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Moving to Puerto Rico from the U.S.


Posted By:
Derek 3/4/2013
1:32 PM

Puerto Rico is a United States territory. It belongs to the U.S., but is not actually part of the U.S. Moving to Puerto Rico is different from moving to a different state, there are a few extra requirements for you to follow. But don’t worry! We have done the research for you and have all the information you need to move to Puerto Rico from the U.S.

So, after some extensive research, here's what I'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 sales tax in Puerto Rico is currently 5.5%.
  • When moving to Puerto Rico from the U.S., you can move used household goods and personal effects duty-free as long as you have owned them for one year and you do not intend to sell the items or give them to another person.
  • In accordance with local regulations, jewelry should not be included in your shipment to Puerto Rico. Just keep your jewelry with you when you move.
  • All inbound shipments to Puerto Rico are subject to a local excise tax. Call the Office of Excise Taxes at 787-721-6237 or 787-721-0338 in Puerto Rico to get an approximate amount for the excise tax you will need to pay.
  • When moving the Puerto Rico from the U.S., the following documentation is required and must be presented by the owner of the goods when clearing the items at the tax 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 a Shipper’s Export Declaration Form (for items or groups of items totaling over $2500…talk to your moving specialist to see if this applies to your shipment).
  • Your items must be cleared at the tax office before the moving service can deliver your shipment. There is a tax office near our service center in San Juan (Guaynabo).
  • U-Pack cannot ship items with VIN numbers (like motorcycles, lawn mowers, etc.) to Puerto Rico.
  • The housing market in Puerto Rico is comparable to the Miami or Los Angeles market; however property taxes are lower in Puerto Rico.
  • You don’t have to have a job planned when you move to Puerto Rico. However, you may have to obtain a Certificate of Good Behavior from the Puerto Rico police in order to get a job. Many companies require this form. Just contact the local police department after moving to get your form filled out.
  • 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 $10.
  • 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 are 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 (or U-Pack can offer you access to a network of experienced moving help).
  • U-Pack will move your stuff to a service center that ships to Puerto Rico (Miami, Jacksonville, South Chicago, or Brooklyn).
  • Your shipment gets on a boat and heads to San Juan.
  • Once it arrives in San Juan, 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.

Category: Puerto Rico

3801 Old Greenwood Road  |  Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903

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