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  • Special Vehicles in Alaska

    Summary: How to Register Special Vehicle Types in Alaska

    The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that alternative vehicles, such as snowmobilescustom-built cars, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), be registered with the state. The requirements for different vehicle types vary, and some are registered in the same way as regular cars and trucks.

    Alaska's varying landscape of forests, mountains, tundra, and snow and ice fields promote alternative forms of transportation. Depending on the season, in some areas residents rely on snowmobiles more than cars. Registration requirements for other vehicle types are listed below.

    Snow Machines and ATV Registrations

    The DMV defines a snow machine as any vehicle that's designed to travel over ice and snow using mechanical propulsion in conjunction with skis, belts, cleats, or low-pressure tires. Under this definition, ATVs with low-pressure tires can be considered snow machines.

    Snow machines do not have to be titled but must be registered. Vehicles that travel exclusively on private property are exempt from the registration requirement.

    How to Register

    To register, submit the following to any DMV office:

    Dealerships are required by law to collect, at the point of sale, a completed Application for Title and Registration (Form 812) and all applicable fees. Some will process your registration at the dealership. Others will ship your information to the DMV.

    Affixing Registration Decals

    During the original registration process, the DMV will send you decals that will serve as the vehicle's permanent numbers. You must affix the decals above the footrests and below the seat, making sure neither decal covers the serial number or can be obstructed by a rider's or passenger's legs.

    All snow machine registrations periods are valid for a minimum of 2 years. The registration period starts October 1st and ends September 30th of the second year.

    Transferring Ownership from a Private Party

    If you purchase a used ATV or snow machine from someone other than a dealer, you will need to submit to the DMV:

    Trailer Registration in Alaska

    Noncommercial Trailers

    The DMV deems a noncommercial trailer to be any trailer not titled or registered with a business, unless you, the owner, mark otherwise on the Application for Title and Registration (Form 812). When completing this form, be sure to record the trailer's unladen weight. If unknown, provide an estimated guess. And don't forget to include a $30 biennial registration fee.

    Commercial Trailers

    Any trailer that is leased, registered to a business, or whose owner marks "yes" to the question "Is vehicle used commercially?" on the Application for Title and Registration (Form 812), is considered to be commercial.

    All commercial-trailer owners are required to pay a one-time $20 permanent registration fee. The DMV issues license plates for commercial trailers.

    AK Recreational Vehicles and Motorhomes

    If you own a recreational vehicle or motorhome in Alaska, you will need to have it registered and titled much the same as your standard car. Fees and taxes may vary depending on your vehicle and which county you reside in. For more information about registering your RV in Alaska, visit our Register Car in Alaska page.

    If you have a manufactured home, you will only need to have it titled, not registered.

    Mopeds and Scooters in Alaska

    The Alaska DMV defines motor-driven cycles as vehicles such as scooters and mopeds with a displacement of 50 cc or less.

    You must register a motor-driven cycle with the Alaska DMV. You will need:

    • The vehicle certificate of title (unless you are financing it).
    • The current registration, if transferring from outside of AK.
    • The Application for Title & Registration (Form 812).
    • Payment for the $60 registration fee and any other fees and taxes applicable.

    For more information, see our page Motorcycle Registration in Alaska.

    You must also have a permit or license to operate a motor-driven cycle:

    Custom-Built Vehicles

    In Alaska, registering a custom-built car requires a different process to registering a regular vehicle. You will need to visit your local Alaska DMV office and:

    • Have your vehicle inspected (if you haven't already had it inspected by a law enforcement officer).
      • You may be eligible for a trip permit for $5 that will allow you bring your car to the DMV.
    • Submit the certificate of title for the chassis of the vehicle.
    • Provide proof you own all major parts of the vehicle (such as bills of sales, receipts, and invoices).
    • A lien release, if there is a lien against the car.
    • A completed Reconstructed Vehicle Affidavit (Form 829).
      • Must be completed by whoever built the vehicle.
      • Must be notarized.
    • A completed Application for Title & Registration (Form 812).
    • Payment for the applicable fees. See "Alaska Vehicle Registration Fees and Penalties" above.

    Other Registration Links

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