Updated October 2017
To enter Morocco with a vehicle all you need is:
• a passport (most visitors don’t need a visa)
• your vehicle ownership document (‘V5’ in the UK)
• motor insurance covering Morocco, if you can get it. If you can’t (as with most Brits) just buy at the port, see below.
• You might also want to fill out online and print your D16-TER (temporary vehicle import permit) in advance – see bottom of the page. It saves 10 minutes filling one out at the port.
On ferries heading directly to Moroccan ports (ie: Tangier Med or Nador) passport control is done aboard. Don’t drive off the boat without getting stamped – they check as you come off the ramp. Once aboard, on one of the decks look for a counter with a cop and a laptop and a queue.
If you are heading to the Spanish North African enclaves (Ceuta, Melilla) you will effectively be landing in Spain and so must drive on a couple of kilometres to the actual land border with Morocco.
At all ports or land borders go ahead as follows:
• Fill out an immigration card (often handed out when buying your ticket in Spain, or found on the ferry’s police or information counter, or ask at the police counter on the ship, or handed out by enclave border helpers looking for a tip. The form is in French with English subtext.
Under ‘going to’ write any big Moroccan city like Fez or Marrakech; for ‘coming from’ put the European port you’ve just arrived from (Algeciras, Almeria, etc).
For an ‘address in Morocco’ any hotel or camping in any well-known town will do if you don’t actually have one. Pick one from your guidebook.
Do not fill out the back of the form. Hand it in to the police either on the ferry or at the enclave border post, get your passport stamped with a date of entry and have a ‘CIN’ number (see image below) also stamped into your passport (unless you have one from a previous visit).
• Once off the boat in Moroccan ports (e.g.: Tan Med, Nador) proceed to Customs (grey uniforms) and ask for a triplicate A5-sized D16 bis form for your vehicle (right) or show your three D16-TER form (same thing) which you printed off online in advance (see link below).
Fill out your D16 bis by hand and plant it – or your pre-printed D16TER – on a Customs guy. Remember which one he is and keep your eye on him. Wait by your vehicle or follow him around; eventually he will return two parts of the D16 stamped and keep one portion. He may also perform a cursory search. Don’t lose your D16 counterfoils – you will need to hand one back when you leave Morocco to prove you left with your vehicle.
• If you are lucky enough to have a ‘green card’ motor insurance extension for Morocco, lucky you. Otherwise, at TanMed, just beyond the Customs is a row of cabins (left). Change some money and buy local insurance (assurance frontiere) at the last cabin.
The fixed cost and time periods are about 600dh for 10 days or 955dh for a month for a car or bike. Motorhomes pay more.
At Melilla or Beni Enzar (Nador port), there is no longer an insurance office close to the border. At the nearby roundabout (marked on the map, left) turn west (or south along the sea; they join up shortly) for 12km to Nador town.
There is an AXA insurance agency at Assurance Kadaoui, 46 Avenue Mohamed V, Nador a palm-lined boulevard, left off the big roundabout.
See the map left; it’s a pretty straightforward drive. The only problem is ferries arrive late at Beni Enzar which means an overnight in Nador. If you don’t get your insurance now, you may struggle to do so down the road.
• I’ve never seen one, but there’s an optional new form in French, the ‘Constat Amiable’ now available to fill out in the event of a road traffic accident. You fill it out, the other party fills out their half and you send it off. More details and a pdf copy here.
• That’s it! As you leave port they may check you D16 or passport, but rarely the insurance. At the very exit by the roundabout at TanMed, guys are trying to sell you SIM cards for your phone.
Completing a D16-TER in advance, online
Arriving in a Moroccan port you need ask Customs for the triplicate green, white and yellow A5-sized form titled in French: Declaration D’Admission Temporaire de Moyens de Transport (‘Temporary Importation Declaration of [means of] Transport), or D16 bis as pictured above.
This is the local equivalent version of a ‘Carnet de Passage’ which allows you to temporarily import your vehicle. It is valid for six months and declares you’ll re-export your vehicle once you leave Morocco. You will need your vehicle ownership document (‘V5’ in the UK, carte gris in French) to complete this form.
Do not forget your vehicle ownership document: it is your vehicle’s ‘passport’.
It’s also possible to fill out a version of the D16 online before you get to Morocco, but only if you are entering with one vehicle in your name (as most do) and if you have a CIN from a previous visit to Morocco. If you have say, your pickup with your bike or quad in the back, do the triplicate A5 D16 bis version at the border as explained above. All your vehicles will need to go on one TVIP form and be linked to one passport. The online version below does not work for multiple vehicles with the same owner.
Whether you fill out and print off a D16 in advance, or fill out the triplicate A5 version at Customs in a Moroccan port doesn’t matter. Printing a D16 in advance means it’s one less thing to do on arrival, but only saves 10 minutes in my experience.
So, click this link to the Moroccan Customs website to fill out your ‘D16’ form in advance.
On the above link (shown left) fill out the following details:
• Prénom et Nom: Your forename and surname.
• CIN: Assuming your are a regular non-resident tourist, click Étrangers en premiere visite en Maroc if this is your first visit to Morocco
or Étrangers non résidant ayant deja visitez le Maroc if you have been before and have a CIN (example top right) stamped somewhere in your passport. Enter the CIN on the box on the right (red arrow).
• Immatriculation: Your vehicle’s registration number with no spaces.
• Marque: Pick one from the menu. Along with many unknown marques, some bikes are not listed so select ‘autre’ at the end. For Land Rover select ‘Rover’.
• Type: For example ‘Defender 300Tdi’ or ‘F800GS’.
• Genre: Select Moto or Voiture de Tourisme.
• Pays: Select your country (‘Grande Bretagne’ for example).
• Date de 1ère mise en circulation: Your vehicle’s original date of registration, found on the ownership document or V5 in the UK.
• Châssis n°: Your VIN (vehicle identity number) also found on the ownership document.
Then press Imprimer (print). Your D16 does not actually print but appears on another page with all your information formatted in between French and Arabic translations, as well as a bar code, as on the right. If it all looks correct then print the document off the web page or save it to your device and print that pdf. Three copies come out on an A4 page but you may as well print out an extra set. Don’t forget to sign each one in the bottom left hand corner.
A form (fiche) to hand out at checkpoints in Western Sahara
Download this blank Word.doc template of a fiche or form (left) to fill out with your details. Hand them out to speed up passage through the many checkpoints in Western Saharan (south of Tan Tan and Assa), particularly if heading down the Atlantic Route to Mauritania.
They can also be handed over instead of your passport at hotels in ‘mainland’ northern Morocco who ask to copy down your details. Up here the checkpoints won’t require your fiche or details.
There are 4 fiches to a page. For a transit of the Atlantic Route you’ll want at least 16 fiches to get to Nouckchott.