Canadian Border Crossing Services

2019 Update On Bill-C46 Relax DUI Entry Requirements

There has been a late but welcome update regarding Bill C-46’s tougher penalties for impaired driving that came into effect on December 18, 2018.  It appears the Canadian government is willing to grandfather in DUI charges that occurred before the bill took effect. Essentially anyone previously entering Canada under deemed rehabilitation may still use the clause for entry despite the fact that DUI has been upgraded to a serious crime.

Deemed rehabilitation for DUI’s to be retro-active as of December 18th, 2018.

On the Government of Canada’s website under the Immigration and Citizenship help centre it clearly states that the penalties at the time will determine inadmissibility:

If you committed an impaired driving offence before December 18, 2018

Tougher penalties for impaired driving came into effect on December 18, 2018. If you committed an impaired driving offence before this date, we’ll determine if you’re inadmissible based on the penalties in force at the time.

Is This Enough To Guarantee Entry With An Old DUI?

For now it appears it is enough to gain entry except you have to realize one thing. This is simply a policy shift to make up for an unintended consequence of the change made in Bill C-46. It is not a an amendment and it can be changed at any time.

As it outlines on the Government of Canada’s website, a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or a more permanent criminal rehabilitation certificate can be applied for.


We recognize every situation is unique and it’s always a good idea to ask questions to get the right answers. For a free consultation give simply call us at (204) 488-6350 or 1-800-438-7020. Alternatively you may complete the contact form on this page.

28 thoughts on “2019 Update On Bill-C46 Relax DUI Entry Requirements

  1. My DUI was in 2016 and it was due to marijuana, not alcohol. I was wondering if I could make a trip to Canada to see a girl I love. Please respond if possible and if you have time. Thank you for your time.

  2. David M Lopez says:

    I had a DUI back in 2011 and have remained out of trouble since. Can I enter Canada without any special paperwork?

    • Hi David,

      At this point you would be considered ‘inadmissible’ and would run the risk of being denied entry. If you’re interested in overcoming this, please call my office: (204) 488-6350, or send me an email:


  3. In Arizona it is common for people to be charged with more than one level of DUI for the same offense. In my spouse’s case she received a DUI for “intoxication to the slightest degree” in addition to one for over being over the legal limit. This resulted in two guilty charges on her rap sheet, stemming from the same incident on the same date. All of this concluded over ten years ago.

    Do you have any knowledge as to whether this situation would nix her eligibility for Deemed Rehabilitation under Canada’s laws? From what I have read she should qualify based on all other circumstances but given that she technically has multiple charges I am concerned (the regs state that a person can only have one conviction).

    • Hi Carrie,

      Two separate convictions that would constitute and indictable offence would make that person not eligible to be Deemed Rehabilitated no matter how long has passed. It’s difficult to say whether both of these convictions would constitute indictable offences in Canada without seeing the legislation however.

      If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me:

      Mitch Jessiman
      (204) 488-6350

    • Hi Mary,

      If that is the only arrest/charge you’ve had in your entire lifetime and it’s been more than 10 years since you completed all sentencing requirements, then you are able to enter Canada at this point. If you require further clarification please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Mitch Jessiman
      (204) 488-6350

  4. I had a dui conviction 30 years ago. I want to do a day trip on the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria. Will I be denied access to Canada?

    • Hi Lisa,

      If that DUI conviction is the only arrest/charge you’ve ever had and it’s been more than 10 years since you completed all sentencing requirements then you would no longer be inadmissible to Canada for that offence.

  5. I received a DWAI Infraction on Jan 2007 and all fines/programs were paid/completed by April 2007. Would I still be classified as “inadmissible” at this point or would I be considered “Grandfathered in”?

  6. Chris Klikhardt says:

    Hi. I was convicted of DWI in 2006. All fines/penalties completed in 2007. Got a speeding ticket in 2016 (I think?). Will I need special paperwork to cross the border?

  7. Hi there. When you say “deemed rehabilitated” that means you don’t need to take any extra steps, as in you can just show up at the border like everyone else? Thanks in advance or clarifying.

  8. Hi,
    I’ve had three DUIs (the last one was over 30 years ago, in the 1970s). I would like to drive through Canada to get to Alaska (from Washington State) for a hunting trip with family/family friends. Would I be allowed to pass through Canada to get to Alaska? I have not been arrested or convicted of any offense since that time.

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

    • Hi Don,

      With 3 DUI convictions you are inadmissible until you apply for an approval called ‘Rehabilitation’. If you have any interest in the application, please don’t hesitate to call or email our office.

  9. I was arrested for Unlawful possession of marijuana and DWAI Drugs in 2011 in NY. I plead to DWAI alcohol on October 5,2011 and believe the UPM was dismissed. Lost my license for 90 days, reinstated January 5, 2012. Under the current law I am currently not allowed to travel to Canada for leisure?

    If not, am I eligible January 5, 2022?

    • If the Possession charge was dismissed and that is your only arrest/charge then you should be ‘Deemed Rehabilitated’ once 10 years has passed from the completion of all sentencing requirements. If you’d like to enter sooner than that, please feel free to contact my office: (204) 488-6350 and

  10. Hi Don,
    I have a question. I am a US citizen and I plan on entering Canada due to work for a night or two a few times a year. In my distant past, between 27-35 years ago I was arrested three times, although never convicted. Will I be allowed to enter Canada? I will always be flying in by airplane if that makes any difference.
    Two of the arrests the charges were dropped. One of arrests I appeared in court and the judge “withheld adjudication”.
    So I have no record of convictions and I have not had any issues since then.

  11. My girlfriend got a DUI in 2009, would she be able to get in now? Does she need to apply for rehabilitation or to be deemed rehabilitated?

    • She will be ‘Deemed Rehabilitated’ if that is her only offence, there was no injury, and it’s been more than 10 years since she completed all sentencing requirements.

  12. I received two driving offenses. A DWAI in 2002 and 2004. All fines and penalties/suspensions were paid and served within 90 days. I did not serve any time in jail. I would like to go to Canada for a family fishing trip. Can I safely cross the border or do I need to fill out an application?

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