construction of the part that is not in the vicinity of the electrical networks.
  • Payment of the project at the office of the Dominican College of Engineers, Architects and Surveyors (CODE).
  1. The electrical or electromechanical engineer in charge of the project must submit the required documents and request an inspection of the electrical construction by communicating with Luz y Fuerza.
  2. Within a week, Luz y Fuerza will send a report with any necessary corrections, and a list of materials required for the interconnection. If there are corrections, the engineer should repeat step 1.
  3. The applicant should inform Luz y Fuerza of the inspection of the interconnection materials and provide the technical sheet and guarantee of the transformer through communication.
  4. If all corrections have been made correctly and the necessary materials are complete, Luz y Fuerza will provide a letter of acceptance and an estimate of the interconnection within a week. If anything is incomplete, the applicant must repeat step 3.
  5. The applicant must make payment for the budget amount.
  6. After payment is made, Luz y Fuerza will proceed with interconnecting the project within 15 days.
  7. Once the project is interconnected, the client can begin the process of contracting the electrical service.


  1. Requirements and Processing Procedure for the Approval of Plans

This service involves processing electrical plans for private projects and is available through the Commercial Office. It is intended for investors and projectors who require this service. The procedure to follow is to submit the plan and required documentation at the Commercial Office.
What you need to submit:
  1. A letter of assignment from the engineer in charge, specifying their name and a copy of the owner's ID card or RNC and property documents.
  2. A completed Project Plan Submission form.
  3. Two printed copies of the plans in size 24"x36" or a digital plan in DWG format with the following details:
    • Project location (with proper signposting and north)
    • Electrical survey of the project
    • Front, side, and plan view of transformers on poles (if applicable)
    • Details about PAD-Mounted transformers (if applicable)
    • Details of trenches for buried (if applicable)
    • Grounding detail
    • Summary table of electrical structures
    • Calculation of transformer selection
    • Project loading detail
    • Legend (with the updated symbols of the SIE standard used in the project)
    • Business card of the engineer in charge with their CODIA number and signature, project description, specific direction, power to be connected, and type of connection (1Ø or 3Ø)
    • Voltage drop calculations (to verify the regulation allowed in the standard)
    • Single line diagram
    • Number of sockets per transformer in the one-line diagram
    • Specify the measurements used in the modules according to the standard
    • Table in a plan explaining the input of load to be interconnected by stage in detail, including time and date of entry of each stage
    • Use the necessary number of sheets to comply with the provisions.
  1. Plans approved by the Ministry of Public Works and Communication (MOPC), if applicable.
  2. Payment for plan submission.
  3. A copy of the CODIA card.
How to submit your plans:
  1. The electrical or electromechanical engineer in charge of the project must submit the above documents.
  2. Luz y Fuerza de Las Terrenas will visit and correct the electrical proposal within 10 working days.
  3. The engineer in charge must make corrections and submit them to Luz Y Fuerza (with the original and corrected plan). This step will be repeated until all possible corrections are made.
  4. Luz y Fuerza will request 5 copies of physical plans to approve.
  5. The engineer must print, sign, and submit the requested copies to the company.
  6. Within 5 working days, Luz y Fuerza will deliver 3 approved copies of the approval letter, authorizing the designer to start the construction of the electrical project.
Please note that:
  • The plans that have been approved will be valid for one year, and after this period, the procedure must be repeated.
  • Luz Y Fuerza has the right to modify the approved design in case of any necessary changes in ground conditions or external situations.
  • The approval of the plan does not authorize the interconnection of the project until the interconnection process is completed.
  • It is the client's responsibility to ensure proper electrification of the project, as Luz y Fuerza only validates up to the meter.
  • With the approval of the plan, the client is authorized to build the project without interfering in the MV lines and other Luz Y Fuerza properties.
  • If you're providing the materials yourself, Luz y Fuerza will not accept or approve the use of used materials.
For projects with a capacity between 10 and 300 kWa the tariff is RD$3,000, and for projects with a bigger capacity the tariff is RD$6,500.

