Alaska Drivers Licenses & Permits
WHO MUST HAVE AN ALASKA DRIVER’S LICENSE?
Every person who operates a motor vehicle on Alaska streets, highways, or other public
property must have a valid Alaska driver’s license or permit. The few exceptions are listed below.
WHO IS EXEMPT?
- A non-resident who is at least 16 years of age, and has in their possession a valid driver’s license issued by another state or country. However, an Alaska driver’s license must be obtained by the end of a 90-day period after entry into the state.
- A member of the armed forces of the United States, and their spouse who is over the age of 18, who has a valid driver’s license issued by another state, and who maintains permanent residence in that state. A member’s dependents are not exempt.
- A person when driving farm equipment that is only temporarily driven or moved on a highway.
- An employee of the United States Government while operating a United States Government vehicle on official business.
- A commercial driver who is domiciled in another state.
LICENSES AND PERMITS
Alaska has seven classes of driver’s licenses and two types of permits. Classes A, B, and C are licenses used for operating commercial motor vehicles. A separate manual is published for persons interested in obtaining a commercial driver’s license. Class D is the license used for operating passenger vehicles. Motorcycles and motor scooters with engine displacements of less than 50cc can also be operated with a class D license.
Class M1 are licenses used to operate motorcycles and motor scooters with engine displacements nof 50cc or more. Individuals who are 14 or 15 years of age may obtain a M2 license for motor scooters with an engine displacement of less than 50 cc. A Class M3 license allows the operation of three-wheeled motorcycles (trike), three wheeled motor-driven cycles, and three-wheeled motorized bicycles with an engine displacement of 50 cc or more. The Division of Motor Vehicles publishes a separate manual for persons interested in obtaining a motorcycle license.
Instruction permits, which allow for drivers to practice driving, are the IP, IM, and IE classes. The class S endorsement is used for operating a school bus. A school bus driver endorsement is required whenever school children are transported for compensation. The Department of Education publishes a separate school bus driver’s manual. If operating a school bus that qualifies as a commercial motor vehicle, a CDL with an “S” endorsement must be obtained.
When you apply for an original driver’s license or permit, you must furnish:
- Your Social Security number. While you don’t need to present your card, the social security number must match what is in the Social Security Database used by the division.
- Proof of residence address, such as a bank statement, utility bill, or pay stub.
- Documentary proof of your date of birth, U.S. Citizenship or proof of authorized stay in the United States and at least one other form of identification to verify your name.
The proof of date of birth may consist of one of the following:
- Certified United States birth certificate. The certificate must have a raised seal and be issued by an authorized government agency such as the Bureau of Vital Statistics or State Board of Health. Hospital issued certificates and baptismal certificates are not acceptable.
- Court order which must contain the individual’s full name, date of birth, and court seal. Some examples include an adoption document, a name change document, or gender change document. It does not include an abstract of criminal or civil conviction.
- Military identification card for active duty, retiree, or reservist. (Service member only. Dependent military ID’S are not acceptable as a primary document.)
- Passport – U.S., expired passports are not valid. (“No fee” military passports are not accepted)
- Passport Card-US
- Report of Birth Abroad by a Citizen of the United States, issued by a U.S. consular officer.
- Passport – foreign with the following Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documents are acceptable. The document must be an original and expired documents are unacceptable:
- Resident Alien Card or Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
- Temporary Resident Card (I-688)
- Valid foreign passport with appropriate immigration documents
- Employment Authorization Card or Employment Authorization Document (I-688A, I-688B, or I-766)
- Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization
Proof of authorized stay in the United States is required to renew an Alaska license, permit or identification card.
If the name on the document for proof of date of birth does not match the name on the document for proof of identification, certified copies of legal documents of name change must be provided to link all names previously used.
The other form of identification may consist of one of the following:
- All primary documents.
- Canadian or U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs card or an Indian Treaty Card. (DMV’s will determine acceptability.)
