Vehicle Shipping to /from Puerto Rico

vehicles-feature.gifHorizon Lines proudly offers one the most frequent and dependable vehicle shipping services in the Puerto Rico tradelane. Your vehicle will be handled with care by our industry professionals.

A vehicle shipment booking is required prior to delivering your vehicle to any of our terminals. After you have met all requirements from your port of load, please call 1-877-678-7447 to make your booking.

For a printable version of these shipping instructions, please reference the Puerto Rico Vehicle Shipping PDF.

Vehicle Shipping Step-by-Step



Phase I – Get Appropriate Documentation

(The following documents are required from all origins- San Juan, Jacksonville, Philadelphia & Houston):

1)    Listed owner on the title must be the shipper and show picture ID/proof of ownership (state/Fed ID).
2)    Copy of the vehicle’s title and registration.
3)    If there are two owners listed on the title, both owners must be present with picture IDs and/or written notarized statements from the owner(s) not present authorizing shipment export of the vehicle.
4)    If title is not clear of liens, there must be a letter from the Lien Holder releasing vehicle for export to PR on official letter head with contact information accompanying same.
5)    The value of your car needs to be declared if over $2,500. If you are not willing to provide your Social Security # to make this value declaration, you MUST obtain an EIN # with the IRS. To get one, call 1-800-829-4933 or 267-940-1099, Monday through Friday from 7:00AM to 7:00PM. You will get this # immediately on the same call. You may also request it by visiting
6)    All POV’s (Private Citizen’s) will be shipped freight collect (COD) or prepaid in PR. The terminal in PHL will not accept payments for freight or fees for vehicle shipments. Payment methods accepted are Certified or Manager’s Checks, Money Order, Visa or Master Card ONLY.
7)    Duly completed Shipper’s Hazardous Cargo Declaration for Gasoline Powered Autos/POV’s – you can obtain this form here:
8)    Deliverer must fill out vehicle dock receipt and sign off on the inspection including vehicle’s declared value.
9)    Please note that vehicles exceeding the measurements that allow it to be loaded into a standard ISO container, must and will be handled on a case by case basis (Trucks/vans etc. should be considered potential exceptions).

Phase II - Physically Prepare Your Car

The following information is the guide for preparing your vehicle for export between San Juan, Puerto Rico and the United States Mainland:

•    Vehicles must be in operating condition when tendered for shipment, with a working emergency brake, and must either be licensed or qualified to be licensed for operation on public streets or highways, meaning the registration must be up to date
•    Non running vehicles are not accepted for shipping. Vehicles deemed unsafe will not be accepted for shipping. If your vehicle becomes inoperative after being received, an additional $150.00 will be charged.
•    Provide a full set of keys. Make sure you keep another set.
•    Vehicle width dimensions shall not exceed 84” W x 84” H x 260” L, and must have a minimum of 6” of ground clearance.

Horizon Lines reserves the right to reject vehicles that don’t meet the requirements for safe transportation and handling by our stevedores or our vessel operations department. Violators of safe transportation and handling laws may be prosecuted, according to those laws.

Have your Vehicle Professionally Washed

All vehicles must have a clean exterior so that a vehicle survey may be conducted at the load port. Dirty vehicles will not be accepted.

VERY IMPORTANT – All vehicles are subject to rigorous inspections by the USDA. Shipper/owner must have the interior and exterior (including the undercarriage & engine) of the vehicle thoroughly cleaned, washed and vacuumed. DO NOT ATTEMPT to perform this wash yourself. The USDA looks for mud in wheel wells or under the vehicle’s carriage; under the hood of vehicles is also inspected. They also look for dirt, grass, and seeds in the interior as well as the exterior and for anything that they consider invasive and potentially harmful. If your vehicle fails the USDA inspection at origin, Horizon Lines will be unable to ship your vehicle until the vehicle has been properly cleaned at your expense and re-inspected by the USDA. If your vehicle fails a USDA inspection at destination, Horizon Lines will be unable to release you your vehicle until the vehicle has been properly cleaned at your expense and re-inspected by the USDA.

We STRONGLY suggest the vehicle’s export wash to be the last procedure you do right before bringing your car to our terminal.

Please note that Horizon Lines cannot ship vehicles with cracked or damaged windshields or windows as well as non-running vehicles. If you vehicle becomes inoperative after being received, an additional $150.00 will be charged. Any vehicle deemed unsafe, will not be accepted for shipping.

Personal Belongings

All personal belongings must be removed from the vehicle. The only items acceptable for shipment in your automobile are those tools and accessories normally attached to the vehicle, or permanently installed in the dash, doors, rear deck, trunk, or console. For example, if not bolted in, the following items should be removed:

  • loose radios
  • CDs
  • portable CD players
  • tape players and tapes
  • portable telephones of any type
  • power boosters
  • equalizers
  • radar scanners
  • removable GPS devices
  • truck tailgate nets
  • extra speakers
  • decorative ornaments
  • auto protective covers/auto bras
  • truck tailgate nets
  • auto roof racks if not factory installed
  • theft alarm systems (if you choose to leave the car alarm in your vehicle, make sure that the system is disengaged prior to shipment) – same applies for ignition switch kill systems.

