Last year, Canadian border officials turned away a record number of U.S. visitors, up 31 percent over 2015. Although the report on Montreal's LaPresse didn't show a breakdown of causes, the primary reason is likely increased Canadian scrutiny of visitors' criminal records.

The Canadians are especially tough if you have a DUI at any time in your history: Unless you repair your record, you will not get into Canada. Period.

Presumably the high rate of increase is due to closer integration of Canadian and U.S. online databases, not a sudden increase of felons' desires to view maple leaves.

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You really don't want to fly into a Canadian airport or drive up to a border station unless you know the Mounties will let you into their country. If you have a DUI or other criminal conviction in your history, check with the Canadian government to see what you need to do before you arrive at the border.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

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