American with DUI going into Canada

Inspired/Reminded of this by the thread about going to Juneau, I have a question that I’ve never gotten around to calling the border guards about. In 2002 I got hit with my single DUI. Now, I’ve been told that it’s anywhere from 10 years to eternity before I can drive in Canada, but also that I could apply for a permit of some sort. That’s fine, I rarely go to Winnepeg or Emerson.

But last week I was told that I wasn’t allowed in, period. This came about as I was talking to a friend whom goes there often about saving money on airfare to Scotland for a trip my wife and I hope to take next year. Where I live I have about a 0.5% chance of being even asked at the border about a criminal record. (I beleive Canada vies DUI as a felony). But what happens at the airport when they check the computer records?

So, does the DUI prevent me from Canada entirely? Is it just that I can’t be the driver? And what has to be done to convince them to spen my money there?

It’s hard to believe that a country as large as Canada has never admitted a tourist with a past criminal conviction, especially for a driving offense (however serious), and it’s hard to believe that Canada is wired into every U.S. state and county criminal conviction database. Why not contact the Canadian government and ask them the rules?

Thanks for trying to help, but that link really didn’t answer anything. I’ll try to call if I get the time, but day hours are very cramped.

Anyone else know about this?

I don’t know if Canada has the same rules for everyone entering the country, but in July 2003 a New Zealand rugby player was unable to enter Canda because of a DIC conviction (DUI).



Thanks, astro. That answered it.

Not quite. The application fee is $770, non-refundable if you are rejected. There are also a lot of bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Along with the fee, you must supply the following:

They really, *really * don’t want you to come, and are hoping you just won’t bother.

Bloody hell! Is Canada that pretty? I want to visit oneday, my Nana was bought up it B.C seems I may not be welcome…damn that glass of wine :smiley:

bought up IN B.C …damn I don’t even have the wine to blame it on.

In that case, fuck it. Our local paper has a Canada page (we’re an hour south of the border) and I often see articles about how the economy really needs a boost, what with the falling exchange rate. I guess my money isn’t good enough for them. :rolleyes:

My money was not good enough for them either. A couple of years back I was riding to Sturgis and decided to detour to Canada just say I had ridden there from New Mexico and was denied entry for the same reason. I was told I could ride a couple hundred miles to another border entrance and apply there for a modest fee. I got a reject letter from the lady at the checkpoint and made the mistake of crumpling it up when I got back on my motorcycle. The mistake was realized when I got back to the US checkpoint and was asked for my paperwork. :smack: The US guard laughed and said it happens all the time. That experience began my personal boycott of all things Canadian.

My husband had a DUI in WA state which made it awkward for him to come visit me while we were still dating (I was in Vancouver BC) so he went through this ordeal.

I can’t recall how much he had to pay to get his “I’m OK now” pass but I’m positive it wasn’t anything remotely close to $770, it was more like $150. I’m pretty sure that he only had to wait 5 years as well.

He also just got his pass at the border when he was coming up to visit. It took a couple of hours but most of the wait was just because he was there quite early in the morning and the main supervisor hadn’t arrived yet.

If you are still interested, I could get him to email you about it. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. :slight_smile:

Gulo, if he has time my e-mail should be in my profile. It’s not like I have a burning passion to go back there, but I hate when I’m told I can’t do something.

Kickback_Joe, sounds very frustrating. But if you wanted to get to Canada for the sake of just getting there, I can give you a map of half a dozen places you can cross from ND. These places are unmanned for 8 hours and are secured by 3 orange traffic cones. Yes. I tped that correctly. 3 orange traffic cones!. Of course, I’m not sure how big your bike is. If it’s a Trike, you may have to actually move one. :eek:

You can download the forms necessary to enter Canada after a conviction here. A few clarifications from what I’ve found:
[li]You’re elgible to apply five years after the completion of your punishment (unless you had a suspended sentence, in which case it’s five years after the commission of the offence.) The info in the Guide linked to above seems to imply that rehabilitation is automatic after ten years, assuming that your crime wasn’t punishable by ten years or more in prison under Canadian law; however, it’s not 100% clear, and I would check and make sure. Also, juvenile convictions don’t count.[/li][li] The fee is $200 CDN, unless your crime is punishable by ten years or more in prison under Canadian law, in which case it’s $1000 CDN.[/li][li] Finally, don’t get all huffy about Canada not letting people in who’ve committed certain crimes; the U.S. has similar laws, although granted DUI/DWI isn’t such a crime. (Whether or not it should be is a matter best left to GD.)[/li][/ul]