- Driver license or ID card that has not been expired over a year.
- Court order that does not contain the applicant’s date of birth.
- Photographic employer identification card.
- Health insurance card, i.e. Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Kaiser, Aetna, or a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO).
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state tax form; W-2 form is not acceptable.
- Marriage license or certificate.
- Individual’s medical records from a doctor or a hospital.
- Military dependent identification.
- Military discharge or separation papers. (DD214)
- Parent or guardian affidavit, for minors only. Parents or guardians must appear in person, prove their identity and submit a certified or notarized affidavit regarding the minor’s identity.
- Gun permit.
- Pilot’s license.
- Certified school record or transcript.
- Social Security number. If you are presenting your card, it cannot be metal or laminated.
- Photographic school identification card.
- Vehicle title issued 30 days prior to application. A vehicle registration is not acceptable.
- Welfare card.
- Prison release document.
Alaska statutes require parental signature for all minors under the age of 18 who are applying for a driver’s license or instruction permit. The law provides that any negligence or willful misconduct of a minor under the age of 18 when driving a motor vehicle may be attributed to the person who signed the parental consent for the minor. By giving their consent and signing the parental consent for the minor, the signer may become liable for damages in a motor vehicle crash.
A parent or guardian must complete and sign the parental consent portion on the back of the Application For Alaska Driver License, Permit or Identification Card (Form 478) prior to issuance of a permit or license for an applicant under the age of 18. A separate consent is required for each specific type of permit or license that is issued. If the parent is not present, a properly completed and notarized Parent/Guardian Consent for a Minor (Form
433) is required. The parent or guardian may withdraw consent; however, only the person who signed the parental consent form can withdraw consent. That person may submit to the DMV a notarized written request or witnessed by a DMV employee. The DMV will then cancel the minor’s license or permit.
NON-COMMERCIAL INSTRUCTION PERMIT
An instruction permit is required for everyone learning to drive on a street or highway. If you are 14 years of age or older, you may obtain the permit which is valid for two years. While you are learning to drive, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver. The licensed driver must be at least 21 years of age, and have at least one year of driving experience for the same type or class of vehicle you are driving.
For passenger vehicles, the licensed driver must occupy the seat beside you. For motorcycles or motor scooters, you must be within visual sight and under the immediate supervision of the licensed driver.
A special instruction permit may be issued to those persons enrolled in an approved high school, community college, commercial driver training course, or approved medical program.
If you are 16 or 17, you must have a valid instruction permit for 6 months before the DMV can issue you a provisional Class D license.
Each type of non-commercial instruction permit issued is valid for 2 years and can only be renewed one time. To obtain an original instruction permit, you must satisfy the identification requirements, pass the vision and written tests, and if you are under 18 years of age, have parental consent. The fee for an original instruction permit is $15.00.
If you have previously held a license for that class of license you may obtain another permit after five years of expiration.
DRIVER’S LICENSE REQUIREMENTS
Driving is a privilege, not a right. Following is information concerning a driver’s license.
- A license may be issued to an applicant who is at least 16 years of age.
- The license must be in the licensee’s possession at all times while driving.
- A license must be signed by the licensee to be valid.
- Separate tests are required for the operation of a motorcycle, motor scooter, or moped.
- If you are under 21 years of age your driver’s license will expire 90 days after your 21st birthday. An alcohol awareness test must be passed prior to renewing.
- As a result of physical conditions, some drivers are restricted to driving with corrective lenses, special equipment, or otherwise.
- A license will not be issued to an applicant whose privilege to drive is suspended, canceled, or revoked in Alaska or in another state.
- An applicant holding an out-of-state license may be required to surrender that license before an Alaska license will be issued.
- Dependents of military personnel (other than the spouse) who plan to drive in this state must obtain an Alaskan license.
- Conviction of driving while license is cancelled, suspended, revoked, or in violation of a limited license will result in a jail sentence of not less than 10 days.
