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Alaska New Resident Guide

Welcome to Alaska! As a new driver to this state you will need to be aware of our unique traffic laws and regulations. Here's what you need to keep in mind while driving in Alaska. Some of these rules may be the same as what you're already used to, but others will be drastically different!

Licensing and Residency Requirements



  • Non-residents must apply for an Alaska license within 90 days.
  • If you will be driving in Alaska for more than 90 days, you are required to obtain an Alaska driver license within that 90 day time period.
  • You may drive a vehicle that is currently registered in another state for up to 60 days in Alaska. After that time, you must obtain an Alaska registration. If you obtain employment in Alaska, you must obtain an Alaska registration within 10 days. (If you are active duty military and maintain registration in your home of record or attending a college or university as a full-time student, you are not required to obtain Alaska registration.)
  • 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.


Graduated Licensing Program



Learner's Permit

Requirements

  • Must be age 14 or older.

Privileges and Restriction

  • Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
  • Must accumulate 40 hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours in progressively challenging circumstances such as inclement weather and nighttime conditions.

Provisional License

Requirements

  • Must be age 16 or older.
  • Must have held a learner's permit for at least 6 months.
  • If convicted of a traffic violation while holding your permit, you must wait six months before applying for your provisional license.
  • Must pass road test.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • May not drive between 1 AM and 5 AM and may not transport passengers under age 21, except family members.
  • Exceptions:
    • Unless accompanied by a person at licensed driver at least 21 years of age.
    • Unless driving to or from your place of employment, or within the scope of your employment, along the most direct route.
  • Once the license holder reaches the age of 18, these restrictions no longer apply.

Unrestricted Driver's License

Requirements

  • If under 18, must have held provisional license for 6 months.
  • If convicted of a traffic violation while holding your Provisional License, you must wait an additional 6 months before becoming eligible for an unrestricted license.

If you are under 21 years of age, your drivers license will expire 90 days after your 21st birthday. An alcohol awareness test must be passed prior to renewing.

Possible License Restrictions

  • Drug or alcohol motor vehicle offenses can cause postponement of new driver's license eligibility.
  • A license will not be issued to an applicant whose privilege to drive is suspended, canceled, or revoked in Alaska or in another state.
  • As a result of physical conditions, some drivers are restricted to driving with corrective lenses, special equipment, or otherwise.


Violation Point Counts

The amount of points that go against your driver's license for specific types of violations.



10 Point Violations

  • Operating a motor vehicle while privilege to do so is suspended or revoked or in violation of limited license.
  • Driving while intoxicated / under the influence.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Refusal to provide a breath sample.
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude a Police Officer.
  • Speed Contest or Racing.
  • Negligent Homicide with a Motor Vehicle.
  • Manslaughter with a Motor Vehicle.
  • Assault with a Motor Vehicle.

9 Points

  • Leaving the scene of a crash.

6 Points

  • Negligent driving.
  • Failure to yield to authorized emergency vehicle.
  • Failure to stop for school bus while bus is loading or unloading.
  • Failure to obey official traffic control devices in school zone, playground, crosswalk, or park.
  • Driving without insurance.
  • Minor operating after consuming.
  • Speeding in school zone or playground crosswalk.
  • Speeding 20 mph or more over limit.

4 Points

  • Careless driving types of behavior.
  • Following too close.
  • Failure to stop or yield.
  • Illegal passing in a Traffic Safety Corridor.
  • Speeding 10 to 19 mph over limit.

3 Points

  • Violation of oversize or overweight permits pertaining to restriction on hours of operation.

2 Points

  • All other moving violations.
  • Speeding 3 to 9 mph over limit.

Time Violations Remain on Record

  • DMV will remove two points from your license if you have no traffic convictions for 12 months after your last conviction.
  • DMV will remove one point for each 12 consecutive months of licensed, violation-free driving within the 5 years preceding their point calculation.
  • Any driver can take a defensive driving course once every 12 months. Once you successfully complete the DDC program, the program will fax the DMV proof of completion. DMV will then deduct 2 points from your accumulated driver's license points.

Accumulating 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months requires the mandatory suspension or revocation of driving privileges.



Insurance Requirements



Financial Responsibility Law

Vehicle owners or drivers who are at fault in a collision are required to pay for any damage or injury caused to another person. If there is a reasonable possibility that you may be found liable in a civil court, your privilege to drive will be suspended for up to three years. You can end your suspension, at any time during the three-year period, by making a financial settlement with the other parties involved in the crash.

Mandatory Insurance Law

Requires either the vehicle owner or driver to carry liability insurance.

Minimum coverage

  • $50,000 for death or bodily injury to one person.
  • $100,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more people.
  • $25,000 property damage.

