August 13, 2023
GOVERNOR HOCHUL CELEBRATES ANNUAL DOMINICAN DAY PARADE AND HIGHLIGHTS RECENT EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN TIES BETWEEN NEW YORK AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Governor Met With President Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic To Discuss Opportunities For Economic And Cultural Collaboration
Announces Banco de Reservas de la Republica Dominicana Approved to Open Representative Office in New York, First-Ever in the United States
Highlights $1.5 Million For Dominican Studies Institute At City College (CUNY DSI)
Signs Legislation S.4329-A /A.3935-A Authorizing Department of Motor Vehicles to Allow People to Exchange Their Valid Overseas License for a New York Driver’s License If Agreement Is Reached With Foreign Government
Ahead of the Dominican Day Parade, Governor Kathy Hochul today celebrated New York’s Dominican community and highlighted the close ties between New York and the Dominican Republic. Governor Hochul met with Dominican President Luis Abinader, announced that the Dominican Republic’s largest commercial bank was approved to open a representative office in New York, highlighted $1.5 million in State funding for the Dominican Studies Institute at City College and signed new legislation allowing the Department of Motor Vehicles to reach agreements with governments outside the United States that could allow individuals to exchange their driver’s licenses.
"New York wouldn't be New York without our Dominican community," Governor Hochul said. "Today and every day, I am so grateful to the Dominican community for their work in making New York State a better place and will continue to work to ensure that New York remains a great place for Dominican Americans to call home."
Governor Hochul met with Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic as well as Congressman Adriano Espaillat and other Dominican officials. The leaders had a productive conversation, discussing the many opportunities for cultural and economic collaboration between New York State and the Dominican Republic. Governor Hochul expressed her commitment to be a strong partner to the Dominican Republic and to the large Dominican population that calls New York home.
To strengthen the bond between the Dominican Republic and New York, the Department of Financial Services has approved a license for Banco de Reservas de la Republica Dominicana, or Banreservas, to open a representative office in New York, their first-ever office in the United States. Banreservas is the largest commercial bank in the Dominican Republic and provides a wide range of critical banking services and financial products, including remittance services. The office will serve as a hub to build community and business connections between the Dominican Republic and New York City.
Banreservas joins over 120 foreign and wholesale banking institutions with assets of more than $2.7 trillion that have been licensed by the department. The approval of this representative office, located in Upper Manhattan at 2420 Amsterdam Avenue, puts Banreservas in the world’s financial epicenter and enhances the deep economic ties between New York State and the Dominican Republic.
Home to nearly one million people of Dominican descent, New York State has been working to strengthen the bond between the Dominican Republic and the United States. The Dominican Studies Institute at City College (CUNY DSI) is the nation's first university-based research institute devoted to the study of people of Dominican descent in the United States and other parts of the world. This year, Governor Hochul announced that CUNY DSI will receive $1.5 million to support ongoing operations and initiatives to preserve the culture and history of Dominican New Yorkers.
Additionally, Governor Hochul signed Legislation S.4329-A /A.3935-A which authorizes the DMV to enter into agreements with governments outside of the United States to allow new residents from those countries to exchange their valid license for a valid New York driver’s license, without passing any knowledge or road test. The DMV must determine that the other country in the agreement has a “comparable licensing process” including knowledge and road testing.
The law sets requirements for the agreements, including that the exchange would only apply to drivers over the age of 18; that it would apply only to standard licenses, not commercial licenses or motorcycle licenses; and that parties to the agreement must confirm through designated officials that the applicant has a valid license to exchange. License reciprocity would be subject to the timing of the executed agreement between DMV and the foreign government.
New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “The Dominican community has been a great partner in the growth of New York’s social, economic, and cultural landscape. Kudos to Governor Hochul for offering opportunities for this great partnership to continue to grow by investing in the Dominican Studies Institute at City College; approving the opening of a Banreservas office in New York; and a new law to facilitate the exchange of a valid driver’s license for a New York State license. These actions will continue to strengthen the economic and cultural ties between New York and the Dominican Republic.”
New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne A Harris said, “Since I joined the Department of Financial Services, we have worked hard to strengthen New York’s position as the financial capital of the world by developing lasting partnerships with global regulators and attracting more financial firms to the state. I am proud to welcome Banreservas, the Dominican Republic’s largest bank, to New York by approving their first office in the United States.”
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said, “The DMV is the gateway to State Government for New Yorkers, and thanks to Governor Hochul’s diplomacy and leadership, we can now make our processes for new New Yorkers even easier. This kind of effective and convenient service is the cornerstone of the DMV’s ongoing mission to change how we operate and better serve the millions of New Yorkers who rely on our services.”
CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “As we celebrate the Dominican Day Parade, the City University of New York is immensely proud of our tens of thousands of students of Dominican descend, along with our faculty and staff. They help lift our University, our City and State every day. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for supporting the critical work of the Dominican Studies Institute at City College to preserve, research and amplify the vital contributions of dominicanos everywhere.”
State Senator Luis Sepúlveda said, “As a center of international banking, finance and manufacturing, New York State and New York City has always been a multi-national and multi-cultural center of opportunity for the best and brightest seeking to build a successful life in America. This legislation will allow New York State to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states, countries, provinces or territories who issue driver’s licenses allowing duly licensed citizens of those countries the privileges of driving on New York’s byways. In turn, New Yorkers working in other countries would be afforded the same privileges, if the Commissioner deems it appropriate. This legislation will attract continued investment in New York State from a multitude of international partners who locate their employees and families in New York. Today, I am honored to have joined Governor Hochul on making my bill a reality for all New Yorkers and others abroad.”
Assemblymember Phil Ramos said, “It’s a proud day in New York State as this bill becomes a law at the Dominican Day Parade, and it is a promise kept following a productive delegation trip to the Dominican Republic last year. This historic legislation opens the doors to helping millions who travel yearly to New York by building stronger relationships with countries like the Dominican Republic, allowing licensed drivers to move easier in our car-centric society. New York has always been a beacon of hope and prosperity for travelers, and this new law will allow people to safely and freely move around the state without fear, which will result in stimulating our local economy. I thank Governor Hochul for her continued leadership and partnership.”