Canada with DUI

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DUI Canada entry

Canadian immigration lawyer focused on Canada DUI entry from USA. We offer free comprehensive consultations (unlike most companies who demand a retainer before assessing your options).

Can You Get into Canada with an Enhanced Drivers License If You Have a DUI?

Americans with an Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) or Enhanced Drivers License (EDL) from Washington State, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, New York, or Vermont can be allowed to travel to Canada without a Passport. Enhanced Driver's Licenses are only valid for land and marine crossings, however, so you will not be able to fly to Canada with it as your only form of identification. An Enhanced Driver's License or EDL can enable a US citizen to visit Canada for both leisure and business purposes.

Regardless of whether you are using a US passport or Enhanced Driver's License to cross the Canadian border, a DUI or similar offense such as DWI or OWI can make you criminally inadmissible to the country and cause you to be denied entry at the border. If you have a drunk driving arrest or conviction on your record, you will often need Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit in order to get into Canada. Impaired driving is now a serious crime in Canada punishable by up to ten years in prison, so even a DUI reduced to reckless driving or a civil DUI violation (such as DWAI in the State of New York) can cause an American to be refused admittance by Canadian border officers!

The procedure for how to go to Canada with a DUI is fundamentally the same for people with enhanced driving permits as it is for US passport holders, the main difference is you cannot fly to Canada with an EDL even if you fix your criminal inadmissibility. A TRP can allow an American with an impaired driving offense to enter Canada for a limited amount of time, while Rehabilitation is a permanent fix that is available five years after all sentencing ended. Other misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions such as theft, domestic violence, assault, and possession of a controlled substance could also cause issues when attempting to drive to Canada with an enhanced ID.

The Canadian border has unlimited access to the FBI NCIC (National Crime Information Center) database, and more than a dozen US states share DMV driving records with Canada as well. Consequently, when an American attempts to drive into Canada with an Enhanced Driver's License it is easy for border security agents to flag him or her for a past DUI.

Have an Enhanced Driver's License and want to drive to Canada with a DUI? Contact us now for a free evaluation.

Do I Need a Passport to Go to Canada If I Have an Enhanced ID?

If you plan to fly into Canada, you will need a passport. If you plan to cross into Canada via a land border, however, a qualifying enhanced license can work as long as you do not have a DUI arrest in your past. Consequently, Americans with an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) who wish to enter Canada by vehicle are often able to do so without a passport.

Do I Need a Passport to Go to Canada If I Have a REAL ID?

A REAL ID will not suffice at the Canadian border. While it can allow an American to fly domestically within the United States, it does not provide proof of US citizenship and thus will not allow a person to travel internationally. If you have a REAL ID and want to visit Canada, you will likely need to apply for a USA passport.

REAL IDs vs. Enhanced IDs (EDLs)

Beginning in May 2025, Americans will not be able to board a domestic flight with a standard license. Instead, they will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, an EDL license, or a passport. While a REAL ID is a federally recognized form of identification, it does not enable a person to drive across the Canadian border the way an enhanced ID does.

Interested in going to Canada but have a DUI on your driving record? Contact us today to learn more about your available options.

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If you have a DUI arrest or conviction on your record and need to enter Canada, call us now or fill out this form! 24 Hour Response Time!