Dear Commercial Driver:
The State of Alaska is pleased to provide this Commercial Driver’s License Manual to you. As a professional truck or bus driver you can appreciate the knowledge and skills that are necessary to operate a commercial vehicle safely. Our program will help assure that all commercial drivers understand their safety responsibilities to themselves and all highway users.
This manual will help you prepare for the CDL knowledge and endorsement tests. Please review it carefully. For specific information about the CDL program or on how to schedule a knowledge or skills exam please contact your local DMV office.
Alaska law AS 19.10.300 requires that a person who carries passengers or freight for hire within the state of Alaska in a commercial motor vehicle, or a person who carries freight in a motor vehicle for commercial purposes, shall maintain financial responsibility in the following amounts: $200,000 for property damage in a single occurrence; and $500,000 for bodily injury or death in a single occurrence.
Evidence of financial responsibility shall be filed with:
Department of Transportation
Division of Measurement Standards and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
11900 Industrial Way
Huffman Business Park, Building M Anchorage, AK 99515-3512
The evidence must be in the form of a policy or certificate of insurance by an insurer acceptable to the Department, or other security approved by the Department.
Remember that driving is a privilege, not a right. Good luck on your commercial examination.
Who is required to be licensed – A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required for anyone who is driving a vehicle intrastate or interstate with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. If you will be driving a vehicle designed to carry 16 or more passengers including the driver, or transporting hazardous materials, regardless of the GVWR, a CDL is required. A commercial driver may have only one license and that license must be issued by their state of domicile. Those exempted from the commercial driver licensing requirements include drivers of recreational, military and emergency vehicles. Farm vehicles are exempt if controlled and operated by a farmer, used to transport agricultural products or machinery to and from a farm, not used in for-hire or contract carrier operations, and if driven no further than 150 miles from the farm.
Testing and Issuance Requirements – In accordance with 2 AAC 90.420(a), your social security number is required to obtain a CDL along with other birth and identity documents if you have never been licensed in the State of Alaska. The commercial driver license fee is $100.00. There is a $25.00 non-refundable fee for those requiring a road test. Road test appointments may be scheduled online at Alaska.gov/dmv (see page 7), or in person at any DMV office. The minimum passing score for all knowledge tests is 80%. To obtain a passing score on the skill test, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she can successfully perform all of the skills required. Under Department of Administration regulation 2 AAC 90.420 the knowledge tests may be taken once per day until successful completion. The road skills test will be given to the applicant once he/she satisfactorily meets all other requirements; second road skills test can be conducted at least one week after the first test if the department determines it is necessary; further testing will be at the department’s discretion and the department may require proof that additional driver training has been completed.
An applicant must hold a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) for at least 14 days before taking a road skills test. If you are upgrading to a higher class or an endorsement that requires a road skills test you must have held a CLP for at least 14 days.
An applicant must be at least twenty-one years of age to operate in interstate commerce or nineteen years of age to operate in intrastate commerce at the time of application and must have held a valid driver license for at least one year. An applicant must pass the knowledge, skills and vision test prior to issuance of the CDL. For further information about obtaining a commercial driver license or a commercial learner’s permit, please address your questions to any DMV office.
Medical Certificate and Self-Certification Requirements – Effective January 1, 2012 all CDL drivers are required by Federal law to self-certify to the type of CMV operation that applies to the driver. The types of operation are as follows: non-excepted interstate, excepted interstate, non-excepted intrastate and excepted intrastate.
Depending on the type of operation a driver self certifies to, Federal and State laws require drivers to carry a medical examiner’s certificate which certifies that they are physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on their person while operating a CMV. There are excepted reasons for not having a medical card, as explained in CFR 383.73. For questions regarding CDL Medical Cards, please call Dept. of Transportation at (907) 341-3200.
Effective January 1, 2012 the State is required to downgrade any CDL holder with an expired medical certificate on file within 60 days of expiration.
Implied Consent – When you operate or drive a CMV you have already consented to a chemical test of your breath for the purpose of determining the alcohol content of your blood or breath. The law of “implied consent” allows law enforcement officers to request a sample of your breath. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test your CDL will be disqualified for one year for a first offense, or three years if transporting hazardous materials. A second and subsequent offense is a minimum ten years disqualification.