Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Written by Marissa Hayes
Insurance Writer & Expert Marissa Hayes

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 7, 2022

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Alaska Statistics SummaryDetails
Road Miles
Registered Vehicles 783,169
State Population737,438
Most Popular VehicleF150
Percentage of Uninsured Motorists 15.40%
Total Driving Related Deaths (2008-2017)Speeding: 253
Drunk Driving: 207
Full Coverage Average Premiums Liability: $539.68
Collision: $350.81
Comprehensive: $137.26
Cheapest Provider State Farm Mutual Auto
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The land of the midnight sun, Alaska’s population totals just over 700,000. These thousands of drivers need auto insurance, but researching Alaska car insurance providers can be difficult.

Drivers may spend hours researching insurance information to still come away confused. This is where we step in. We will answer common questions drivers have about Alaska car insurance, such as what are Alaska’s requirements OR who are the best providers?

Our comprehensive guide will help lead you through the process of purchasing Alaska car insurance. We will cover everything you need to know about car insurance coverages and rates to state driving laws.

Start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code in our FREE online tool.

Table of Contents

Alaska Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

Every year, we pay thousands for car insurance. With such a large amount of money being spent on mandatory car insurance protection, drivers want to know WHAT they are paying for AND that they are getting the best deal possible.

It can be hard to pick out the best coverages and rates from the overwhelming amount of available information, which is why we’ve researched the major coverages and the best rates in Alaska for you.

So keep reading to learn all about Alaska’s car insurance requirements and options.

Alaska Minimum Coverage

Alaska law requires ALL drivers to have minimum liability coverage. Why? Liability coverage protects drivers in accidents by making sure drivers can pay off accidents’ property damage and injury costs.

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All drivers in Alaska must have liability coverage in the following amounts.

  • $50,000 to pay for the injuries of one person in an accident for which you are at fault
  • $100,000 to pay for the injuries of more than one person in an accident for which you are at fault
  • $25,000 to pay for property damage in an accident for which you are at fault

It is important to note that some areas in Alaska don’t require vehicle registration. In these areas, drivers may be EXEMPT from the required liability coverage.

If drivers have a six-point ticket within the last five years, though, they must purchase liability insurance in Alaska’s minimum amount.

It is still smart to have insurance even in areas where it is not required, as liability coverage prevents you from having to pay expensive bills yourself in an accident. These bills will likely be MUCH more than the yearly cost of insurance!

So while it may be tempting to skip out on insurance when it’s not required, this decision could cost you later!

Alaska’s Car Culture

The rugged state of Alaska requires rugged cars. The Alaskan Highway is famous for its winding, rural drive and is a highway steeped in history.

The Alaskan Highway, while updated since it’s completion, still has multiple areas along the route that need repairs — driving it sometimes seems like an off-road trip.

These road conditions make trucks a popular choice in Alaska.

Alaskan drivers also like to personalize their trucks with specialized license plates. About 11 percent of registered vehicles feature personalized plates in Alaska. So if you move to Alaska, a new car and license plate may be an item on your shopping list.

Forms of Financial Responsibility

All drivers must have proof of car insurance if they live in an area where insurance is required. Proof of car insurance is also known as forms of financial responsibility.

The following are acceptable forms of proof of insurance.

  • Valid liability insurance ID cards
  • Copy of your current car’s insurance policy
  • Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of car insurance)

All drivers must have proof of car insurance when operating a vehicle. Drivers must provide this proof anytime authorities pull over drivers in a traffic stop or drivers are in an accident.

According to the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles, law enforcement may impound a vehicle or write a traffic citation if drivers fail to provide proof of insurance in a timely manner.

If drivers are in a crash that causes injury, death, or property damage (costing more than $501), they must provide proof of financial responsibility within 15 days.

Premiums as a Percentage of Income

How much does car insurance take out of your budget every year? If your per capita disposable income (your salary after taxes) is like most Alaskans’ income, you spend over two percent of your income on car insurance every year.

