Official home page for the State of Alaska Department of Administration Division of Motor Vehicles.
And the Commercial Driver’s License Department.
The State of Alaska offers commercial driver’s licenses in three categories: Class A, Class B and Class C. They are described further below:
Class A — Trucks and trailers, called “Combination Vehicles,” may operate a combination vehicle when the GCWR is 26,001 pounds or more and the GVWR of the towed unit is 10,001 pounds or more
Class B — Motor coaches, box trucks, dump trucks, called “Heavy Straight Vehicles,” may operate any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. A trailer may be towed if the GVWR of the trailer is 10,000 or less
Class C — Buses, called “Small Vehicles,” may operate any single motor vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less, or a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials
In addition to the license class, Alaska offers endorsements, including hazardous materials, tank vehicles, passenger, school bus, double-triple, and combinations of tank and hazardous materials. Go to Alaska’s CDL endorsements for a description of each endorsement.
The State of Alaska requires you to:
Once you have acquired your commercial learner’s permit you have 180 days to schedule and complete your road skills test. To complete your CDL you must:
The State of Alaska requires that you bring to the DMV the following documents:
Documents showing proof of legal presence can be:
Drivers entering Alaska on a temporary basis or for seasonal work who have a valid CDL from another state do not need to acquire a State of Alaska CDL. Drivers, however, who wish to remain in Alaska must obtain an Alaskan CDL within 30 days of moving to Alaska, according to the following:
If you are a retired veteran, or a veteran of the armed forces discharged under honorable conditions, you are eligible for a veteran designation on your license or ID card. To receive the designation, you apply for a driver license or state ID card (form 478), and provide one of the following documents:
In addition, the State of Alaska allows those who are a service member, currently licensed, and drove a military motor vehicle equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle within the last year, to apply for a CDL without taking a road skills test. You are still required to pass all knowledge tests. This waiver does not apply to school bus or passenger endorsements.
To receive the military road skills test waiver, applicants must:
To apply for the military road test waiver complete the application for military skills test waiver (form 416). Page two of form 416 should be filled out and signed by your commanding officer. Bring this form with you when you apply for your CDL, it will subsitute for the road skills test.
Unique to Alaska because of its remote, and often-times off-road driving conditions, the state offers a skills (road) test exemption for rural commercial drivers. If you are 19 years of age or older and have held a license for one year, you can apply for an Off-Highway Commercial Driver License . You are required to:
Off-Highway Commercial Driver Licenses are only valid in the State of Alaska and only in specific communities. More information can be found at the Rural Driving page.
The Alaska DMV currently charges the following for CDLs and related services:
In order to obtain a Alaska CDL there are a list of requirements that must be met, and getting your Alaska CDL involves several steps. There are medical requirements and residency requirements, along with knowledge and skills requirements. The basic requirements for getting your cdl in Alaska include:
Below we will list more general requirements, qualifications, disqualifications, and restrictions for getting a CDL in Alaska.
You will need a CDL to operate any of the following vehicles:
Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight of 26,001 pounds or more, with trailer(s) weighing 10,000 pounds or more.
Any single vehicle having a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing another weighing 10,000 pounds or less.
Any vehicle or combination of vehicles not meeting the definition of Class A or Class B, designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded to carry hazardous material:
Many states issue a “Class D” license, which is not part of the FMCSA standards. Some use it to classify regular, passenger car drivers licenses, while some use it to classify specific weights or types of vehicles. This varies from state-to-state.
Each basic knowledge test covers the 20 general areas outlined in 49 CFR 383.111(a). The knowledge test shall contain at least 30 items. A separate test for drivers seeking to operate CMV’s with air brakes in Alaska must cover the 7 areas outlined in 49 CFR 383.111(b).
To pass the knowledge tests (general and endorsement); applicants must correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions.
To pass the Alaska CDL skills test, applicants must successfully perform all the required skills (listed in 49 CFR 383.113 through 49 CFR 383.123). The skills test must be taken in a vehicle representative of the type of vehicle that the applicant operates or expects to operate.
Federal standards require the state of Alaska to issue CDLs to certain commercial motor vehicle drivers only after the driver passes the knowledge and skills tests administered by the State. The vehicle you take the CDL test in must also relate to the type of vehicle the driver expects to operate.
Restrictions are placed on a Alaska CDL when a driver takes the Skills Test in a vehicle which lacks critical equipment present in particular types of CMVs. Therefore, to avoid restrictions, drivers should take the Skills Test in the same type of vehicle for which they are seeking a Alaska CDL to operate.
Drivers are required to obtain and hold a CDL in Alaska if they operate in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce and drive a vehicle that meets one or more of the classifications of a CMV are also described below.
