Skip to main content
man driving down road behind wheel

Can You Drive to Canada or Mexico with SR-22 Insurance? 

For most Americans, the idea of traveling to another country is a special occasion. But if you live in a city near an international border — think San Diego, El Paso, Detroit, Seattle, Tucson, or Buffalo — then you might be used to leaving and entering the US all the time. 

But what happens when you suddenly need SR-22 insurance? Will it be just as simple as it was before to cross the border? How does SR-22 insurance work when you want to drive to Canada or Mexico? 

Can I Drive to Mexico with SR-22 Insurance? 

American car insurance doesn’t cover drivers when they enter Mexico, and that includes SR-22 insurance as well. This is because Mexico requires liability insurance from a Mexican insurance company for any vehicle that operates on Mexican roads. 

Fortunately, a good SR-22 insurance company can likely provide you with the separate coverage you need while driving in Mexico. What is actually happening here is that you’re getting a new, temporary policy issued by a branch of the company located and licensed in Mexico. 

You’ll pay a separate premium for the extra coverage, which will be active during the dates you specify. If you’re planning an extended trip, it’s always a good idea to add a few days of insurance coverage in case you’re unexpectedly delayed. 

If you’re a non-car owner renting a car for your trip to Mexico or if you’ll be driving someone else’s car, remember that there are different types of SR-22 insurance that cover different driving situations. So, if your SR-22 insurance only covers you while driving your own car, then you can get into a lot of trouble if you’re caught entering the US while driving another car. If you’re not sure what type of SR-22 insurance you have, get in touch with your insurance company before driving to Mexico and make sure you have the right SR-22 coverage both inside and outside the country. 

Can I Drive to Canada with SR-22 Insurance? 

Compared to driving in Mexico, car insurance in Canada is less complicated. Most American car insurance policies, including SR-22 insurance policies, will cover you while you’re driving in Canada. Just make sure to carry a copy of your policy documents and ID card in case you’re involved in an accident or if a customs and border agent asks to see them. 

As with driving to Mexico, make sure that you have the right type of SR-22 insurance if you’re driving to Canada in a car that you don’t own. 

A few car insurance companies don’t cover you while you’re in Canada. That’s why it’s always a good idea to call your SR-22 insurance company before your trip to confirm your coverage. If you’re not insured in Canada, then you’ll want to shop for SR-22 insurance to cover you for your trip. 

If you plan to be in Canada for an extended period or if you drive to Canada often, then consider getting a Canada Non-Resident Inter-Province Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card (or yellow card for short). This is the standard proof of insurance that Canadian border patrol agents and police officers will look for when they ask to see your proof of insurance. Your American insurance ID card will technically work as well, but the process is much faster and smoother when you have a yellow card. Your car insurance company should be able to provide you with a yellow card before your trip to Canada. 

Find Cheap SR-22 Auto Insurance Quotes

Powered by

Entering Canada with DUI Conviction 

While it’s good to know that your affordable SR-22 insurance will cover you in Canada, another factor to consider is the reason behind your SR-22 requirement. That’s because, by default, Canada doesn’t admit foreigners who have been convicted of a DUI. 

The restriction also applies to anyone with a DUI charge that’s pending trial or after your SR-22 requirement expires. The Canadian border patrol also denies entry to anyone convicted of a felony. What counts as a felony varies from state to state, but a few examples of driving-related felonies include: 

  • Multiple DUI violations 
  • An at-fault accident that results in someone’s death 
  • Leaving the scene of an accident you’re involved in (hit-and-run) 
  • Fleeing from the police 

The good news is that it’s still possible to enter Canada with a DUI if you do some preparation in advance. The first option is to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), which will allow you to enter Canada for a specific time period — up to three years. 

Another possibility is applying for Criminal Rehabilitation (CR), which essentially asks the Canadian government to pardon your DUI conviction and allow you to freely enter Canada like any other American. However, it won’t be possible to apply for CR until at least five years have passed since you completed the sentence for your crime, including all required jail time, community service hours, fines, and restitution. However, your SR-22 filing requirement doesn’t count as being part of your sentence. 

The fewer convictions you have on your record, the more likely it is that the Canadian government will grant you a TRP or CR. But whichever option you choose, be prepared to spend a long time filling out applications and waiting for a decision. If it’s really important for you to get into Canada after a DUI, contact an immigration attorney who can help you navigate the process faster. 

While these policies might seem unfair or illegal, keep in mind that every country — including the United States — has the power to set its own rules for admitting foreigners. In fact, the US often denies visas to people with criminal records, including multiple DUIs. 

Find Affordable SR-22for Your International Travel Plans 

SR-22 insurance might have its disadvantages, but it won’t keep you from driving to Mexico or Canada. And the sooner you get SR-22 insurance, the sooner you can remove it and go back to paying less for car insurance. At SR-22 Adviser, we work with drivers all over the country to find affordable SR-22 insurance that won’t break the bank. Get an online quote for SR-22 insurance from our partner today. 

Was this article helpful?

Winner! Glad you enjoyed it.

Yes, this article is helpful

Still have questions? Contact us for answers.