4. Environmental permit (Medio Ambiente)

envoronmental permit

On the 4th step of our permit-obtaining journey, we need to request environmental authorization for a project. The following documents must be submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources:
  • A letter of request for environmental authorization.
  • A completed registration form for environmental authorization of the project, work, or activity.
  • A copy of the promoter and representative's identification and electoral card or passport (if foreigner).
  • A copy of the National Taxpayer Registry (RNC) for the company name.
  • A copy of the Mercantile Registry.
  • A copy of the property deed. If the property title(s) are not in the name of the promoter, a notarized and legalized purchase and sale or lease contract must be attached between the owner and the promoter of the project. For government projects, submit the decree of public utility.
  • A copy of the Plan or Cadastral Measurement stamped and/or certified by the National Direction of Measurements Cadastral (not mandatory for leases).
  • A letter of no objection to land use from the corresponding town hall (original required). This does not apply for forestry projects, except for sawmills in urban areas.
  • An executive summary of the descriptive report of the project, work, or activity and its components. This should include the type of infrastructure, quantity and sources of general services (water, energy electricity, solid waste, etc.), and a detailed description of the wastewater treatment system.
  • A topographic sheet at a scale of 1:50,000, in color, with the polygon in UTM coordinates. This is mandatory for mining, tourism, and forestry projects or works.
  • A location map, scale 1:1000 to 1:5000, legible, in color, showing UTM coordinates of the polygon of the project, work, or activity.
  • An assembly plan and a plan dimensioned to a legible scale, size 11 x 17. In case of contemplating Wastewater Treatment Plant (PTAR) attach plans.
  • The last three (3) profit or loss reports (IR-2 or IR-1) as appropriate, which include annex A1, endorsed by the General Directorate of Internal Taxes (DGII). If not registered with the DGII, attach a financial analysis showing total assets, certified by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) (In case of being operating before the enactment of the Law General of the Environment and Natural Resources (64-00) of August 18, 2000).
  • A projected budget analysis should also be attached.
  • A check covering the RD$5,000 fee.

5. Ministry of Tourism permit (MITUR)

ministry of tourism permit

There are 3 basic types of permits for processing that are channeled through the Department of Planning and Projects (DPP) of the Secretary of State for Tourism (SECTUR):
The Project Design Parameters Request allows developers, architects, and project planners to request from SECTUR DPP all information regarding legislation, planning regulations, design parameters, and specific recommendations that are applicable to the project based on its exact location, its context and the nature of the project to be developed. The normal processing of this permit takes 45 days and costs 5,000 Dominican pesos. To speed the process up you will need to pay 10,000 pesos and it will take only 15 days.
The Request for Preliminary Project Analysis allows promoters, architects, and planners of projects for tourist use or of another nature, which are located in areas of tourist interest, to request the DPP of SECTUR to carry out an evaluation of the initial formulation of the project presented by the designer in order to verify its adherence to the legislation, planning regulations, and corresponding design parameters and recommendations, as a step prior to the formulation and presentation of the final project, in order to obtain the No Objection to Use of Floor. The normal processing of this permit takes 45 days and costs 5,000 Dominican pesos. To speed the process up you will need to pay 10,000 pesos and it will take only 15 days.
The Request for No Objection to Land Use allows developers, architects, and planners of projects for tourist use or of another nature, which are located in areas of tourist interest, to request the DPP of SECTUR to evaluate the project presented in order to verify that it complies with the legislation , planning regulations, and design parameters and recommendations established for the corresponding property. Likewise, consequently, the applicants will obtain from the Secretary of State for Tourism a Certification Letter of No Objection to Land Use, which is an unavoidable requirement for the purposes of obtaining the construction license for the project and consequently, obtaining the operating license of any tourist company that intends to install in said location. The normal processing of this permit takes 60 days and costs 7,000 Dominican pesos. To speed the process up you will need to pay 10,000 pesos and it will take only 20 days.

6. Final construction permit (MOPC)

obras publicas permit

This service is for citizens who need to present documents specifying the necessary legal, structural, architectural, sanitary, electrical, and material conditions for a construction project. These documents must comply with all the laws, norms, and regulations in the country and meet the minimum quality standards. The cost is RD$6,000.00 and the delivery time is 45 working days.
It's important to note that once the user receives plans or documents from the Central Plan Processing Office to make corrections, any time elapsed is the user's responsibility. Additionally, any project or report deposited and abandoned for over six months will be removed from the office's files and must be resubmitted as a new project. The completion time for any reports or projects is the user's responsibility.
Here are the document requirements for all types of construction:
  1. Register on the Plan Processing portal if you haven't already done so.
  2. Fill out the Construction License Application Form.
  3. Provide a descriptive report of the project in physical and digital formats.
  4. Provide two sets of stapled white paper plans with the same format and scales established in the R-021 Regulation.
  5. Submit a copy of the final title(s) of property.
  6. Submit a copy of the demarcated Cadastral Measurement Plan(s) and endorsed definitive title(s) of property.
  7. Fill out a Technical Sheet (Form F-3) issued by the corresponding Town Hall.
  8. Submit certifications of Land Use and Retirement of Buildings issued by the corresponding Town Hall.
  9. Submit a Certification of No Objection issued by the corresponding Town Hall.
  10. Provide a Structural Calculation Report and Load Analysis.
  11. Provide a Geotechnical Study from a qualified company or professional.
  12. Provide a Hydraulic Calculation Memory when applicable.
  13. Pay tax receipts according to appraisals made in the MOPC.
  14. Submit evacuation route plans.
  15. Attach detailed plans and specifications of the formwork.
  16. Deposit all documents and plans in digital in PDF or TIFF formats.


The process of obtaining all the permits necessary to start the construction of your dream house can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months and the costs add up to $5,000. As you may see, after reading the information presented in this article, this process is very complicated and requires professional assistance, so ideally, your architect should be in charge of these processes, as their experience and knowledge of the Dominican systems give you an advantage. 

Want to build something amazing? Contact us today and we will make sure to provide full assistance and involve the best professionals in the area!

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