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U.S. Territories Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, etc.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:38 PM
13 posts, read 104,441 times
Reputation: 29


Hello to all. I am in need of serious information in regards to relocating to P.R. I am a 40 yr old single retired male with the opportunity to move to P.R. Thus far I have been conducting online research of areas such as Toa Baja, Dorado, and Aguadilla.

Soy Boricua by heritage but have never lived (tho visited) on the island and my spanish is limited. Can anyone give me suggestions on which of these 3 areas may be more conducive for my move as far as safety, ease of acclimation, public services such as DMV, utilties, etc. I'm not concerned with language as I will DEFINITELY be learning it more as I live in the country of my ancestors. Much advice is appreciated and thank you in advance!!!

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Old 08-05-2009, 01:00 PM
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,138 times
Reputation: 105
I would suggest that you come down to PR for at least a week and visit the areas where you like to move to. Puerto Rico is not like states where cities have clear divisions of good and bad neighborhoods. There are gated communities, which may look very nicely on the pictures but reality behind the gate may not be what you are looking for.

DMV: if you are planning to ship your car here, then make sure that you get all your paper work in order. To get your car registered and on the road will take a day out of your life. I suggest going to DMV around noon to get your paperwork done, and in the morning to pay for the needed transactions. (Paper work and paying is done in two separate locations.) If you are going to buy a car, then the dealer will take care of most paper work.

Driver license: before you move, go to your local DMV and tell them that you lost your driver license and ask for a duplicate. Also ask for your driving records. (Many states have problems with driver license from PR, you know why after you see the locals drive.) In PR there are companies that for a small fee will take care of getting a license for you. This is a well worth expense, unless you enjoy spending another day or two in lines (sending all the time). Somewhere I have the name of the company that deals with this, but need to dig it up.

You have option to the insurance. You can get the state insurance which will run you about $99 dollars, or the private one (I don't know which is best you may want to do some research there: check out these Insurance companies, Puerto Rico / Yellowpages-Caribbean.com (http://www.yellowpages-caribbean.com/result.cfm/Puerto+Rico/category/Insurance+companies/ - broken link)). When you register the car you will have to pay the $99, but the private insurance has to refund this money if you decide to get a policy through them.

Utilities: I rent so all the horrors of utilities are in the hands of my landlord. By far the worst stories I have heard relate to the water authority. The trick to do is to keep copies of all receipts, and have these payed through your bank (say Banko Popular). Once the bank pays and you have something to show for it, it is not your problem anymore. If you don't you will have to pay again!

Most private companies such as cable work reasonably efficiently. However, in some areas you may have to wait for service. If you are closer to the turist areas the service gets better.

Hope this helps. I can't stress enough that you come down here and see for yourself.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:53 PM
13 posts, read 104,441 times
Reputation: 29
Thank You. I actually saw that you or someone else in a previous post had suggested going down for a week so I had already planned a 2 week research trip. One week ln the west side of the island and one week in the metro areas of SJ. I do plan on renting when I relocate so I hope my manager will take care of the utilities. Other than that thank you for the advice on the vehicle. I will definitely look into having all necessary paperwork and if you could please give me the info on the company that handles the drivers's license. Will my limited spanish be a problem, you think???
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:32 PM
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,138 times
Reputation: 105
try this number 787 772 3400 or 787 724 4400. I think that the visit to PR will be well worth it. Never underestimate impact of a culture shock

You should be OK with your limited Spanish. I am sure my Spanish is even more limited than yours
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:46 AM
Location: Puerto Rico
177 posts, read 883,138 times
Reputation: 105
SuperPagesPR.com - Autos, Bancos, Gobierno, Floristerias, Tienda Puerto Rico (PR)

Equivalent of Yellopages, a nice search engine that includes maps to places that you are searching.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:24 PM
135 posts, read 467,934 times
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Hi. Just consider this very carefully. Visiting and actually living in a place are 2 completely different things. I'd rent first not buy. It is of course great if you have family and friends around the area you will be living. Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:33 PM
13 posts, read 104,441 times
Reputation: 29
Thank you both for your advice. I do plan on renting for at least the first year that I am there to assimilate myself, but being Boricua and living there wont be too much of a shock to me as Ive visited plenty of times, still eat the same food, practice the same culture, etc. Again thank you both and especially for that yellow page site that you provided! If either of you can think of ANYTHING else I may need to know or think about please feel free to let me know.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:59 PM
10 posts, read 99,726 times
Reputation: 25
I realize it has been a month since you first wrote this, so I don't know if you still need opinions, but I will weigh in here anyway. We moved here about a year ago. Here are some of the issues that we dealt with:

Utilities: It took over a month to get utilities hooked up and over 6 months to get our phone set up correctly. Installers don't give estimates of the time they will arrive at your house and often don't show up. When this happens, you must call again to set up another appointment. We were fortunate that I could stay home endlessly day after day waiting for installers to show up.

DMV: I still use my DL from the states, but did experience the DMV here as I decided to get my license here. Expect a long day. (I only went as far as getting my permit) As for shipping your car here, if you decide to do this please know that there is an Excise Tax (based on the value of your car) This website will tell you how much you an expect to pay. Vehicles Excise Taxes

I love PR because the culture here is so layed-back. I often complain about PR because the culture is so layed-back. As a result of the culture here services are very slow. It can be an adjustment when you come from living in a fast-paced environment. It seems that nearly everything we do takes twice as long as it did in the states, but living here has many other benefits.

I'm not familiar with the areas in which you are looking so I can't offer any opinions there.

Good luck with your move!
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:44 AM
1 posts, read 5,601 times
Reputation: 10
My wife & I are in our 70s & booked for 4 months in Rincon PR from 1/13/2015 on---During that time,we are going to try & rent someplace in that area for at least a year after our 4 month stay.We are trying to find out whether it is cheaper to buy a used car(are they used or abused in PR, like Cuba ?) or ship a 2004 chrysler Sebring Limited Convertible W/low mileage & excellent condition.Worth about $4000 to $5000 here in upstate NY.
Will our NY license & plates be OK in PR ?
We have been in PR at least 4 times in the past 5 years & stayed almost every where on the Island for 2 to 3 months at a time. We stayed in Vieques for 3 months & loved it.-----BUT----It is to hard a place to live as it takes hours on a ferry to reach the main island for medical,supplys ,Etc.
We picked ("Gringo Land of PR" ) Rincon to stay this year & look for a long term rental or a house to rent w/ an option to buy. Any advice will be appreciated.
Thanks Bob Perrone

Last edited by Sunscape; 09-12-2014 at 02:29 PM..
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:42 AM
132 posts, read 201,373 times
Reputation: 135
It is really not all that different or difficult from moving from one state to another. Rules vary from place to place. I have purchased, sold, and lived in several parts of Puerto Rico. Lawyers are used for transactions, but I always did a lot of my own footwork from taxes to registering deeds. It all went smoothly on five separate purchases. Also, I have opened seven water accounts and eight electrical accounts. Only one water account had glitches (AAA is a poorly run utility) but the rest were opened promptly--3 days at most. Just make sure you carry all your documents. In PR details are very important.
I would not advise shipping a car. I have done this several times. It is expensive and requires some running about (before it could all be done at the port).
You could operate on your stateside driver licence--many people do. Changing is not that difficult, especially if your state has reciprocity with PR. If you are over 60 yrs. you will have a special expedited line (most places).
English is common enough in most places, and the basic kindness and helpfulness of people here is legendary.
Good luck. Ask any other questions.
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