License Renewal 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 state's online services. Follow the DMV's updates for the latest information.
Renew Your Alaska Driver's License
If you plan to operate a vehicle in Alaska, you must have a valid AK driver's license. When it is close to expiring or has already expired, you'll either need to renew it or apply for an extension. Fortunately, the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a fairly simple renewal process.
For more details about other types of driver's licenses or permits, please visit our following pages:
Continue reading this page to learn how to renew your regular, non-commercial AK driver's license.
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 upon renewal. Details are outlined below.
When to Renew Your AK Driver's License
NOTE: If you moved to a new address and need to renew your AK driver's license, you'll need to update your address with the DMV first.
In Alaska, your driver's license will need to be renewed every 8 years. The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) allows you to renew your license within 1 year of the expiration date (which is usually your birthday), and offers no "grace period" once it expires.
If you're not sure whether your license is valid, go ahead and check your driving record.
Since the Alaska DMV allows you to renew your license so early in advance, you may not receive a renewal notice.
Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Driver's License
If you lost your AK driver's license, you may be able to renew it instead of paying for a replacement card. Contact your local AK DMV office to check whether you're eligible for this option.
For more information on how to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged driver's license in Alaska, please read our page about Replacing a Lost License.
Expired Driver's License
If your driver's license is expiring soon but you are unable to renew it for some reason, you may be eligible to apply for an extension. See “ Out-of-State, Remote & Military Renewals" below.
If your AK driver's license is already expired, you must renew it in person (see “Renew Your Alaska Driver's License" below). In addition to meeting the regular renewal requirements, you will be required to pass the written knowledge test again.
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Renew Your Alaska Driver's License
Depending on your situation, you can renew your driver’s license in Alaska by mail, in person, or online. If you are upgrading to a REAL ID license, you MUST renew in person.
NOTE: If you need to make a name change, you MUST renew your driver's license in person and submit additional documentation.
Understand that if you’re unable to renew your driver’s license in person, the Alaska DMV strongly encourages you to renew online (if eligible).
That said, currently you still can renew by mail if:
- You're older than 22 years old.
- None of your personal information has changed.
- You didn’t renew by mail during your last renewal.
It costs $21 to renew your driver’s license by mail.
To renew your driver's license in person, visit your nearest Alaska DMV office. You'll need to:
- Complete an Application for Alaska Driver License, Permit or Identification Card (Form 478).
- Provide your current AK driver's license.
- Show proof of your identity and residency based on whether you're renewing for a:
- Provide proof of your name change (if applicable), such as your marriage certificate or court order.
- Pay the $20 fee.
- Pass a vision test (plus a written test, if your driver's license is expired).
- Have your photo taken.
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, contact the DMV office directly to check the status of your renewal.
The AK DMV allows online renewal as long as you meet the following qualifications:
- You must be between 21 and 68 years old on the license expiration date.
- If you’re younger than 21 years old and have taken the Alcohol & Drug Awareness Test, you can renew online, too.
- You must have a non-commercial driver's license.
- Your last renewal must have been completed in person.
- You haven't changed your name since your last renewal.
- Your driver's license is NOT cancelled, revoked, suspended or disqualified.
If you are currently under 21 years old and you have taken the Alcohol Awareness Test, you may renew online.
To proceed, you'll need to first establish your identity with the Alaska DMV. Once you do this—and the DMV deems you eligible to renew online—you can move on with the online renewal process. The system will walk you through the process and explain all requirements.
Some details to keep in mind:
- Be prepared to pay the $21 driver’s license renewal fee with a major credit card.
- After processing the renewed driver’s license, the AK DMV will email you a receipt and copy of your renewed card. Print this card and use it as a temporary card until you receive your renewed license by mail.
- The AK DMV will mail your new driver’s license to the address on file.
Alcohol & Drug Awareness Test
You must pass the Alcohol & Drug Awareness Test after turning 21 years old in order to renew your driver’s license.
If you’re out of state and haven’t passed the test, the state will send it to you. Use the contact information below to send your full name, date of birth, and how you’d like to receive the test.
- Phone: (907) 465-4361.
- Email: email@example.com.
- State of Alaska
Division of Motor Vehicles
3901 Old Seward Highway, Suite 101
Anchorage, AK 99503
- State of Alaska
Once you complete the test, mail it along with the phone number or email address you’d like the results sent to. If you pass, you can move forward with your renewal.
ALTERNATIVELY, you can apply for a temporary license—as long as you’re NOT within 30 days of your license's expiration date. Begin the process online and have a credit or debit card to pay the $5 fee.
Out-of-State, Remote & Military Renewals
Military Stationed in Germany
If you are currently stationed in Germany, please be aware that some states require you to have a valid U.S. driver's license in addition to your USAREUR license. Read our article for more information.
If you are unable to renew your AK driver's license in person due to living outside of the state temporarily, or you do not have a DMV office near you, you may be able to renew online, by mail (see “Renew Your Alaska Driver's License" above) or apply for an extension.
Alaska Military Members
If you're in the military (or you are a spouse or dependent of a service member) and stationed outside of Alaska, you're eligible for an extension of your driver's license until 90 days after your discharge from active duty or returning to Alaska. Print out a Military Expiration Endorsement and keep it with your driver's license. You may be asked for your military ID to confirm your military status, should you be stopped by law enforcement.
Out-of-State Alaska Residents
If you are an Alaska resident temporarily out of state and your driver's license expires, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary license. To apply you will need:
- Complete the online request form.
- To provide your legal name, date of birth, driver's license number, and Social Security number (SSN).
- Payment for the $5 fee.
- Via credit card (on the form) or check/money order.
Fees to Renew Your AK Driver's License
The fee you'll need to pay for renewing your Alaska driver's license depends on the renewal method you choose:
- In person: $20.
- By mail: $21.
Acceptable Payment Methods
The Alaska DMV accepts the following payment methods:
- VISA or MasterCard.
- Personalized checks or money orders (must be made payable to the “State of Alaska or Division of Motor Vehicles").
Contact the Alaska DMV for more information.