Apply for a License (Drivers 18+) in Alaska
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. Residents are strongly encouraged to use the AK DMV's online services. Follow the DMV's updates for the latest information.
This page will help you obtain your first driver's license from the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Alaska REAL ID Driver's License
The Alaska DMV has begun issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses. As of October 1, 2021, the REAL ID will function as federal identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—a standard license will not after this date.
You have the choice to apply for a standard license or upgrade to a REAL ID. Details are outlined below.
New to Alaska?
Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.
If you've moved to Alaska from another state, you can use your out-of-state driver's license to drive for up to 90 days as long as you're 16 years old or older.
NOTE: If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL) from your previous state, you will need to apply for an AK CDL within 30 days of moving. For application instructions, please see our Applying for a New CDL page.
If you have an out-of-state driver's license, you will be able to transfer it for an AK license. Visit your local Alaska DMV office and:
- Surrender your current driver's license from your previous state.
- Pass the following:
- Written knowledge test.
- Vision test.
- Alcohol and drug awareness test (21 years old or older)
- Driving test
- Required for licenses not from a U.S. state or territory or Canada.
- Additional $15 fee for test.
- Submit proof of your:
- Pay the $20 fee.
NOTE: If you're under 18 years old, you may need to provide parental consent.
A complete list of required documents can be found on the AK DMV website.
Types of AK Driver's Licenses
The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has various types of driver's licenses depending on your age and what type of vehicle you will be driving:
- Non-commercial: Class D.
- Commercial driver's license (CDL): Class A, B, or C.
- Motorcycle: Class M1, M2, or M3.
- Instruction permit (if you're under 16 years old): Non-commercial or motorcycle.
- Provisional (if you're between 16 years old and 18 years old).
- Off-highway rural (see below for details on this license).
If you live in a rural community that doesn't currently have an AK DMV office, you may be eligible for an off-highway driver's license. For more information and application instructions, please visit the Alaska DMV website.
Additionally, the AK DMV offers REAL ID driver's licenses, permits, and identification cards. A REAL ID in AK gives you the same benefits and restrictions as your regular permit or license BUT because REAL ID meets federal identification requirements it also allows you to complete tasks such as entering federal buildings and boarding commercial aircraft without showing additional identity documents. Applying for a REAL ID in AK is similar to applying for a standard permit or license, which we've outlined below.
To be eligible for an Alaska driver's license, you must:
- Have an out-of-state driver's license.
- Be 18 years old or older.
- Have held your provisional driver's license for at least 6 months without receiving any traffic convictions.
For more information about provisional licenses in Alaska, please see our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) page.
How to Apply for an Alaska Driver's License
The items you'll bring to apply to apply for your first Alaska non-commercial driver's license will differ based on whether you want a REAL ID-compliant license or a standard non-compliant one. Visit your local AK DMV office and:
- Submit a completed Application for Alaska Driver License, Permit or Identification Card (Form 478).
- If you're printing the form yourself, you must print it double-sided or the DMV will not accept it.
- Submit documents based on whether you want a:
- REAL ID—Provide proof of your:
- Identity and legal U.S. presence.
- AK residential address (2 documents).
- Social Security number (SSN).
- The DMV offers a list of REAL ID-compliant documents to bring.
- Non-compliant standard ID—Give your Social Security number and bring documented proof of your:
- Name and birth date—bring both a primary and a secondary document.
- AK residency (1 document).
- The DMV offers a full list of acceptable documents you can bring.
- REAL ID—Provide proof of your:
- Bring proof of your name change, if applicable.
- Pass the:
- Written knowledge test.
- Eye exam.
- Driving test.
- Alcohol and drug awareness test, if you're 21 years old or older.
- Pay the required fees:
- Road test: $15.
- Driver's license: $20.
AK Driver's License Tests
Before you receive your Alaska driver's license, you will need to pass both a written knowledge and DMV road test.
Written Knowledge Exam
The questions in your written knowledge exam will be based on information found in the Alaska DMV Driver Manual. You will be tested on your knowledge of:
- Traffic laws.
- Highway signs.
- Safe driving practices.
If you fail the exam, you can re-take it the next day. The DMV offers basic practice test to help you study.
Your DMV road test can be taken either at an AK DMV office or an approved third-party testing location. You will need your own vehicle and have proof of insurance. You will be tested on your driving skills and ability to perform various driving maneuvers, including:
- Parallel parking.
- 3-point turns.
- Proper lane changes.
- Obeying traffic signals.
If you fail your exam, your driving examiner will let you know when you can re-take the test (usually after at least 1 week).
There are various mistakes you can make that will lead to an automatic fail. For a complete list of these, read the Driver Manual.
Rural Off-Highway Licenses
Because Alaska's roadway system is often not interconnected and many residents live in far-spread rural communities without a nearby DMV office, the state DMV has a specific driver's license to make it easier to travel to and from work, school, and other important destinations.
With an off-highway license, you can ONLY drive on roads that are:
- Disconnected from the state highway system.
- Not connected to any road with an average daily traffic volume of 499 people.
The Alaska off-highway license has a mail-in application process. You will be exempt from the standard road test taken at the DMV, but you DO have to pass a written exam that is proctored in your area, as well as a vision test.
Gather the required documents listed above, plus proof of your written and vision exams, and mail them to:
State of Alaska
Division of Motor Vehicles
1300 W. Benson Blvd Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99503