- Social Security Numbers are mandatory for all permits and licenses.
- Applicants who are 16 or 17 years of age must have a valid instruction permit for at least 6 months before they can be issued a license.
Provisional licenses will give a new driver the opportunity to gain experience while lessening distractions, which may lead to illegal maneuvers and possible crashes. By closely monitoring the young person’s driving record and illegal use of alcohol or drugs, more responsible drivers will gain their full license privileges before 18 years of age. Some drivers will have provisional restrictions until their 18th birthday due to their driving behavior. All parents should consider other restrictions, which may help their young driver have a safer beginning experience as an independent driver. Cell phone and stereo use while driving should be discussed as well as eating and drinking while driving. Any activity, even conversation, can take the focus off the driving, causing distractions, which can lead to violations and crashes.
If you are under 18 years of age and obtaining your first driver license you: must have a valid permit for 6 months prior to obtaining your provisional license; your parent, legal guardian, or employer must certify that you have had at least 40 hours of driving experience, including at least 10 hours of driving in progressively challenging circumstances, such as driving in inclement weather and nighttime driving; and
You must NOT have been convicted of a violation of a traffic law within the six months before you apply for your provisional driver license.
Once you obtain your provisional license you may not graduate to a driver license for at least six months and cannot have been convicted of violating a traffic law or been convicted of violating AS 04.16.050(c), repeat minor consuming alcohol, during the six months before applying for a driver license.
During the provisional license stage which is a minimum of six months and can remain in effect up to the age of 18, you:
- MAY NOT carry passengers unless one of the passengers is a parent, legal guardian or a person at least 21 years of age
- MAY carry, without a parent in the vehicle, passengers if they are siblings.
- MAY NOT operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 1:00 am and 5:00 am unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or a person at least 21 years of age who is licensed to drive the class of vehicle being used.
- MAY operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 1:00am and 5:00am to or from your place of employment or within the scope of your employment and driving is along the most direct route.
After six months of conviction free driving and no convictions for illegal use of alcohol or drugs, you may have the provisional restriction removed. To remove a provisional restriction a new parental consent must be provided and a new driver license issued for a fee of $15.00. A driver 18 years of age or older may obtain a license without provisional restrictions without parental consent for a fee of $15.00.
Note: The passenger and hour restrictions do not apply if you have an “off system” license restricted to areas not connected to the land highway system or is not connected to a highway where average daily traffic volume is 499 or greater.
After 18 years of age, or once you go to DMV and remove the restrictions, the restrictions no longer apply.
The examinations conducted by the Division of Motor Vehicles are designed to aid in the determination of the applicant’s mental and physical competence; also, to determine whether or not the applicant has acquired the knowledge and technical skills to safely operate a motor vehicle.
VISION: A test is required of each driver to determine visual acuity before any license or permit is issued. This includes original, renewal, and duplicate licenses. A tele binocular device is used to check vision. If you normally wear corrective lenses, bring them with you when you apply for any type of license. In lieu of the vision test, you may submit a certified statement from a licensed physician or optometrist stating that your vision meets or exceeds the department’s standards. The standards are as follows:
- To qualify you must have, in each eye or with both eyes together, at least 20/40 vision.
- If you need corrective lenses in order to qualify, you must wear them while driving.
- If you fail to qualify because you are unable to see well, you will be denied a license or permit until you are able to qualify.
WRITTEN: The written test is required for applicants not currently licensed in Alaska or whose driving privileges have been expired for over one year, or whose driving privileges have been revoked. An alcohol awareness written test must be taken after your 21st birthday prior to an original or renewal driver license. The written test covers only information found in this manual, including traffic laws, safe driving practices, and highway sign recognition. If failed, the test may be retaken the following day. If you can understand the English language, but are unable to read or have difficulty reading, you may bring someone who may read the questions to you but you must independently answer the questions.
