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Moving to Puerto Rico from the U.S.

March 4th, 2013 - 1:32 PM

(updated 9/11/14)

Though Puerto Rico belongs to the U.S., it isn't actually part of the country -- it's a U.S. territory. Moving to Puerto Rico is different from moving state to state because there are a few extra requirements to follow. But don’t worry! We've done the research and have the information you need to move to Puerto Rico from the U.S.

Here's what we’ve learned:

  • Residents of Puerto Rico pay both Commonwealth of Puerto Rico income taxes and US federal taxes (including import/export taxes, social security taxes, and federal payroll taxes).
  • The commonwealth sales tax and use tax rate in Puerto Rico is currently 5.5%. Some cities add a local sales tax.
  • All inbound shipments to Puerto Rico are subject to a local excise tax of 6.6%.
  • When moving the Puerto Rico from the U.S., the following export documentation is required and must be presented by the owner of the goods when clearing the items at the customs office in San Juan:
    • Original Power of Attorney
    • Bill of Lading
    • Inventory list in English and signed by owner (must include dollar values of the items in the shipment. If you underestimate, fines can be assessed.)
    • In certain cases you may need an Electronic Exportation Information Form (EEI) for an item or groups of items that are valued over $2,500. A U-Pack moving specialist can help you determine if you should fill out this customs declaration form.
  • Your items must be cleared at the customs office before U-Pack can deliver your shipment.
  • U-Pack cannot ship items with VIN numbers (like motorcycles, lawn mowers, etc.) to Puerto Rico.
  • You have 30 days after moving to get a Puerto Rico driver’s license. If you have a current valid driver’s license from a state in the U.S., you can easily get a Puerto Rico driver’s license. You will need to take an eye exam, pass the written exam (which can be waived if you are over 25 and have no current violations), and pay a fee.
  • Electrical outlets in Puerto Rico are 110 and 120 volt AC, and will use the same two-prong plugs as those in the U.S.
  • Puerto Rico has the same mail rates as the United States.
  • The official language in Puerto Rico is both Spanish and English. Spanish is very widely spoken, but you will pick it up in no time after moving to Puerto Rico!
  • If you’re moving to Puerto Rico with pets, check out these helpful tips.
  • The local currency in Puerto Rico is the U.S. dollar.
  • The borders are open between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico – so a passport is not required. However, you will likely need a government-issued photo ID in order to board a plane to Puerto Rico.

When moving to Puerto Rico, be sure and choose a moving service that is familiar with offshore moves. U-Pack specializes in moving to Puerto Rico from the U.S. mainland. U-Pack makes moving to Puerto Rico simple by taking care of all the transportation, you just have to load and unload. A U-Pack move to Puerto Rico from the U.S. works like this:

  • U-Pack brings you either a moving trailer or ReloCube® to your door.
  • You load it up with your stuff.
  • U-Pack will move your stuff to a service center that ships to Puerto Rico (Jacksonville, South Chicago, or Philadelphia).
  • Your shipment gets on a boat and heads to San Juan.
  • Once it arrives in San Juan, you clear it with customs. Then it can be delivered right to your door!
  • You unload.

Easy as that! If you have questions about the moving process, or need to know the cost to move to Puerto Rico with U-Pack, call us at 800-413-4799 or get a free quote online.