Penalties

  • Failure to provide proof of liability insurance to a law enforcement officer may result in a traffic citation or the vehicle may be impounded.
  • If you were uninsured when you were involved in a crash causing bodily injury, death, or property damage in excess of $501, or you fail to provide proof of insurance to the DMV within 15 days of such a crash, your driver's license will be suspended for 90 days for a first occurrence and 1 year for a second occurrence.


Headlight Laws



You must dim your headlights from high to low beam when you are within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle or within 300 feet of a vehicle traveling ahead of you.

You must use your headlights:

  • 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
  • When visibility is reduced to 1000 feet or less by fog, rain, snow, smoke, or dust.

There is no specific law allowing or prohibiting headlight flashing.



Implied Consent Laws



Criminal

Class A Misdemeanor

  • 1st Refusal = not less than 72 consecutive hours and a fine of not less than $1,500; ignition interlock for at least 6 months.
  • 2nd Refusal = not less than 20 days and a fine of not less than $3,000; ignition interlock for at least 12 months.
  • 3rd Refusal = not less than 60 days and a fine of not less than $4,000; ignition interlock for at least 18 months.
  • 4th Refusal = not less than 120 days and a fine of not less than $5,000; ignition interlock for at least 24 months.
  • 5th Refusal = not less than 240 days and a fine of not less than $6,000; ignition interlock for at least 30 months.
  • 6th and Subsequent Refusal = not less than 360 days and a fine of not less than $7,000; ignition interlock for at least 36 months.

Class C Felony

  • 3rd Refusal (within 10 years of the preceding offense) = 120 days.
  • 4th Refusal (within 10 years) = 240 days.
  • 5th or Subsequent Refusal (within 10 years) = 360 days.
  • All convictions include license revocation for at least 10 years.
  • The jail and fine sanctions (including minimum mandatory sanctions), confinement in a community residential center, cost of incarceration (where applicable) for first and subsequent refusal offenses are the same as for DWI offenses. These sanctions run consecutively with any other sanctions.

Administrative

Revocation

  • First Refusal - Not less than 90 days.
  • Second Refusal - Not less than 1 year.
  • Third Refusal (misdemeanor) - Not less than 3 years.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Refusal (misdemeanor) - Not less than 5 years.
  • Alcohol and Education Treatment

    • For any DWI or refusal conviction, before the license is restored, a defendant may be required to complete either an alcohol education or treatment program the court feels is appropriate for that defendant.


DUI Penalties



Class A Misdemeanor Offenses

First Offense

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment;
  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • At least 24 hours community service;
  • Minimum 90 days license revocation;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required if referred, prior to license restoration;
  • Ignition interlock minimum 12 months.

Second Offense

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment;
  • Up to $10,000 fine;
  • At least 160 hours community service;
  • Minimum 1 year license revocation;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required if referred, prior to license restoration;
  • Ignition interlock minimum 24 months.

Third Offense

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment;
  • Up to $10,000 fine;
  • Community service length and type at discretion of court;
  • Minimum 3 years license revocation;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required if referred, prior to license restoration;
  • Ignition interlock minimum 36 months.

Fourth Offense

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment;
  • Up to $10,000 fine;
  • Community service length and type at discretion of court;
  • Minimum 5 years license revocation;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required if referred, prior to license restoration;
  • Ignition interlock throughout the period of probation.

Fifth Offense

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment;
  • Up to $10,000 fine;
  • Community service length and type at discretion of court;
  • Minimum 5 years license revocation;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required if referred, prior to license restoration;
  • Ignition interlock throughout the period of probation.

Sixth and Subsequent Offense

  • Up to 1 year imprisonment;
  • Up to $10,000 fine;
  • Community service length and type at discretion of court;
  • Minimum 5 years license revocation;
  • Alcohol education and treatment required if referred, prior to license restoration;
  • Ignition interlock throughout the period of probation.

Class C Felony Offenses (third and subsequent offenses within the past 10 years are felonies)

Second Offense

  • Up to 5 years imprisonment;
  • $10,000 - $50,000 fine;/li>
  • Permanent license revocation, subject to review after 10 years;
  • Ignition interlock throughout the period of probation.

Third Offense

  • Up to 5 years imprisonment;
  • $10,000 - $50,000 fine;
  • Permanent license revocation, subject to review after 10 years;
  • Ignition interlock throughout the period of probation.

Fourth and Subsequent Offense

  • Up to 5 years imprisonment;
  • $10,000 - $50,000 fine;
  • Permanent license revocation, subject to review after 10 years.

Note: Ignition interlock throughout the period of probation.



Open Container Law



Alaska's open container law provides an exception for motor-driven cycles.



Red Light Violation Fines



Failure to stop for steady red traffic signal : $150/4 Points



Construction Zone Penalties



All traffic violations are subject to two times the original fine, whether or not workers are present.



Turn Signal Information



Signal your intention to turn or change lanes at least 100 feet in advance.

As a safety precaution, the signal may be given from a greater distance when warranted by traffic conditions or the higher speeds of your vehicle.



