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.

65 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. I received a DUI in 2011, everything completed in Oct. 2012. Will I need any special paperwork to enter Canada?

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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”?

  7. 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?

    • Hi Chris,

      If that is your only charge/arrest then you should be consider Deemed Rehabilitated and not have to apply for Rehabilitation to enter.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. “With 2 DUI convictions, you’ll be ‘inadmissible’ no matter how long has passed, and could be refused entry. If you’d like to apply to overcome this, please feel free to contact our office”

    I’ve had 2 as well in my youth 1994 and 1996. How long does the process take and what is involved? My company’s corporate headquarters moved to Canada and I need to visit at least twice a year. I’d lose my job otherwise.
    Thank you

  15. Hi,

    I got a dui in Arizona in 2008 with everything completed in April 2009, I was charged with 2 but only convicted of one. I may be going to Canada in the future for business would I be grandfathered in for the “deemed rehabilitated”? I have not gotten in trouble since.

  16. Hello,

    I got a DUI in 2014 when I was 19 in which I had a BAC of “.02-.07” deeming it a “kiddie DUI”. Would this make me inadmissible? If so, is it possible to get a TRP at port-of-entry for work purposes?

    • Hi Alex,

      You will likely still need a TRP, I can advise on how to obtain one at a Port of Entry as well as by mail through the Canadian Consulate General. If you’d like my assistance, please email me at: or call my office at (204) 488-6350.

      Mitch Jessiman

  17. Hi

    I got a dui in 2007 and all probation was completed and was convicted January 2010. I tried to get into Canada in 2017 thinking 10 years have past but didn’t realize it was my conviction date and was denied. Will I be able to get into Canada January 2020 after this new law was pass?

  18. I had a marijuana offense in 2007, in CA, due to a lack of appropriate paperwork. Marijuana cultivation is now legal without paperwork. I also had a DUI in 2011, April. Nothing since then. I was actually denied driving through in 2018. I may be traveling for work this February. I have flown in and had no issue and will be flying in again. What can I do to remove all risk of being denied? The DUI was less than 10 years ago, but coming up on 9. The marijuana charge should’ve actually been removed, but is apparently still there, although it is 14 years old now.

    • Hi Randall,

      You would have to first apply for an Approval if you’d like to ensure entry at this point in time. If you are interested, please email me at: or call my office at: (204)-453-0099 so we can discuss confidentially.


  19. Hi over 15 years ago I got an aggrevated dui where my blood alcohol was double the legal limit. I wrecked my car and I was the only person that was slightly injured. It was my only DUI. I was called into court several times because they were waiting for blood results from where the hospital sent my sample too. I was sentenced to spend two weekends in jail. I am unsure if since I wrecked my car and was injured that it would matter or that I had to be booked in jail two times for one offense. If that mattered or not. Thanks if you can help me gather some insight.

  20. Hi, I got a DWI in 1999, nothing since. But back 30 years ago I was also arrested a couple of times due to warrants for “Failure to appear” for traffic citations (I was an idiot as a kid).
    Would the arrests for failure to appear elevate the traffic citations to a deniable offense?
    If not, and the DWI from ’99 is all I have to worry about, I read above that since it is so old I would be considered “rehabilitated”. Does that mean there is nothing else for me to do and I can show up to the border, no worries?

    • Hi Steve, if you have multiple convictions there is certainly the chance you are not considered deemed rehabilitated no matter how long has passed. For a better, confidential, consultation please email me at or feel free to call my office: (204) 488-6350.

    • If a single DUI conviction with no injury is the only thing you’ve ever been arrest/convicted of then you are able to enter Canada as long as more than 10 years has passed from the completion of your sentencing requirements.


  21. Hi Mitch. I was charged with a DUI in New York State in June 2009 and plead guilty in June of 2010, paying all fines and court fees. I do not have anything else on my record. After June of 2020 will I be deemed rehabilitated (under the grandfathered law) and allowed entry to Canada? Thanks.