DRIVING: The driving test is required for applicants who have never been licensed, or who have not had a valid license for the past 5 years, or whose driving privileges have been revoked. Usually, a person who has a valid license from another state is not required to take the driving test. Driving tests are available at most Division of Motor Vehicle offices or through state approved third party testers. You may be required to make an appointment, and you must pay a nonrefundable driving test fee prior to taking the driving test.
The fee for a driving test through the Division of Motor Vehicles is $15.00. Fees through third party testers vary.
You must furnish a currently registered vehicle with proof of insurance for the test. The vehicle will be checked for required equipment. The equipment must be in good working condition and proper adjustment. A driving test may be refused or delayed until mechanical defects are corrected. Please review the equipment section of this manual.
No one is allowed to accompany you and the examiner during the driving test. The driving test consists of normal driving tasks. You will not be asked to do anything against the law. You will be graded on your ability to perform several tasks such as:
- Starting and stopping 7. Proper lane change
- Parking parallel/3 point turn 8. Speed control
- Quick stop 9. Following a vehicle
- Backing 10. Traffic signs and signals
- Use of turn signals 11. Intersection observance
- Left and right turns 12. General control of the vehicle
The examiner will answer questions on proper driving techniques prior to or following the driving test. Do not converse unnecessarily with the examiner during the test. The examiner will be giving you instructions and scoring your driving skill throughout the test.
Upon completion of the driving test, the examiner will advise you how to correct any errors. If you fail the test, the examiner will advise you about what maneuvers you should practice to improve your driving skill and tell you when you may return for another test.
Normally, you must wait seven days to retake the test.
You will automatically fail for any of the following:
- Violation of a traffic law
- Dangerous driving action
- Lack of cooperation or refusal to perform
- Contributing to a crash
- Inability to perform required driving task
- Driving ability does not meet required standards
PHOTOGRAPH: Your picture will be taken after all requirements for a license or permit have been successfully completed. When obtaining a photograph for your driver’s license, all hats and head coverings, sunglasses, hair, and theatrical makeup must be removed. Head coverings for religious or medical reasons may remain, but must be moved above the forehead to allow a full facial picture to be taken.
FEES: The following fees are charged upon initial issue of a license or permit:
Non-Commercial Driver License……….$20.00
Commercial Driver License ……………..$100.00
Motorcycle License …………………………$20.00
DUPLICATE LICENSE: If a license or permit is lost, stolen, destroyed, or is illegible, a duplicate may be obtained for a fee of $15.00. Proper identification must be presented before a duplicate will be issued.
ADDRESS OR NAME CHANGE: Individuals who have a license or permit and who have changed their name or address must notify the Division of Motor Vehicles, in writing, within 30 days of the change. You must provide court ordered documentation to change a name or restore a previous name. A certified marriage certificate issued by vital statistics is also valid for a name change.
CERTIFIED DRIVING RECORDS: If your driving privileges have been suspended, canceled or revoked by another state, you must obtain written proof from that state showing the suspension or revocation has terminated before an Alaska license can be issued.
DRIVING RECORDS: For a fee of $10.00 a driving record may be provided to the driver or a person designated by the driver. Generally, when a driver applies for insurance, the application will contain a statement authorizing the insurance company to receive a copy of the driving record of all individuals covered by the policy.
ORGAN /TISSUE DONATION: Donating organs and tissues after a person dies allows several other people to live. There are many thousands of Americans on the organ transplant waiting list; without donations, many people will die.
The State of Alaska has a strong organ and tissue donation program, and encourages all Alaskans to consider this option. If you wish to sign up as an organ and tissue donor, you may indicate this on your application at the time your license is issued or renewed. There is never a cost to the family for donation, and all donation information is kept confidential. People under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian’s signature on their form. There is no wrong decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor. Please discuss your decision with your family; it is important that your loved ones know and respect your wishes. For more information, contact Life Alaska Donor Services at 1-800-719-LIFE or visit www.lifealaska.org.