Hazard Light Information



Hazard light use is required to warn other drivers of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.

Hazard light use is not permitted:

  • When parked lawfully in an urban district.
  • When stopped lawfully to avoid conflict with other traffic or to comply with the directions of a police officer, a fireman or an authorized flagman or an official traffic-control device.


Funeral Procession Right-of-Way Laws



No driver of a vehicle may drive between or position his vehicle between any vehicles comprising a funeral or other authorized procession while they are in motion. This provision does not apply at intersections where traffic is controlled by traffic-control signals or a police officer, fireman, or authorized flagman.

Each driver in a funeral or other procession shall drive as near to the right-hand edge of the roadway as practicable and shall follow the vehicle ahead as close as is practicable and safe.



School Bus Laws



Requirements

  • Vehicles are required to stop unless on the opposite side of a divided highway.
  • Vehicles must stop at least 30 feet from bus.

Penalties

  • Failure to stop and remain stopped when required is a class B misdemeanor and will result in 6 points on your driving record in addition to other penalties as prescribed by law.


Bicyclist Passing Distance



There is no specific law regarding minimum safe passing distance.



Motorcycle Laws



Licensing

  • Licenses are required for operators at least 16 years old.
  • Learner's permits are available for those at least age 14, but they must ride under the supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator at least 19 years old.
  • Operators under age 18 are required to have a 6-month instruction permit.

Protective Gear

  • Glasses, goggles, or a windscreen is required.
  • Reflectorized helmets are required for operators age 17 and under, for passengers of all ages, and for operators with learner or instructional permits.

Headlights

  • Daytime headlights must be on while the motorcycle is in operation.

Sharing the Road

  • Two motorcycles may travel side-by-side in a single lane.
  • Lane splitting is not authorized.


Using the Shoulder to Pass



You may only pass a left-turning vehicle on the right if you can do so safely. Alaska law does provide any restrictions on where you must drive upon the roadway or shoulder when passing on the right.



Passing Laws



Do Not Pass:

  • When approaching within 500 feet of a hill or curve;
  • When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing;
  • When approaching within 300 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.

When Being Passed:

  • Give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle;
  • The overtaking vehicle may signal by honking its horn;
  • If the overtaking vehicle must pass in a lane reserved for oncoming traffic, do not increase the speed of your vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.


Speed Limits



  • 55 mph on any roadway not providing an express limitation;
  • 25 mph in a residential area;
  • 20 mph in a business district;
  • 15 mph in an alley;


Safety Belt and Child Safety Seat Laws



Safety Belts

  • Occupants who are age 16 or older must wear safety belts.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for belt law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $15.

Child Seats

  • Children younger than 1 or less than 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing infant seat.
  • Children ages 1 - 4 or more than 20 pounds must be in a child restraint.
  • Children ages 4 - 15 years who are either shorter than 57 inches or weigh more than 20 but less than 65 pounds must be in a booster seat
  • Children ages 4 - 7 years who are at least 57 inches or 65+ pounds, and children ages 7 - 15 who are shorter than 57 inches or weigh less than 65 pounds, must be restrained, and may use an adult safety belt.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for child seat law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $50.
  • Points will be assessed for a violation of this law.


Emergency Vehicle Laws



Move Over

When you see any of these vehicles displaying flashing lights while stopped on or adjacent to the roadway:

  • Emergency, fire, or law enforcement vehicle;
  • Tow truck picking up a vehicle;
  • Animal control vehicle.

You must do the following:

  • On a road with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction, vacate the lane closest to the vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions. If a lane change would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, slow to a reasonable and prudent speed considering the traffic, roadway and weather conditions.
  • On a road with fewer than two lanes traveling in the same direction, slow to a reasonable and prudent speed considering the traffic, roadway and weather conditions.

Collision Procedures

Stop

  • Stop at the scene or as close as possible without obstructing traffic more than necessary, and remain at the scene until all requirements are fulfilled.

Provide Information

Provide the following information to any other person involved in the accident, or to any police officer at the scene of the crash:

  • Driver's name and address;
  • Vehicle registration number;
  • Show driver's license upon request.

Render assistance

  • Provide assistance to any injured person, including transporting them or making arrangements for transportation to a hospital or doctor, if necessary or requested.

Notify authorities immediately

  • If the crash resulted in injury, death, or property damage to an apparent extent of $2,000 or more, you must immediately notify local police or Department of Public Safety.

Unattended vehicle or property

  • If you have collided with a vehicle that is unattended, locate and notify the operator or owner of the driver's name and address and the owner's name and address. If you are unable to do so, leave a written notice providing this information and a statement of the circumstances.

Report Crash

  • If the crash resulted in injury, death, or property damage to an apparent extent of $2,000 or more, you must within 10 days forward a written report of the accident to the Department of Administration and to the local police department.


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