NOTE:  Infant car seats are considered part of the vehicle.

Fuel, Antifreeze & Windshield Washer Fluid

  • Fuel
    Please deliver your vehicle to Horizon Lines with 1/4 tank or less fuel.
    If you are shipping a vehicle powered by an alternative fuel -propane, electric, natural gas, etc. - please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-877-678-7447 for special shipping instructions.
  • Antifreeze
    Automobiles shipped especially during the fall and winter months, should be delivered to Horizon Lines with antifreeze coolant. We are not responsible for providing this protection nor liable for damages as a result from low temperatures.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
    If shipping from San Juan, especially during the fall and winter months, windshield washer fluid tank must be either empty or filled with antifreeze Windshield Washer Fluid. Do not ship with plain water or any other chemicals other than the specified– these may freeze causing the tank to crack. We are not responsible for providing this protection nor liable for damages as a result from low temperatures.

Fire Extinguishers, Firearms & Ammunition, and Propane Tanks

  • Fire extinguishers
    Fire Extinguishers HAVE to be removed. Federal regulations do not allow fire extinguishers to be shipped along with your vehicle.
  • Propane tanks
    Vehicles that use propane tanks for auxiliary purposes must be delivered for shipment with the propane tanks empty of any liquid or fumes or best case, WITHOUT THE TANK. The empty tank must be tagged and certified as "gas free" by an authorized/licensed propane dealer or propane service company. We recommend that you verify the cost of emptying and certifying propane tanks as sometimes it may be more economical for you to purchase a new tank at your vehicle’s destination.
  • Firearms and ammunition
    Completely prohibited and CANNOT be shipped inside any vehicle.


Horizon Lines DOES NOT provide insurance coverage. We strongly suggest you consult your preferred insurance provider for additional marine insurance coverage.

Horizon Lines will only be liable for up to $500.00 in damages which occur from the time you leave the car in our premises until it is received in its destination. Your vehicle will undergo an external inspection only and owner MUST sign the pre-drop-off inspection. Horizon Lines is not responsible for damages in the interior or the engine of the vehicle.

Horizon Lines is not responsible for reimbursement of rental car expenses under any circumstances.

If you are shipping a car you HAVE PURCHASED but have not actually seen make sure you obtain an inspection report from the party you purchased it from.

Claims MUST be filed BEFORE removing the vehicle out of the destination port.

Horizon Lines’ limited liability does not include damages occurred by acid rain, faulty manufacturer’s paint or paint jobs done by the previous or current owner(s). We are not liable for any electrical or mechanical problems the vehicle encounters while in transit, nor will be liable for personal effects left in the vehicle that might go undetected during the receiving inspection.

If your vehicle’s delivery is delayed due to inspections or holds from any official State or Federal Authorities caused by the shipper’s negligence, demurrage and delay charges will apply accordingly.


In addition to the documents and processes outlined above, the following documents/processes are required for vehicles originating in Puerto Rico:

  • Certificate from the PR Dept. of Motor Vehicles of “no fines due” (valid for 3 days only). The Internet printout is not valid. An original certificate issued at the same place where you get item #2 below is required.
  • A $10.00 auto export voucher (“comprobante” from PR Internal Revenue Department (“Colecturía”). We do not accept stamps.
  • Receipt from the company who performs the export car wash service.
  • Motor Vehicle Export Certificate from PR Police Dept, Division of Stolen Vehicles – you must do this in the location closest to your place of residence or to the address appearing on the vehicle’s registration. No vehicle will be accepted unless it has legible identification numbers in the doors, hood, trunk and dash board, and all replaced parts are documented with copies of the original receipts. In case the vehicle is not approved for export by the Police Authorities after they perform the 2nd inspection in our premises, Horizon will contact the shipper by phone to try to solve the problem and/or facilitate pick up of the vehicle by the shipper.


** Please call the port of delivery by the date you expect your vehicle to arrive to verify it has arrived. YOU MUST schedule a pick-up appointment at least 24 hours prior to the intended pick up date. No vehicles will be delivered without an appointment. Remember USDA/Customs and/or other issues could impact actual vehicle availability.


  • Units received on a sail day will NOT be shipped until the next available vessel for that destination port.
  • No vehicle will be received if all these requirements are not met.
  • Deliverer must fill out vehicle dock receipt and sign off on the inspection including vehicle’s declared value.
  • Deliverer may be required to sign various other documents dropping-off the car with us, such as a HazMat form and SED, among others.
  • Persons delivering vehicles will need to make their own transportation provisions to depart our terminal.
  • You will be notified of expected arrival date when you drop off the vehicle for export.  Typically Thursday arrivals will be available Friday PM and Friday arrivals Monday PM.


Please click here for a printable PDF version of our vehicle handling locations.