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  • Plate Surrender in Alaska

    There is no surrendering of license plates in Alaska. This applies to all situations including when moving out of Alaska and when transferring vehicle ownership. Read on for the full scoop.

    Moving to Alaska

    After establishing residency, register your vehicle with Alaska's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Depending on your former state, you may have to surrender your license plates. If not, it's your choice on how to dispose of your former plates.

    For more on becoming a new Alaska resident, visit our relocation guide.

    Moving from AK

    You are not required to surrender your license plates to the DMV after moving out of Alaska. For additional information on what to do when leaving Alaska, visit our Moving Out of Alaska page.

    Selling a Used Car in Alaska

    After selling your vehicle, the plates, in most circumstances, stay on the car. Exceptions include:

    • Historic plates
    • Vanity plates
    • Special request plates for Alaska National Guard members
    • Special request university plates
    • Special request custom collector plates
    • Special request dog mushing plates
    • Special request Alaska children's trust plates
    • Special request plates commemorating the arts
    • Special request plates commemorating Alaska veterans
    • Special request plates commemorating and supporting troops
    • Vehicles owned by ranchers, farmers, and dairymen
    • Vehicles owned by veterans and veterans with disabilities
    • Vehicles owned by Purple Heart recipients
    • Vehicles owned by Pearl Harbor survivors, former prisoners of war, Medal of Honor recipients, and relatives of members of the United States armed forces killed in the line of duty
    • Vehicles owned by state, municipalities, and charitable organizations of the state
    • Vehicles owned by elected state officials
    • Vehicles owned by car dealers
    • Amateur mobile radio station vehicles

    If you own any of the specialty plates listed above, remove them from the vehicle before handing over the title. You can then transfer them to another vehicle owned by you, or dispose of them as you wish.

    Knowing what to do with your license plates is just one part of the selling process. Learn more at our Alaska Title Transfers page.

    Buying a Used Car in AK

    If you buy a vehicle with any of the specialty plates listed above, you'll need to apply for new Alaska plates. Otherwise, standard Alaska plates stay with the vehicle. For more help on changing vehicle ownership, visit our guide on vehicle title transfers.

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