You are currently viewing Can You Travel To Canada With An Enhanced License
Can You Travel To Canada With An Enhanced License

Can You Travel To Canada With An Enhanced License

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Blog
  • Post comments:0 Comments

Can You Travel To Canada With An Enhanced License: People from Washington State, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, New York, or Vermont who have an Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) or an Enhanced Drivers License (EDL) can go to Canada without a passport. 

But Enhanced Driver’s Licenses can only be used for land and sea crossings, so you won’t be able to fly to Canada with it as your only form of ID. A person from the US can visit Canada for work or pleasure with an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL).

If you have a DUI or a related crime like DWI or OWI, you may not be able to enter Canada, even if you have a US passport or an Enhanced Driver’s License. This is because you will be criminally inadmissible to the country. 

If you have been arrested or convicted of drunk driving, you will probably need Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada. In Canada, driving while impaired is now a serious crime that can get you up to ten years in jail. 

This means that even a DUI that has been reduced to reckless driving or a civil DUI violation (like DWAI in the State of New York) can keep an American from entering Canada!

How to get into Canada with a DUI is mostly the same for people with enhanced driving permits as it is for people with US passports. The main difference is that you can’t fly to Canada with an EDL, even if you fix your criminal inadmissibility. 

A TRP can let an American with a conviction for impaired driving into Canada for a short time. On the other hand, rehabilitation is a lasting solution that can be used five years after all sentences are over. 

Other misdemeanour and felony convictions, like theft, domestic violence, assault, or possession of a controlled drug, could also make it hard to drive to Canada with a better ID.

The border between the US and Canada has full access to the FBI’s NCIC (National Crime Information Centre) database. 

Also, more than a dozen US states share their DMV driving information with Canada. So, when an American with an Enhanced Driver’s License tries to drive into Canada, it is easy for border security to see that they have a history of DUIs.

How do I get an Enhanced Driver License (EDL)?

It is an extra travel document that can also be used as a New York State driver’s license. Instead of a passport, it can be used for all land and sea travel between the US, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. An EDL is good for the same amount of time as a normal NYS driver’s license, which is 8 years.

Who can get an EDL?

Anyone who can show proof of who they are, where they live in New York State, and their US citizenship is qualified. People who are eligible for a CDL or motorbike license can also get an EDL. You can also get enhanced ID cards for people who are not drivers.

What is the eligibility to get an Enhanced Drivers License

Before you start planning your trip, you must ensure you meet the standards to enter Canada with an enhanced driver’s license. Here are some essential things to think about:

Being a citizen: You have to be a member of the country that issued the EDL, like the United States, in order to use it.

Resident: To get an enhanced driver’s license in some states or areas, you may need to be a resident there. Make sure you know the rules in your area.

Validity: Make sure that your enhanced driver’s license is still suitable for as long as you plan to stay in Canada.

Additional Documents: You need a valid passport to fly to Canada, even though an EDL is enough for the journey by land or sea.

It’s essential to check with the right people before your trip to make sure you know the latest rules and standards, as they may change.

Why getting an enhanced license is a good idea for travelling to Canada

It is clear that having an enhanced driver’s license makes travelling to Canada easier. In order to enter through land or sea borders it simplifies the process and gets rid of the need to take extra forms of ID.

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

This is what you need if you want to fly to Canada. One exception is if you plan to enter Canada through a land border. In this case, an advanced license can help if you have never been arrested for DUI. People from the United States with an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) who want to drive into Canada often don’t need a visa.

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

At the border with Canada, a REAL ID will not be enough. This document does not prove US identity, so it cannot be used to travel outside of the US. However, it does allow Americans to fly within the US. Getting an American passport is likely what you will need if you have a REAL ID and want to go to Canada.

REAL IDs vs. Enhanced IDs (EDLs)

Americans cannot get on a domestic trip with a regular license after May 2025. They will need a passport, an EDL license, or a driver’s license that works with REAL ID instead. If you have a REAL ID, which the federal government accepts, you can drive across the Canadian border, but you need an upgraded ID.

In conclusion, for people who are eligible, travelling to Canada with an enhanced driver’s license can be a simple and quick choice. You can easily get into the country for your planned adventures if you know the requirements and ensure you meet them all.

Always know about any new information or changes to the rules about improved driver’s licenses for travelling to Canada. Have a safe trip!


  1. Residents of certain US states having an EIC or EDL can enter Canada via land or sea.
  2. Even with an Enhanced Driver’s License, DUI or related crimes may require Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit.
  3. Enhanced Driver’s License allows land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
  4. A valid EDL needs identification, state residency, and US citizenship. 
  5. Drivers and non-drivers can get upgraded ID cards.
  6. Canada’s travel rules may vary, so keep informed. 
  7. Even with an EDL, you need a passport to fly to Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Travel To Canada:

Q1. Can I travel to Canada with just an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)?

Yes, suppose you are a resident of a specific US state (Washington, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, New York, Vermont) and possess an enhanced driver’s license or enhanced identification card. In that case, you can enter Canada for land and sea travel without a passport. However, air travel requires a passport.

Q2. What if I have a DUI or related conviction? Can I still enter Canada with an EDL?

Individuals with DUI or related convictions may face entry restrictions to Canada, even with an EDL. Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit may be required to overcome criminal inadmissibility.

Q3. Is the process different for entering Canada with a DUI if I have an EDL?

The process for entering Canada with a DUI is generally similar for both US passport holders and those with an Enhanced Driver’s License. The key difference is that an EDL cannot be used for air travel to Canada.

Q4. How do I obtain an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)?

To obtain an EDL, you need to provide proof of identity, residency in the issuing state, and US citizenship. Eligible individuals include drivers, those eligible for a commercial driver’s license (CDL), motorbike license holders, and non-drivers.

Q5. Can I use an EDL for travel to destinations other than Canada?

Yes, an EDL serves as an additional travel document and is valid for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. It offers an alternative to a passport for specific regions.

Q6. Why is it important to stay informed about the rules for traveling to Canada with an EDL?

Rules and standards for travel may change, so it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest requirements. Always ensure your Enhanced Driver’s License is valid for the duration of your stay. Additionally, be aware that air travel to Canada requires a valid passport.

Q7. Do I need a passport if I have a REAL ID to go to Canada?

Yes, a REAL ID is not sufficient for travel to Canada. While it allows domestic air travel within the US, it does not prove US identity for international travel. A valid passport is necessary for trips to Canada.

Q8. What are the alternatives to an EDL for domestic travel after May 2025?

After May 2025, Americans will need a passport, an Enhanced Driver’s License, or a driver’s license compliant with REAL ID to board domestic flights. Regular licenses will no longer be accepted for domestic air travel.

Q9. Why is having an Enhanced Driver’s License beneficial for traveling to Canada?

An EDL simplifies the entry process at land and sea borders, eliminating the need for additional forms of ID for residents of eligible states. It provides a convenient and quick option for planned adventures in Canada.

Q10. How long is an Enhanced Driver’s License valid, and how does it compare to a regular license?

An Enhanced Driver’s License is typically valid for the same duration as a regular driver’s license, which is eight years in the case of New York State. It offers an extended form of identification for eligible individuals, streamlining travel to specific international destinations.

Leave a Reply