    • Hi there,

      You will be ‘Deemed Rehabilitated’ once 10 years has passed after the completion of all sentencing requirements and driving restrictions. So you’ll have to determine when all terms of your sentence was complete first.

  22. Scott Zeadow says:

    I have a DUI from 2005 and all is complete in 2006. I received a minor possession of alcohol ticket when I was 19 in 1990. That ticket had nothing to do with driving and I was never arrested. Would this two items make me inadmissible to Canada?

    • Hi Scott,

      Given the situation you described you would appear to be ‘Deemed Rehabilitated’ and no longer inadmissible.

  23. Cathleen Ann Conroy says:

    I had a OVI in Ohio in 2006. I completed sentencing in October 2007. I have had no other charges since then. Am I deemed rehabilitated? If so, is there some paperwork I need to complete to enter Canada?

    • Hi Cathleen, you are Deemed Rehabilitated so long as that is the only offence you’ve ever had in your lifetime and it’s been more than 10 years since you completed all sentencing requirements.

      • Ana Sofia Herrera says:

        Thank you Mitch. I am in a similar situation but am wondering if we need any documentation, for example police clearance certificates, a certified copy of the conviction + sentencing, etc.

  24. I am a canadian citizen living in the USA. I got a DUI in 2003 and another in 2019. Am I still admissible into canada because I am a citizen of Canada?

  25. Ashlyn Meriwether says:

    I got a ticket for minor consumption, left of center and open container when i wrecked my car into a ditch at 18. I was not arrested and it was deffered with 90 days probation. occured in 2010. would i be able to enter with no hassle?

      • I got a dui in 2010. Fined and completed driver education in 2010. I had an at fault accident in 2017 and cited for failure to control vehicle. All Ohio fines and requirements filled for both. I have a clean driving record since, and no other troubles with the law.

        The DUI will be 10 years old in November. Not sure if the second ticket is a serious enough offense to be denied entry. It was a one car accident but there was property damage paid by my insurance. Both are misdemeanors in Ohio.

        Do I need to do a crim rehab form for a 7 day vacation to Canada?

  26. Good day, I have not seen this answer yet in the above questions. I had a DUI (Dec, 2013) all Fines / probation completed in AUG 2014. Applied for expungement (Indiana Law, 2019) and this was cleared in Fall, 2019.

    What if anything would be needed with current law change / old law grandfathered clause. I have found conflicting reporting on the interwebs of a) expungement should be = entry and b) the Canada documentation which references the aforementioned segment is no longer on the website (which is I believe originally ENF 2/OP 18 – Evaluating Inadmissibility).

    Please advise, thanks!

  27. I got a possession of marijuana paraphernalia charge in 2008 which is considered a petty offense in Colorado. I also got a DUI in Feb of 2012 although I was never convicted as I received a deferred sentence and completed all of my requirements of probation in which case the charges were dropped and I had it closed. Would this bar me from entering Canada?

  28. Hey there. Didn’t see my specific question asked so here goes…
    Received a possession of marijuana charge in 1999/2000 timeframe and a DUI in 2003.
    The possession was a misdemeanor
    I’ve been sober for 12 years now and I’m dying to see Banff. Are they gonna let me in?

  29. Rollin Smith says:


    I was charged with a DUI in 2005, but the charges were dropped (nolle prosequi) and the charges automatically dismissed.

    I was charged with a DUI in 2010, plead no contest to the charges and was adjudicated guilty in April 2011. I paid a fine and the matter was closed on May 2011.

    I attempted to cross the border by car in 2017 not knowing about Canada’s DUI rules and was refused entry.

    Would I be deemed rehabilitated now such that I could fly to Canada without real concern of being turned back at the border? I also have Global Entry safe flyer status in the US. I mention that only because it was also held up by the DUI conviction in 2011.

Comments are closed.