Renewing Your License in AlaskaPage Overview
You must have a valid driver's license to legally operate a motor vehicle, and you must renew that license every 5 years. The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) allows you to renew your license within 1 year before expiration date (which is usually your birthday), and offers no "grace period" once it expires.
In addition to a driver's license, you must also have a car insurance policy that meets the state's minimum liability coverage requirements. Visit our Insurance Center for details about these requirements as well as to shop for the lowest car insurance rate.
You have two options when it comes to renewing your Class D driver's license or Class M1 motorcycle license every 5 years:
- Apply for an extension.
- Renew in person.
If you're unsure about the validity of your license, check your driving record.
NOTE: Our CDL section explains the process to renew your commercial license.
Expired Provisional License
When you turn 21 years old, your provisional license expires 90 days after your birthday. Then you must take an alcohol/drug awareness test to get your regular license.
If your license is expired, you have the same options for renewal:
- Apply for an extension.
- Renew in person.
In addition to meeting the regular renewal requirements, you must also take and pass the written test again.
Checking your driving record is one option for determining whether or not your license is expired, as is checking the expiration date on your license.
Generally, drivers know when their licenses are suspended because they have to return them to the DMV; however, situations can arise in which you're unaware of the suspension, so it's a good idea to check your driving record to make sure.
If your license is suspended, you can reinstate it after your penalty period is up and you pay the appropriate reinstatement fees, which can range between $100 and $500 or more. Visit our section on license suspension for specific instructions to reinstate your license.
You may also want to check out our Insurance Center for information about shopping for lower car insurance rates. License suspensions do tend to increase your current policy rates, after all.
If you've lost your driver's license, check our Replacing a Lost License page for information on how to replace it.
Because the DMV allows drivers to renew up to 1 year before their licenses expire, many won't receive renewal notices. In the event you receive a renewal notice and don't understand the instructions, contact your DMV location for assistance.
The DMV doesn't offer the option to renew your driver's license online.
The state allows renewal by mail provided you meet certain qualifications. Processing takes about 30 days, so renew accordingly.
If you're temporarily out of state when it's time to renew your license, or you discover your license is expired, you can apply for a license extension. Your request for a license extension must be in writing.
To ensure your extension request meets DMV requirements, take the following steps:
- Include your legal name, date of birth, and driver's license number. If you're faxing the request, you must also include your name as it appears on your credit card.
- Include your Visa or MasterCard number (if you're faxing the request) or a personalized check or money order for $5 (if you're mailing the request).
- Make sure you sign the request and, if you're faxing the request, you must also include your signature to authorize the credit card transaction.
- Include the fax number or mailing address where you can receive the extension.
- Fax the request to (907) 465-5509 or mail it to:
State of Alaska
Division of Motor Vehicles
Juneau Driver Licensing
P.O. Box 110221
Juneau, AK 99811
Unless you're temporarily out of state and apply for an extension, you must renew in person at your nearest DMV location.
- Have your current driver's license available; you must relinquish it to the DMV.
- Gather up proof of any changes you've made since first getting your license or your last renewal (such as a change in name).
- Be prepared to pay the fee of $20.
- Be prepared to pass another vision test (and a written test, if your license is expired).
- Be prepared to complete a Application for Alaska Driver License, Permit or Identification Card (Form 478), which is the same form you completed when you first applied for your license and is available at your DMV location.
- Call ahead to make an appointment or ask about hours of operation.
NOTE: In the event you don't immediately receive your renewed driver's license and it doesn't arrive in the mail within a few weeks of renewing, contact your DMV location.
You must renew your driver's license every 5 years. While it's likely you've been making good use of it during those 5 years, consider taking a supplemental training course to stay on top of your driving game.
Also, some car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who've taken training or education courses. Ask your insurance agent if your company offers such discounts, or search our Insurance Center for one that does offer these incentives.Other Topics in This Section