Traveling With a DWI

Written By Alla Levin
December 29, 2023

Traveling With a DWI

Getting a DWI comes with many consequences. Unbeknownst, having a DWI on your record makes traveling much harder, especially internationally. Think before getting behind the wheel when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Domestic Travel Within The States

You won’t be denied entry or thrown out when traveling between states with a DWI. It would be best if you still remembered the laws and regulations that come with DWI. If you are serving your DWI sentence, you must follow the rules and regulations given to you. For example, if your license is suspended in Texas for a DWI charge in Houston, you are unable to drive in Texas and can’t drive in other states. 

If you are under probation or parole, you must ask for permission to travel outside of the state where you received a DWI, or else you may risk revoking your probation or parole. 

Rental Car PoliciesTraveling With a DWI

Many cities in the United States are not walkable, making it essential to get around by car. Most people will drive a rental car when traveling, but getting a rental car may be difficult if you have a DWI charge. 

Many rental car companies have strict regulations and requirements for customers, and if you have a DWI on your driving record, there may be limitations. For instance, Avis car rentals will allow you to rent a car with a DWI record if the DWI occurred more than 48 months ago. 

Public Transportation & Rideshare

Those traveling with a DWI on their driving record who can’t rent a vehicle usually opt to travel by public transportation or ride-share. These two modes of transportation have also helped decrease the rate of drunk driving accidents wherever implemented. 

International Travel

Venturing beyond the borders of the United States involves considerations such as visa applications and entry restrictions. Countries have rules and policies regarding individuals with a DWI on their records. Because of this, it is important to do your research before trying to travel to a different country with a DWI conviction. 


In Mexico, a DWI is considered an indictable offense, which is similar to a felony. If you were convicted of a DWI in the past ten years, you will be denied entry into the country. 


In Canada, a DWI is a felony. Like Mexico, you can’t enter the country if you were convicted of a DWI in the past two years. There are a few workarounds to this. After five years since your DWI conviction, if you have a clean criminal record, you can enter by paying a $200 fine or applying for criminal rehabilitation, granting you eligibility to enter Canada

Asia: China, Malaysia, Japan

These three Asian countries conduct extensive background checks that search for DWI convictions and their severity. For example, if your DWI conviction landed you in jail If you were convicted of DWI, you will be unable to enter these countries. 

Middle Eastern Countries

Many Middle Eastern countries follow Muslim society, which forbids drinking alcohol. Having a DWI on your record may make entering difficult, but not impossible. Ultimately, it is up to your immigration officer to decide whether you can enter, so speaking with your local embassy or consulate may be beneficial. 

European Union (EU)

The EU does not make a DWI a prohibited offense, which means that you can enter any country that is a member of the EU without being restricted or stopped.  As you can tell, having a DWI on your record is very restricting and will make navigating travel a lot more difficult. Stay informed and make responsible choices; your travels will have fewer complications. 

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