The Dominican Republic has the Instituto Postal Dominicano (INPOSDOM) which is the official mailing system. It’s based at the Palacio del Instituto Postal Dominicano (INPOSDOM Palace) in Santo Domingo. Its network of post offices covers the entire country. It offers more than just mailing documents, but also several services regarding mailing packages, electronic money transfers, speed up mailing and more. In addition, it’s the cheapest courier in the country. In this article we will present a good initial understanding of all aspects of INPOSDOM.
Mailing in the Dominican Republic goes as far back as the time it was a territory of the Spanish Empire. The modern mailing system dates from the times of the Trujillo dictatorship 1930 – 1961. During that time the Palacio de Correo was built in the 1950’s, until then the most modern building of the Dominican postal system. In November 16, 1963 via the 40 law the Dirección de Correos was crested. In November 15, 1985 the Dirección de Correos ceased to exist and was replaced by the Instituto Postal Dominicano (INPOSDOM). Despite the change, the INPOSDOM continue to operate from the Palacio de Correo. In 1993 was inaugurated the current Palacio del Instituto Postal Dominicano in the Centros de los Héroes section of Santo Domingo, having replaced the Palacio de Correo which was demolished.
The Dominican Postal Institute Palace
The Dominican government, on the orders of the President Dr Joaquín Balaguer, built the current Palacio del Instituto Postal Dominicano or the Dominican Postal Institute Palace (INPOSDOM) which substited the demolished Palacio del Correo. It was inaugurated in 1993. This is the headquarters if the institution and the center of the Dominican mailing system. All documents and packages sent from abroad via a public mail system arrives here prior to being sent to the corresponding post office. All documents and packages mailed in the Dominican Republic via one of INPOSDOM post offices, regardless if they are travelling within the country or going to abroad, arrives here before it leaves the country.
INPOSDOM Post Offices
INPOSDOM has several post offices in Greater Santo Domingo and one post office in each provincial capital and other important cities and towns in the interior. Despite when the INPOSDOM Palace was inaugurated there were a few post offices built in a similar architecture (all identical), most INPOSDOM post offices are not defined by a particular architectural style. Many INPOSDOM post offices are inside department stores and other businesses. Many of the post offices are in need of a much needed maintenance, but this could be changing soon as it appears the institution is getting an upkeep.
Dominican Letter Carriers
Unlike in countries such as the United States or Canada, the sight of letter carriers in the Dominican Republic is not a defining aspect of the scenery, particularly urban ones. Despite appearances, the Dominican Republic do have letter carriers. Unlike in other countries, Dominican letter carriers don’t have a fleet of INPOSDOM vehicles, but rather travel to their place of delivery on their own vehiles, particularly in motorcycles. This perhaps makes letter carriers in Dominican streets to be less obvious.
The uniforms of Dominican letter carriers is a blue shirt and usually paired with a navy blue cap. On the shirt and on the cap is the logo of INPOSDOM.
As elsewhere, Dominican letter carriers have been impacted by the rise of technology and of consumption. In the 1990’s it was still the case that Dominican letter carriers would carry around 90% of all the correspondence in the Dominican Republic and of those 70% was documents and 30% packages. Today this has been reduced to 40% overall or upwards of 4 million doduments and packages, of those 70% are packages and 30% documents, the inverse of how it was in the 1990’s. In part this is due to increasing competition from private courier companies, but mostly to the increase of technology which has reduced the volumes of letters. INPOSDOM has added delivering packages in order to increase the demand of letter carriers. Costs of using INPOSDOM instead of private companies courier are the cheapest in the Domimican market, around 40% less. By all accounts, it seems this service is going to disappear as people use technology for communicating and even companies are preferring sending their bills online than physically.
Institutions such as INPOSDOM takes part in several activities throughout the year. From patriotic manifestations to employee capacitations and expanding the knowledge of the services it offers, the types of activities have a large range. The following are some of the activities to give an idea, but this isn’t an exhaustive list.
INPOSDOM offers various services which are as follows.
- Regular Mail
- Send documents and/or small packages within the Dominican Republic and abroad.
- Certified Mail
- For documents and/or packages sent within the Dominican Republic or internationally which includes the assignment of a barcode or tracking number for your monitoring of the sent documents or packages.
- Business Mail
- Express courier service within the Dominican Republic. This is aimed to large generators of mail with a maximum weight of 500 grams per piece.
- Post Office Box
- Provides a postal address for private use on an annual lease basis for Dominican Republic and/or international documents and packages.
- Express Mail Service (EMS)
- Fast international delivery of documents and/or packages from any of INPOSDOM post offices in the Dominican Republic.
- Cash Transfers
- Electronic transfer of money in minutes. As of December 2021, only to or from Spain, Cuba, Uruguay, Ecuador and Chile.
- Declared Value
- Exclusive service to send cash quickly and safely throughout the country.
- International Parcel Mail
- Send parcels internationally.
- Delivery of packages with goods purchased in websites.
- Postal PAK
- Available in all the Dominican Republic for sendings and/or receiving documents and/or packages with added security.
The following items are not deliverable by INPOSDOM.
- Fire Arms and Rifles
- Military Clothes and Accessories
- Cash, Money Orders and Traveller’s Checks
- Pornographic Material
- Live Animals
- Plants, Wood and Seeds
- Personal Documents (Cédula, Passport, Credit Cards, etc)
- Perishable Foods
- Hookas and Accessories
- Paintball Guns
- Chemicals, Flammables, Explosives and Corrosives
- Air Bags for Vehicles
- Sprays and Aerosols
- Compressed Air Capsules
- Chemical Ice and Dry Ice
- Radioactive Material
- Invertor and/or Vehicle Batteries
- Lithium Batteries
- Knives, Razors, Daggers and Katanas
- Pepper Gas, Mace and Gas
- Lighters and Matches
Countries and Cities INPOSDOM Delivers
These are countries and cities around the world where INPOSDOM is able to send mail to, however not to most countries. These are the international places that Dominicans send (or receive) documents and/or packages the most frequently.
Proper Information on Envelopes and Packages
INPOSDOM is able to send envelopes and packages that follow a protocol regarding the sender (remitente) information and the destinary (destinario). Mail that doesn’t follow this protocol, can’t be guaranteed that INPOSDOM is able to send it. Those with an asterick are mandatory.
Several times a year INPOSDOM prints a limited number of commemorative stamps. These include an event with speeches, an audience that includes part of the media and a photos section. The commemorate stamps consist of Dominicans and international personalities that excelled in different professions and fields, alive and from the past. In addition, also included are historical sites and monuments in the Dominican Republic, religious art and/or artifacts and saints/virgins/passages from the Bible (mostly Catholic), specific buildings and places in the Dominican Republic, particular plants and flowers species, and the expression of values of the Dominican Republic.
Commemoration stamps are on sale at the Palacio del Instituto Postal Dominicano until the samples are fully sold. These can be purchased by anyone whether they live in the Dominican Republic or not and whether they are Dominicans or not. This is the only place where new commemorative stamps are sold.