The state of Alaska has the authority to substitute two years of experience safely operating trucks or buses equivalent to civilian commercial vehicles for the skills test portion of the Alaska commercial driver license (CDL) test. U.S. Military drivers must apply within one year of leaving a military position requiring operation of a commercial vehicle. The latest information (February 2017) indicates that more than 19,000 current and former military have taken advantage of the Skills Test Waiver, making them immediately eligible for employment.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 49 CFR 383.77, requires the applicant to certify to an SDLA:
All commercial drivers of vehicles in interstate commerce with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds are required to obtain and maintain a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (ME Certificate). CDL holders in Alaska must provide their SDLA with a copy of their ME Certificate.
All Alaska CDL holders must declare to their State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) that they only operate or expect to operate commercially in 1 of 4 possible categories with their CDL. This process is called self-certification. The four categories are:
A person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person: First perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500Hz, 1000HZ and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to the American National Standard Z24.5-1951.
You must meet the following vision requirements:
Your urine sample will be tested in a lab for blood, sugar, and protein, which might indicate hidden health problems.
Drivers with physical impairments, which affect their ability to safely operate CMVs, must obtain a “variance” from the state of Alaska in order to be approved to drive commercially. The variance document must be carried with the commercial driver whenever they are operating a commercial motor vehicle. A Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) is a special type of “variance” required for drivers with impaired or missing limbs (e.g., a hand or finger, an arm, foot, or leg). Drivers with missing limbs, if eligible, must obtain an SPE certificate. The commercial driver must always carry the SPE certificate at all times.
The Skill Performance Evaluation program is for CMV drivers who drive in interstate commerce. The SPE certification allows drivers with missing or impaired limbs to drive CMVs across state lines if they have been fitted with (and are wearing) the right prosthetic device, and the driver can demonstrate the ability to drive the truck safely by completing on-and off-road activities. If the driver passes the Alaska commercial vehicle driving test, he or she will receive a SPE certificate. Over the years, FMCSA has granted more than 3,000 SPE certificates to truck drivers who have shown that they can drive safely on the nation’s highways.
Any person who holds a Alaska CDL is considered to have consented to such testing as is required by the state of Alaska or any State or jurisdiction in the enforcement of being under the influence of a controlled substance or using alcohol, be under the influence of alcohol, or have any measured alcohol concentration or detected presence of alcohol, while on duty, or operating, or in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle. Consent is implied by driving a commercial motor vehicle.
Although the driver has a legal prescription, he/she may be disqualified if the medication could adversely affect the driver’s ability to drive a CMV safely.
FMCSA regulations specifically exempt only military personnel with comparable safe-driving experience from getting CDL’s. States are authorized to provide exemptions for the rest of the following at their own discretion:
The state of Alaska must exempt individuals who operate vehicles for military purposes from the requirements for CDL drivers. This exemption includes active military, reserves and members of the National Guard. This exception does not apply to U.S. Reserve technicians.
Service members who are or were employed within the past year (12 months) in a military position requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) and who want to drive CMV’s in civilian life can apply for a Skills Test Waiver to get their CDL.
See Also: Military Skills Test Waiver
Covering actual farm-to-market operations, not commercial grain haulers. Drivers must be 21 years old, and vehicle must have farm plates. Farm workers are not required to have a CDL to operate vehicles:
Those who operate CMV’s necessary to preserving life or property, or performing emergency governmental functions, have signals that can be seen and heard, and are not subject to normal traffic laws. These include fire trucks, foam or water transport trucks, police SWAT team vehicles, ambulances and any other emergency vehicles.
Drivers operating recreational vehicles (RV’s) for their own non-commercial use can be exempted from CDL requirements.
Many states will have specific CDL exemptions that apply to workers in smaller towns or to state and local government employees in general. You will have to check with your specific state regulations.
The FMCSA regulations specify certain circumstances that will disqualify a driver from legally operating a CMV, temporarily or permanently.
Issues resulting in disqualification apply only to CDL or CLP holders, or those required to have a CLP or CDL in the vehicle they are operating. Tickets, DUI or DWI, and other legal issues that happened before a driver was issued a CDL or CLP, or to non-CDL or CLP holders, who were not required to have one, will affect drivers only as far as company policy, with the exception of getting the Hazmat endorsement.
See Also: TSA Disqualifying Offenses & Factors
In extreme cases, the FMCSA may disqualify drivers deemed to be an “imminent hazard”, and remove them from the road.
See Also: Disqualification of drivers determined to constitute an imminent hazard.
Some circumstances will result in a lifetime disqualification from operating CMV’s, with some being eligible for reinstatement after 10 years. A driver who uses a CMV in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance is disqualified for life with no possibility of reinstatement.
An out-of-service order stipulates that a CDL or CLP holder not drive a commercial vehicle for a certain period of time, or until such time as they are re-instated to service.
In addition to disqualification, drivers who violate out-of-service orders will be fined a civil penalty of at least $2,500 for the first offense, and $5,000 for any additional offenses.