Traffic Ticket FAQ in Alaska
What do I do if I get a traffic ticket in AK?
Determine whether you want to plead guilty (or no contest) and pay your traffic ticket or plead not guilty and fight your ticket in court.
Each choice can bring pros and cons. For example, some drivers can pay their traffic ticket fines online and avoid a court appearance, though pleading guilty means also taking on any associated penalties, like driving record points. On the other hand, while fighting the ticket it court and getting a not guilty verdict means avoiding penalties, getting a guilty verdict means forfeiting any chance at pleading to a lesser offense.
How can I get a traffic ticket dismissed?
There are several ways to get an AK traffic ticket dismissed.
Depending on your situation, you can:
- Attend a state-approved defensive driving course. You must ask your judge about this option.
- Show proof that you've rectified a “correctable offense." This is only an option if you were cited for a correctable offense.
- Fight the ticket in court and win.
An experienced traffic ticket lawyer can help you choose the appropriate path (as well as represent you if you choose to contest the ticket in court).
What if I have an Alaska CDL and get a traffic ticket?
First, you'll need to let your employer know within 30 days of being convicted of a traffic violation; if it's an out-of-state ticket, also notify the DMV within 30 days. This does not apply to parking violations.
Second, understand that your options to plead guilty and pay your fine or plead not guilty and fight your ticket in court are basically the same as a regular driver's license holder; however, your penalties are more severe than just accumulating points and experiencing increased car insurance rates.
What if I am a minor and get a traffic ticket?
Generally, you'll plead guilty or not guilty like an adult driver would, then deal with the associated fines and penalties (or perks of winning your case).
However, because you're a minor, you could face a few stiff (and expensive) penalties, depending on your violation.
For example, drivers undergoing the instructional permit and provisional licensing phases could be held back in the process and have to pay fines and incur points (see below). Drivers younger than 21 years old caught with any level of alcohol in their systems face administrative license revocation from 30 days to 1 year, depending on the offense number.
Refer to the Alaska Driver Manual for more information regarding AK traffic tickets and minors.
What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket while driving with an instruction permit or provisional license?
Yikes―there are several.
First, understand that you must wait 6 months after receiving a traffic violation before you can apply for your provisional license (if you have an instruction permit) or your regular driver's license (if you have a provisional license).
Second, any time you're caught violating the restrictions of your instruction permit or provisional license, you face a $200 fine and 2 points on your driving record.
Refer to our section on AK Ticket Fines and Penalties for more information.
Will taking a motorcycle safety course help me with a traffic ticket I got while riding?
For point reduction, the DMV most likely will require you to take a regular defensive driving course; for ticket dismissal, your judge might allow you to take a motorcycle safety course if you were on your motorcycle when ticketed. Ask your judge about the option during your hearing.
Can I take a defensive driving course to reduce the number of driver's license points on my driving record?
Yes. Our section on AK Defensive Driving provides information about enrolling in defensive driving courses for both point reduction and possible ticket dismissal.
Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?
Not only can ordering a copy of your driving record help you make sure you're not getting close to license suspension or revocation, it can also tell you whether:
- Completing a defensive driving course reduced your driving record points (or dismissed a ticket, if your judge approved that option).
- The DMV mistakenly added points to your driving record after a not guilty verdict or ticket dismissal.
Check our section on obtaining AK driving records for more information.
What is the cost of my traffic ticket?
Your AK traffic ticket cost depends on:
- The city or county in which you were ticketed.
- The associated court costs and other surcharges.
- The violation.
If your costs aren't printed on your ticket, contact your court for information specific to your situation.
How many points will I get if convicted?
You can receive anywhere from 2 points to 10 points, depending on the violation.
Of course, that's per violation, meaning, if you're convicted of multiple violations or more, you'll receive points for each of those violations.
Take a look at our section on the Alaska Point System for more details.
Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state?
No. Each municipality sets its own traffic ticket fines, including court costs and other surcharges.
How can I find a lost traffic ticket online?
If your ticket is on a city level, you can't; if it's on a county level, you can visit the Alaska Court System’s E-Pay System and search for your ticket information using your first and last name.
Understand that if your ticket doesn't show up, it could mean:
- The ticket hasn't been filed or entered into the system yet.
- You're required to appear in court.
Check our section on lost AK traffic tickets for more details.
When is it a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney?
Consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney when:
- You're not sure how to respond to your traffic ticket.
- You decide to fight your ticket in court.
- You're charged with criminal offenses.
Some drivers consult traffic ticket lawyers when they can't make court appearances or they want help getting court-approval for taking a defensive driving course for ticket dismissal.
How many driving record points can I accumulate before the state suspends my driver's license?
If you hold a regular driver's license, you face suspension or revocation for a predetermined amount of time if you accumulate:
- 12 points or more in 12 months.
- 18 points or more in 24 months.
Provisional license holders face suspension or revocation when they accumulate:
- 6 points or more in 12 months.
- 9 points or more in 24 months.
Note that when you first begin accumulating points, the DMV will send you a warning letter.
If you continue accumulating points after that, you'll get an interview with a DMV driving examiner who'll discuss point reduction options (such as defensive driving school) or make other driving improvement recommendations.
Refer to our section on the AK point system for more details.