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  • Special Vehicles in Alaska

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    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. Realizing this, the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that alternative vehicles, such as snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), be registered.

    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 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 begin on October 1 and end September 30.

    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

    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. 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, that is registered to a business, or whose owner marks "yes" to the question, "Is vehicle used commercially?" on the Application for Title and Registration 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.

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