License Plates & Placards in Alaska
To obtain AK license plates, simply register your vehicle. When you buy a car, you'll get temporary tags so that you can drive your car while you or your dealership apply for your permanent tags. If your license plates are lost, stolen, or damaged, you can order replacement license plates by mail or in person for a small fee. You must surrender your plates if you leave the state or apply for vanity plates.
Read below for information about Alaska license plates, including how to apply for, renew, and replace them.
Looking for information about disabled parking permits? Our Disability Placards & Plates page has complete details.
Types of Alaska License Plates
Most vehicles that operate on Alaska's public roads must have license plates issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Alaska state law requires you to display 2 license on most vehicles, one on the front and one on the rear of the vehicle. Motorcycles and trailers are required to have 1 license plate on the back only.
Several standard plates are available to Alaska drivers. The most common are:
- A yellow plate with “Alaska" written in capital letters at the top.
- The “Mountain" plate which features a blue sky and white mountains.
Both a month decal AND year decal must be displayed on the rear license plate without blocking the license plate number.
The AK DMV offers temporary license plates for newly purchased vehicles. Typically, the dealership will provide temporary tags that are valid for 60 days only.
During this time, you or the dealership will complete the title and registration paperwork for permanent tags.
If you did not buy a car from a dealership and need temporary tags, contact the AK DMV at (855) 269-5551 for information.
Other Alaska License Plates
Several other types of license plates are available from the Alaska DMV, including vanity plates and disability plates.
Disability plates and placards allow you to park in designated parking spaces and are only available to you if you have a qualifying disability. Details are available on our Disability Permits page.
Apply for a License Plate in AK
You will receive an Alaska license plate when you register your vehicle with the AK DMV.
You must register within:
- 30 days of buying a vehicle.
- 10 days of moving to AK.
For more information, go to our Alaska Vehicle Registration page.
Renew an Alaska License Plate
To renew your license plates, you must renew your registration.
When you renew, you'll get a new expiration tab (sticker) to put on your license plate.
See our AK Registration Renewal page for complete renewal instructions.
Replace Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Tags
If your license plate or expiration decal is lost, stolen, or damaged you can apply for a replacement either by mail or in person.
You will need:
- A completed Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 821).
- A copy of your registration.
- Payment for fees by check or money order made out to “State of Alaska":
- License plate, year decal, and registration certificate: $5.
- Year decal and registration certificate: $5.
NOTE: Checks must be pre-printed and include your phone number.
Submit your application:
- By mail to the address on the form ONLY IF you are ordering:
- A expiration decal.
- A license plate AND you are outside of AK OR there is no DMV in your area.
- A expiration decal.
- In person at an AK DMV office.
NOTE: You are not required to report the loss or theft of license plates to the Alaska police, but doing so could help prevent identity theft or other misuse of your plates.
Transfer & Surrender AK License Plates
You CANNOT transfer a standard license plate to another vehicle. When you sell your car, the plates stay with the vehicle.
You CAN transfer personalized plates and other special plates.
See our specialty plates application page for more information.
You must surrender your license plates to the AK DMV either by mail or in person when you get a personalized plate or a different standard plate.
Fees for Alaska License Plates
Fees for Alaska license plates are based on vehicle type and weight.
NOTE: In addition to the fees below, you may also be subject to vehicle tax, which varies by county and vehicle type.
- New standard plates and tag renewal (every 2 years):
- Passenger vehicles: $100.
- Trucks & cargo vans less than 10,000 lbs.: $100.
- Motorcycles: $60.
- Trailers: $30.
- Leased vehicles:
- Up to 5000 lbs.: $180.
- 5,001 to 12,000 lbs.: $268.
- License plate: $5.
- Decals: $5.
Look Up License Plates in AK
In Alaska, you do not have access to other people's license plate information, but there are several ways to get more information or report a concern about a plate or vehicle:
- For vanity license plate availability, use the AK DMV's online license plate lookup tool.
- To find information about a specific vehicle, you can order a vehicle history report by using the vehicle identification number (VIN).
- To report a vehicle, contact local law enforcement. They will find the registered owner and act accordingly.
- Law enforcement CANNOT give you the registered owner's personal information.