Alaska Premiums as Percentage of Income 201220132014
Full Coverage$1,053.54$1,058.15$1,050.09
Disposable Income $48,465.00$46,858.00$49,756.00
Insurance as % of Income 2.17%2.26%2.11%
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The good news is that Alaska’s percentage has lowered over the years, dropping to 2.11 percent in 2014. This percentage is lower than the 2014 countrywide percentage of 2.4 percent, which means Alaska residents pay slightly less out of their overall income than most states.

While the percentage of income going to car insurance is lower than most states, Alaskans pay over a thousand dollars for car insurance, which is higher than the 2014 countrywide average of $981.

Luckily, Alaska residents also earn slightly more, which means the percentage of income going to car insurance isn’t exorbitant.

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates in AK (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)

While Alaska requires liability coverage, comprehensive and collision coverages are also important coverages to have. These three coverages are the core coverages in most insurance plans.

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Comprehensive coverage will protect you if your car is damaged by something other than a collision, while collision coverage will protect you in collisions with another vehicle.

The table below shows the average cost of these three core coverages

Coverage Annual Costs (2015)
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Because these rates are from 2015, you can expect rates to be slightly higher for 2019 and on.

Additional Liability

In Alaska, popular additional liability coverages are medical payments and uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverages. While these coverages are optional, they are important in an accident.

Medical payments will cover the medical costs for both you AND your passengers. Anyone who has been to the hospital knows how pricy medical bills can become, and not having medical payments coverage means you’ll pay the medical bills yourself!

Uninsured/underinsured coverage protects you if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. These drivers will likely be unable to pay off your accident costs if they are at fault. Once again, this means you will get stuck with the bills unless you have uninsured/underinsured coverage!

15.40 percent of motorists are uninsured in Alaska, placing Alaska as 11th in the U.S. for uninsured drivers!

With such a HIGH number of uninsured drivers, there is a great potential for being in an accident with someone who will be UNABLE to pay for your property repairs and injuries.

Likewise, if you don’t have insurance and are at fault, your savings may be quickly eaten up.

Let’s now take a look at how well medical payments and uninsured/underinsured coverages are doing in Alaska by looking at their loss ratios. What are the loss ratios?

Basically, a company with a high loss ratio (over 100 percent) is losing money from paying out too many claims and risks going bankrupt. On the other hand, a company with a low loss ratio is not paying out enough claims and risks losing customers.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the table below.

Coverages' Loss Ratios201320142015
Medical Payments (MedPay)78%81%83%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UUM)46%53%50%
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Medical payment’s loss ratios have increased slightly over the years, while uninsured/underinsured loss ratios have remained mostly steady. This is good news! Both medical payments and uninsured/underinsured loss ratios are neither too high nor too low.

Add-Ons, Endorsements, and Riders

Add-ons are a great option if you’re looking for a little extra coverage. While it may seem extravagant to purchase more coverage beyond core requirements, add-ons provide affordable coverage for specialized needs.

  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) — GAP insurance helps pay the gap difference between what the driver owes on a car and the car’s actual cash value in an accident.
  • Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) — PUP provides drivers with extra liability coverage in accidents.
  • Rental Reimbursement — Pays for a rental car if your car is damaged in an accident and needs repairs.
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance — Provides assistance for car breakdowns (such as a flat tire).
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance — Pays for car repairs UNRELATED to a car accident.
  • Non-Owner Car Insurance — Provides drivers who are driving a car that is NOT their own with liability coverage.
  • Modified Car Insurance Coverage — Protects modified cars (such as new engine or customized paint job).
  • Classic Car Insurance — Insurance for classic cars. Generally, it costs less than regular car insurance.
  • Pay-As-You-Drive — Some insurers will charge less if you have a shorter commute.

As you can see, sometimes it is worth it to add a few extra coverages to fit your needs.

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in AK

To help show just how much demographics influence rates, we’ve partnered with Quadrant to research the following demographics. Something that often comes as a surprise to most people is that gender can impact insurer’s rates. Even if males and females have the same driving record, the prices they pay will be different.

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Age also factors into rates. Male teenagers pay the highest rates out of all the age groups, though the high prices may be reduced with a little planning.

