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Did you know that driver’s licenses in Alaska have classifications?

Not only that, the different classes of licenses determine what vehicle you’re allowed to drive. 

Now, if you’re looking to get an Alaskan driver’s license, you might be confused with all the classes and requirements. 

Well, we’re here to help. 

In this article, we’ll give you a complete guide on Alaska driver’s license classifications. Plus, we’ll talk about the requirements for each. This way, you’ll know exactly what license you need and how to get it. 

So buckle up and let’s go! 

Types of Driver’s Licenses in Alaska 

Here are the different permits and license classifications issued in Alaska.

Instruction permit types:

  • Non-Commercial (IP)
    • Learner’s or Instruction Permit (14-16)
    • Provisional Licenses (for Ages 16-18)
  • Commercial (IA, IB, IC)
  • Motorcycle (IM) 

Driver’s license types:

  • Non-Commercial Driver’s License (Class D)
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
    • Class A 
    • Class B
    • Class C
  • Motorcycle License
    • Class M1
    • Class M2
    • Class M3

Let’s look at each license classification in detail, plus their requirements. 

Non-Commercial Instruction Permit

Under the Alaska State Legislature’s Graduated Drivers License (GDL) program, a young driver can obtain a learner’s permit (ages 14-16) or provisional license (ages 16 to18) before testing for a full Class D driver’s license. 

Alaskan teens 14 to 16 are eligible to apply for an instruction permit. This license allows them to practice driving with a licensed driver, at least 21 years old and with one year of driving experience, accompanying them. 

This instruction permit is valid for two years and can be renewed once.

To apply, you must follow these steps: 

  • Complete application form D1
  • Parental consent form 433 for automobiles and form 433M for motorcycles
  • Pass the written knowledge test
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pay applicable fees ($15)
  • Proof of legal name, date of birth, citizenship, residential address, social security number

As for the provisional license, drivers 16 to 18 years old (who’ve had a learner’s permit for more than six months) can be eligible to get this. This type of license allows more freedom. However, there are still several restrictions, including: 

  • Not allowed to carry passengers under the age of 21 (except siblings)
  • Not allowed to drive between 1:00 to 5:00 AM.

There are expectations to these driving restrictions:

  • Unless accompanied by a 21-year-old with the applicable license
  • Unless driving to your place of employment along the direct route

To apply for your provisional license, visit your local DMV and pass a road test.

Non-commercial Driver’s License (Class D)

Class D licenses are for non-commercial motor vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,000lbs or less. Included in this class are:

  • Passenger cars/trucks/vehicles for 15 passengers or less (including the driver)
  • Scooters
  • Mopeds
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Motorcycles 50cc or less

Once you turn 18, you are eligible to apply for your first Alaska driver’s license! Before you get too excited, there are several requirements you need to meet to ensure that you are a proficient and responsible driver.

To apply for your first driver’s license, visit your local DMV office and submit your completed Form 478, along with the required fees ($20 for standard, $40 for a real ID) and documentation:

  • Proof of identification (legal name, date of birth, citizenship)
  • Proof of residence
  • Social security number
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)

To successfully complete your first driver’s license application, you need to pass these tests:

  • Written Knowledge Test
  • Vision Test
  • Road Test
  • Alcohol and Drug Awareness Test

Commercial Driver’s License (Class A, B, C)

Before getting a CDL, you first need to get hold of a learner’s permit for 14 days. 

Now, when applying for a CDL, you must know the type and purpose of the vehicle you will be driving:

  • How heavy will the vehicle be? (Class)
  • What type of license will you need? (Endorsements)

Let’s first look into the class (size of the vehicle).

  • Class A – Trucks and Trailers (combination vehicles with GVWR of 26,001lbs or more, where towed unit is up to 10,001lbs or more)
  • Class B – Motorcoaches, box trucks, dump trucks (heavy straight vehicles with GVWR of 26,001lbs or more)
  • Class C – Buses (small trucks with GVWR of 26,000lbs or less, and for vehicles designed for not more than 16 people)

What about the endorsements? 

Endorsements are required to operate specific types of vehicles. To get an endorsement in your license, you will be required to take a knowledge test in addition to the general knowledge test. 

To give you an idea, some of the endorsements issued in Alaska include:

  • Hazardous Materials
  • Tank vehicles
  • Double/Triple
  • Passenger
  • School Bus
  • Combination Tank & Hazardous Material

With that out of the way, let’s now look into the requirements for getting a CDL. 

To apply for your CDL, you must:

  • Have U.S. citizenship or legal presence of documentation
  • Present the completed Form 415 and Form 413
  • Give proof of residence
  • Give your Social Security Number
  • Present your Alaska or Out-of-state driver’s license
  • Present a DOT Medical card and FMCSA vision or diabetes exemption document

To obtain your CDL, you must schedule and pass your road skills test within 180 days. You must also possess the CLP (with matching class and endorsement) and practice with a qualified driver within 14 days to schedule the road test.

Motorcycle License (Class M1, M2, M3)

The engine size and wheel configuration determine motorcycle license type.

  • M1: May operate any motorcycle with engine displacement of 50cc (for 16 years old and older)
  • M2: May operate motor-driven cycle (Scooter or motorized bicycle) with an engine displacement of less than 50cc (for 14 and 15 years old only)
  • M3: May operate a 3-wheeled motorcycle with an engine displacement of over 50cc ( (for 16 years old and older)

Note: applicants under 18 years old need to get their guardian’s consent. 

Motorized cycles with engines of less than 50cc can be operated with a Class D driver’s license.

Here are the requirements to apply for this license type:

  • Submit Form D1 
  • Submit Form 433M (if under 18)
  • Bring four of five documents to prove your identity, residence, and social security number
  • Pass a road test, a vision test, a motorcycle knowledge test, and a written knowledge test


There you have it! These are the types of licenses you can apply for in Alaska. 

Before setting out on the open road, you need to decide on your Alaska driver’s license classifications. The one you choose will depend on your age, type of vehicle, and purpose for driving.

We hope that we have helped you understand the license types in Alaska. We also hope this has let you figure out the requirements, fees, and training you need to complete to get your Alaskan license type. 

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