The state of Alaska offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.
Disabled veteran plate registration
Veterans who qualify for at least 50% disability are eligible for one disabled veteran plate, free of any registration taxes or fees. Note that this plate does not allow parking privileges for handicapped spaces. In order to obtain parking privileges you must provide an application filled out by both you and a licensed Alaska physician, in addition to documentation from the U.S. government providing proof of a service-related disability.
Driver’s license veteran designation
Alaska veterans are eligible for a military designation on their driver license. In order to qualify, you must provide an application along with any one of the following:
A DD 214 or DD 215
Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB22 or NGB22A)
A signed letter from the Veterans Department identifying you as a retired veteran or veteran with honorable discharge
A valid military ID identifying you as a retired veteran or veteran with honorable discharge
Military honor plates
Alaska offers a variety of military license plates for veterans or active military personnel, including:
Purple Heart plate
Lao Veteran plate
Gold Star Family plate (available to immediate family members of a military member killed in service)
In addition, you may also have a specific unit added to a military honor plate.
In order to qualify for a military license plate in Alaska you must provide proof of eligibility, such as:
- Military ID
- Discharge papers (DD 214)
- Verification provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Military skills test waiver
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule in 2011. This rule contains language authorizing SDLAs (State Driver Licensing Agencies) to allow U.S. Military drivers to use their service-related truck driving experience in order to forego taking the skills test to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver License). To qualify for this waiver, you must have driven a commercial-type vehicle within the last year of your service. You also need to have had at least two years of commercial driving experience.
Applicants must certify to an SDLA:
A safe driving record
Not having possessed more than one license (excepting a U.S. Military driver license) in the prior two years
Not having had their home state driver license suspended, revoked, or cancelled
Not having been convicted of a motor vehicle violation that would disqualify them from obtaining a CDL
There are a number of offenses that can cause military personnel to be denied from participating in the skills waiver program, including a DUI, hit-and-run accident, or using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony. Military personnel with qualifying experience can download and print the waiver here. You must complete the written CDL test even if you qualify for the road test waiver.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
This law allows those with a CDL in their home state to receive one in another state (for example, where you’re stationed. Eligible members include the Reserves, National Guard, Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary.
In the state of Alaska a motorcycle license is a class of license rather than an endorsement. Anyone – including military personnel – wishing to obtain a motorcycle license must be present in the state in order to be examined by the DMV.
Driver license renewal while deployed
Military personnel who are deployed or stationed outside of Alaska are eligible for an extension that lasts until 90 days after discharge from active duty or their return to the state. In order to qualify for the extension your driver’s license must be within one year of expiring. You must submit Form 481 along with your legal name, birthdate, driver’s license number, social security number, and a $5 fee (payable via credit card, check, or money order). You may apply via:
Fax: (907) 465-5509
Mail: Division of Motor Vehicles, Juneau Driver Licensing, P.O. Box 110221, Juneau, AK 99811
Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration
Alaska does not require military personnel stationed in Alaska to register their vehicles with the state, provided the owner has current registration and insurance from their home state. The state also honors out-of-state driver licenses for non-resident military members stationed within the state, as well as their spouses (dependents, however, must obtain an AK license).
Active or veteran military personnel can read more at the state’s motor vehicle division website here.