The table below demonstrates just how much age and gender factor into rates.

CompanyMarried 35-year old femaleMarried 35-year old maleMarried 60-year old femaleMarried 60-year old maleSingle 25-year old femaleSingle 25-year old maleSingle 17-year old femaleSingle 17-year old male
Allstate F&C$2,133.71$2,133.71$2,037.18$2,037.18$2,407.00$2,634.39$5,100.22$6,679.06
Geico General$2,118.66$2,053.39$1,999.69$1,902.76$2,094.53$2,247.33$4,667.64$5,955.63
Progressive Direct$1,846.21$1,631.16$1,551.21$1,588.18$2,075.99$2,053.77$6,507.31$7,248.95
State Farm Mutual Auto$1,340.30$1,340.30$1,200.62$1,200.62$1,578.13$1,615.68$4,158.63$5,390.65
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Marital status can also influence rates. Below is a compilation of marital status, age, and gender demographics.

CompanyDemographicAverage Annual Rate
Progressive DirectSingle 17-year old male$7,248.95
Allstate F&CSingle 17-year old male$6,679.06
Progressive DirectSingle 17-year old female$6,507.31
Geico GeneralSingle 17-year old male$5,955.63
State Farm Mutual AutoSingle 17-year old male$5,390.65
USAASingle 17-year old male$5,168.23
Allstate F&CSingle 17-year old female$5,100.22
Geico GeneralSingle 17-year old female$4,667.64
USAASingle 17-year old female$4,660.59
State Farm Mutual AutoSingle 17-year old female$4,158.63
Allstate F&CSingle 25-year old male$2,634.39
Allstate F&CSingle 25-year old female$2,407.00
Geico GeneralSingle 25-year old male$2,247.33
USAASingle 25-year old male$2,188.18
Allstate F&CMarried 35-year old female$2,133.71
Allstate F&CMarried 35-year old male$2,133.71
Geico GeneralMarried 35-year old female$2,118.66
Geico GeneralSingle 25-year old female$2,094.53
Progressive DirectSingle 25-year old female$2,075.99
USAASingle 25-year old female$2,065.08
Progressive DirectSingle 25-year old male$2,053.77
Allstate F&CMarried 60-year old female$2,037.18
Allstate F&CMarried 60-year old male$2,037.18
Geico GeneralMarried 60-year old female$1,999.69
Geico GeneralMarried 60-year old male$1,902.76
Progressive DirectMarried 35-year old female$1,846.21
Progressive DirectMarried 35-year old male$1,631.16
State Farm Mutual AutoSingle 25-year old male$1,615.68
Progressive DirectMarried 60-year old male$1,588.18
State Farm Mutual AutoSingle 25-year old female$1,578.13
Progressive DirectMarried 60-year old female$1,551.21
USAAMarried 35-year old female$1,439.39
USAAMarried 35-year old male$1,435.84
USAAMarried 60-year old female$1,341.61
State Farm Mutual AutoMarried 35-year old female$1,340.30
State Farm Mutual AutoMarried 35-year old male$1,340.30
USAAMarried 60-year old male$1,334.71
State Farm Mutual AutoMarried 60-year old female$1,200.62
State Farm Mutual AutoMarried 60-year old male$1,200.62
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At most companies, married people pay less than single people.

All ZIP Code — Cheapest Rates by ZIP Code

Another demographic that affects rates is area. Since some areas are more prone to crime or traffic accidents, insurers’ rates will often vary based on where you live.

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The good news is that area rates in Alaska aren’t terribly drastic in price differences. Between the most and least expensive ZIP codes, there is only a $797 difference.

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Best Alaska Car Insurance Companies

It can be hard to find the right car insurance company. Every company will promise that it can give you the best rates and coverages, but in reality, not all of them do. It is only with careful research that you can find the company that fits your needs and budget, but this can be time-consuming.

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To help you find the right car insurance company quickly, we’ve put together a comprehensive section on Alaskan car insurance companies.

Keep reading to learn about everything from financial ratings to rate changes.

