The Beast

Well, my truck (aka The Beast) arrived in the port of San Juan last Friday, and we went to pick it up today.    Sounds easy, right?  It’s quite the adventure.

First, you go to the port with all your documents in hand.  There, you find out what tax is applied to bring the vehicle here.  It doesn’t matter what the approved value of the vehicle is in the States, or even what the PR official recorded value is, it is all subject to change and you don’t find out how much it is until you get there and they tell you “this is what you have to pay.”  So you pay it.  But you don’t get the vehicle.  More on this subject later.

Then you go to the Hacienda, one of the government buildings in San Juan, where you show that you paid the tax, and they give you more documents to take back to the port, whereupon you can take possession of the car.

Next, you must go get a smog test, and take that certificate to the office where you pay for the vehicle registration and insurance.  You may also exchange your drivers license for a PR license, but only if the person is there to take your picture.  That person was not there today.  So, you relinquish your license in return for a photocopy of it, which you must keep with you for identification purposes, and return within 20 days (when the photographer is there) to get your official PR drivers license.

We started out this morning at 9am, and finished around 1:30pm, which is actually quite impressive.  My husband had already been through all this with the first car we shipped here, and we had an assistant who had helped him, so we were well versed in the required steps.  I still have to return to get my new license, and I’m just a bit leery or trying to pass off a mere photocopy as official identification, but it is what it is.

Now, regarding the tax.  My truck is a 2004, with over 130,000 miles on it.  It is valued at $6600, even by PR standards.  We estimated paying $800-$900 tax.  Upon arrival at the port, we were told that we would have to pay $1900 tax, because they placed a value of $12,000 on it.  Really??  We should turn around and sell it as quickly as possible!  🤔

Running around to all the necessary offices and navigating traffic is exhausting, but it’s done, at least until I go back to get my new license (which will seem like a cakewalk).

But anyway, I am SO happy to finally have it here.   One car for two people who go in different directions every day has been challenging.  It’s like my second home, after all.  My. husband says I’m like a turtle because I carry so much stuff in it all the time.   It arrived in good condition, and really not as filthy as I expected.  One thing, however–someone, somewhere is enjoying my trailer hitch. 😒


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