Buying and Selling FAQs in Alaska

I can't find a certification label with my imported vehicle. How do I know whether it complies with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards?

You must directly contact the vehicle's manufacturer. If you need assistance gathering contact information, call the NHTSA's Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance at (202) 366-5291 or look in your vehicle's owner manual.

Can I import a car that's over 25 years old?

Even if the vehicle does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), you can still legally drive it in Alaska. However, you must provide documentation that the vehicle is at least 25 years old. A registration form or an invoice documenting when the vehicle was first sold will suffice as proof. If you can't uncover proper documentation, the NHTSA will accept a declaration from a certified vehicle historical society. When completing the Declaration (Form HS-7), be sure to check box number 1. You can contact the NHTSA or the Alaska DMV for more information.

Where do I find information regarding exporting a vehicle from Alaska?

The NHSTA only regulates imported vehicles. For information on exporting a vehicle, contact either U.S. Customs and Border Protection or an Alaskan port of entry.

Are there are any restrictions I should know about if I want to buy my car in Canada?

Yes. The vehicle cannot be reconstructed or have salvage status and you can bring it over the border only if it is for personal use. In other words, you can't hustle it into the state with the intent of selling it.

When crossing customs, you will need to present a letter from the vehicle's original manufacturer (composed on the manufacturer's letterhead) listing the vehicle's identification number and confirming that it conforms to all applicable FMVSS standards.

For more information, please contact the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles.

Does Alaska have a uniform Motor Vehicle Registration Tax (MVRT)?

The state as a whole does not, but some municipalities within Alaska do levy this tax. Check the complete MVRT list, which details respective community fees. Generally, the MVRT is based upon the type of vehicle and the model year.

Are initial registration fees contingent on vehicle type?

Yes. Registering a car, for instance, costs more than registering a motorcycle or a farm vehicle. The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a complete list of fees that covers all types of vehicles, including taxis and trailers. Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registration fees and vehicle taxes are important costs to factor in when budgeting for a new vehicle.

How many days until my temporary license plate or permit expires on my new vehicle?

You can drive for 60 days in Alaska with a temporary license plate, which must be displayed in the back window of your vehicle. If needed, you can file for an extension, but you must do so through the Alaska DMV. Dealers can issue only original temporary tags; they cannot authorize extensions.

Please contact the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for more information.


US DOT Declaration
Use this form if you're importing a vehicle to Alaska which is more than 25 years old OR a vehicle part which was manufactured BEFORE the applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or Theft Prevention Standard was in effect.
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