Entering Morocco

Our ferry from Algeciras to the Tanger Med Terminal was delayed, but we did cross according to our modified plan last Thursday (in some rough seas), and we’re now enjoying Morocco. Entering Morocco with the motorcycles was a fairly straightforward, multistep process.

On the boat:

The first round of Moroccan passport control and customs are on the boat. Get a copy of the white immigration form from one desk and the green vehicle import form from the other desk. They are in French and Arabic.

First, fill out the white form, stand in the long line, present it with your passport, and get your passport stamped with the all important Moroccan CIN number (assigned on your first visit to Morocco, like it was for us). You’ll need the CIN for the green form, for hotels, for the several upcoming rounds of paperwork checks when you get off the boat… Don’t wait until the end to get your forms checked. The lines don’t get much shorter. We hoped they would and we got in the first line for the passport check and white form halfway through the crossing. We made it out of the second line for the vehicle paperwork check as the boat entered the port.

For the vehicle form check, fill out the green form and present it with you registration paperwork. The vehicle form asks for name, Moroccan CIN, registration number (license plate number), model, make, and VIN (usually called chassis number in Europe). Those labels are a little harder to figure out in French. We basically extrapolated the meaning of sections based on this useful Morocco Overland post.

Off the boat:

When you get off the boat, there will be people directing traffic. We got off pretty quickly on the bikes. Keep you passports, vehicle registration, and green forms handy for a few rounds of checks. Here is what we remember the process being:

Almost right after getting off the boat they will check you passport for the proper CIN stamp. Then you drive on and there are some random guys guys waving you over to buy SIM cards. Keep going.

At the first booth manned by police/immigration agents we got waved through (but that became a line as more cars got off the boat). We stopped at the second booth and presented our registration and green forms. They took them but also had us walk back to the first booth with our passports to the get our CIN input into the computer since it was our first time in Morocco. Then back to the second booth. We got back our green forms and registration.

The booths for insurance (“assurance” in French) and bank with working ATM are in view on the right. We asked if we could stay parked there while we bought insurance and the police said yes. The insurance booth was empty but a quick question at the booth next door and he came over and opened up again. I guess the insurance booth is lonely. We paid 950 Dirham for each bike (I think the same price as a car) for 30 days of insurance. I think 10 days was 470 Dirham, but that wasn’t enough to cover us through to the Western Sahara border with Mauritania.

Then there was one last checkpoint before we exited with a guy who looked over all our forms again and said “Bienvenue à Maroc!”

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