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Alaska Car Insurance Guide

Here's what you need to know...
  • People as young as 14 can get an instructional permit in Alaska
  • New residents are required to carry minimum insurance levels
  • Alaska is a fault or tort state

Alaska stands out in the United States because of its arctic climate. Residents say that they love having the freedom and adventure of living on the edge of an unspoiled wilderness along with all the conveniences of modern life.

If you’ve decided to make a move to the Land of the Midnight Sun, then you’ll want to learn about their car insurance requirements.

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Auto Insurance Laws and Requirements in Alaska

Alaska is one of the many states that requires people to carry insurance on their cars. If a vehicle is subject to registration, then it must be covered with a liability plan.

– Minimum Requirements

In Alaska, you must carry $25,000 for property damage along with bodily injury or death coverage. Bodily injury levels must be at least $50,000 for a single person in a single accident and $100,000 for multiple people involved in one accident.

Failure to carry proper insurance coverage can result in a license suspension.

People must carry proof of insurance with them and present it when requested by a police officer or another authorized person. The state reserves the right to impound cars that are not adequately insured or if the driver cannot provide proof of coverage.

– Exceptions to the Rule

There are some exceptions to the rule. Being part of a great wild wilderness, Alaska has plenty of private property where people might drive their cars. A list of communities that are exempt is provided through the Alaska State Legislature.

Cars are exempted from the insurance rule provided they:

  • Are not driven on public roads or highways, unless the roads have an average daily traffic volume below 499
  • And the driver has not been cited within the past five years for traffic law violations and does not have more than six demerit points.

– Process for New Drivers Getting a License for the First Time


Residents of Alaska cannot rely on public transportation once they leave the big cities, so people tend to start driving at an early age. Unlike other states that make teens wait until their 15 ½, Alaska allows people to start practicing behind the wheel at age 14.

To get your instruction permit, you’ll need to:

  • Be at least 14 years old
  • Pass a written knowledge test and a vision test
  • Have parental consent
  • Pay a fee

Anytime you are behind the wheel, you must be with someone who is at least 21 years of age. This person must be in the passenger seat. The instructional permit is good for two years and may be renewed once.

Teen drivers are encouraged to know the law, pay attention to their driving, and stay out of trouble. People who are convicted of a traffic violation may have to wait an addition six months before applying for their provisional license.

If you accrue six or more points in a 12-month period or more than 9 points in a 24-month period, then you must take an approved defensive driving class.

When you turn 16, you can apply for your provisional license. This license allows you to drive independently, but there are still some restrictions. In order to apply for this license, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have had your learner’s permit for at least six months
  • Have practiced driving with an adult who has been licensed for one year and is at least 21 years old
  • Provide proof that you have at least 40 hours of driving experience, including 10 hours in challenging circumstances such as severe weather or poor visibility

Teen drivers are not allowed unlimited use of the road. While you can travel without the adult in the car, you’re not allowed to carry any passengers under the age of 21 unless they are siblings.

You also won’t be allowed to drive between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 am. However, you can carry non-family passengers if you have an adult in the car with you, and you can drive during restricted hours if you are traveling to or from work along the most direct route.

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– Getting the Official License

Once drivers turn 18, they can apply for an official driver’s license. You’ll have to fill out Form 478 ahead of time, and you’ll need to bring certain items to the DMV. This includes:

  • Proof of legal name and date of birth
  • Document to confirm identity
  • Proof of principal residence
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of name change if applicable

You’ll be required to take written knowledge, vision, road, and alcohol awareness tests before being granted your license. You’re encouraged to practice for the tests so that you’ll know what to expect.

– Process for Experienced Drivers New to Alaska

If you’re moving to the state, then you’ll need to get an Alaska driver’s license at some point. The rules of the road are the same as they are in the Contiguous United States, and you’ll be required to get the local licensed within 30 days of moving to the state.

Alaska requires drivers who will be in the state for more than 90 days to get a local license, so keep this in mind if you’re a temporary worker.

When you go to get the Alaska license, you’ll have to surrender your out-of-state license first. You’ll also be required to take a written knowledge test and pass the alcohol and drug awareness test.

A vision test will be given, and the DMV will need to look at your proof of legal name, date of birth, current address, and Social Security number. If your existing license is from another country, then a road test will be required.

Additional Coverage Options


Minimum car insurance is required, but that doesn’t mean that you’re limited to the low amounts set by the state.

The low levels you must have by law are meant to protect others if you cause an accident, but they won’t pay for your injuries or repairs to your car. Consider adding the following coverages to truly protect yourself.

– Collision

This coverage pays to get your car fixed after an accident. It will also pay for repairs if you hit a guardrail or an obstacle in the road. It won’t cover any normal wear and tear, but it protects you if you cause an accident.

– Comprehensive

If your car is damaged in a storm or by vandals, this is the only insurance that will cover it. It covers most incidents not managed under your collision or liability plans. In fact, many finance companies require you to have this increased level of protection on a car loan that they’re backing.

– Rental Reimbursement

When your car goes in the shop, you still need to get to and from work. With rental car reimbursement, you can get a rental if your car is down for repairs.

– Glass Coverage

A logging truck in front of you can kick up debris in the road and crack your windshield. With this type of plan, the damage is covered, and you can get back on your way.

– Gap Insurance

When you buy your car and drive it off the lot, the value automatically drops. If you’re in an accident and your car is a total loss, gap insurance will cover the difference between its current value and what you owe.

Factors that Impact Rates

There are several factors that play a role in determining your rates, including what you drive, where you live and your driving history.

You may also qualify for discounts based on your profession, a clean driving record, and having multiple cars or policies with the same company. Alaska also allows the practice of insurance scoring or using a credit report to help set consumer rates.

Shopping for an Insurance Policy in Alaska


When comparing policies, make sure that you’re looking at the same type of plan. If one company is quoting you $100,000 in liability coverage and another is only going with $50,000, that will make a substantial difference in the premiums.

The best bet is to start by defining your needs and then requesting those levels.

Ask about available discounts so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison. If you still need to bring the payments down, then consider going with a higher deductible or dropping extra coverages like glass breakage.

The best way for you to save is to shop around for different plans. You can easily compare rates using online tools so that you can save time and money.

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