The Largest Companies’ Financial Ratings

Remember the importance of loss ratios? Well, AM Best is a company that rates companies’ financial strength, and part of the way it forms its ratings is by studying companies’ loss ratios.

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Below, you will see Alaska’s top 10 largest companies’ loss ratios and AM Best ratings.

Company Name AM Best Rating Direct Premiums Written Loss RatioMarket Share
Allstate Insurance GroupA+$59,50745.56%12.70%
Country Insurance & Financial Service GroupA+$14,04265.14%3.00%
Hartford Fire & Casualty GroupA$10,33266.49%2.20%
Horace Mann GroupA$4,74867.08%1.01%
Liberty Mutual GroupA$16,33763.73%3.49%
Progressive GroupA+$50,92267.86%10.86%
State Farm GroupA++$133,81677.95%28.55%
Tiptree Financial GroupNR$4,93820.10%1.05%
USAA GroupA++$83,68768.67%17.86%
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At AM Best, the highest rating is an A++. An A++ rating means a company has a superior ability to meet future financial responsibilities, such as paying out claims to customers.

Since all of the companies have at least an A rating and solid loss ratios (with the exception of Tiptree Financial Group, which has a very LOW loss ratio), they have earned their spots within the ten largest companies.

Companies with Most Complaints in Alaska

Customer satisfaction is an important part of picking out a company. Common questions should be researched before choosing a provider. How many complaints does a company receive each year? How does a company handle complaints?

The table below shows the complaint ratio for companies, though researching overall customer satisfaction is also important.

Company Complaint Ratio 2017Total Complaints 2017
Allstate Insurance Group 0.5163
Country Insurance and Financial Service Group 0.4415
Hartford Fire and Casualty Group 4.689
Horace Mann Group 0.7911
Liberty Mutual Group 5.95222
Progressive Group 0.75120
State Farm Group 0.441,482
Tiptree Financial Group 0.552
USSA Group 02
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You might be wondering why some companies have high complaint ratios despite a small number of complaints. It all depends on the size of a company. Nine complaints may not seem like much, but if the company only has 200 customers this is quite a large percentage of complaints!

Cheapest Companies in Alaska

Price is usually always a deciding factor in choosing options. Below, we have included the cheapest companies in Alaska and compared the prices to the state average.

CompanyAverageCompared to State Average (+/-)Compared to State Average (%)
Allstate F&C$3,145.31$39112.44%
Geico General$2,879.95$1264.37%
Progressive Direct$3,062.85$30910.08%
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,228.12-$526-23.61%
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State Farm Mutual Auto has the cheapest rates in Alaska, as it is almost 24 percent cheaper than the state average. While Allstate is the most expensive on the list, it is still cheaper than most car insurance companies in Alaska.

Commute Rates by Companies

At most companies, how far you drive can add a little extra onto your rates. This is just one of the many factors that insurers use to determine rates.

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The table below shows how commute rates can impact rates.

Company 10 Miles Commute. 6,000 Annual Mileage. 25 Miles Commute. 12,000 Annual Mileage .Price Increase
State Farm$2,166.89$2,289.34$122.45
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Progressive is the only company that doesn’t increase rates for a longer commute!

Coverage Level Rates by Companies

While a high level of coverage is always best, sometimes high coverage can carry an expensive price tag. To help you find a company with a high level of coverage within your budget, we’ve listed major companies’ different price increases from low to high coverage.

Liberty Mutual$5,051.39$5,267.49$5,558.30
State Farm$3,895.87$4,089.03$4,324.68
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At most companies, the increase is under a thousand dollars. At companies like Liberty Mutual, there is only a $507 increase. This amounts to only an extra $42 a month!

Credit History Rates by Companies

Surprisingly, credit score can sometimes influence insurers’ rates just as much as your driving record! A bad credit score may raise rates by the THOUSANDS.

In Alaska, the average credit score is 668. This score is slightly below the 2017 national credit score of 675.

This means that if Alaska residents are below the state average, they may have a harder time receiving good rates. The table below shows the impact credit history has on car insurance rates.

Company Good Fair Poor
State Farm$1,608.81$1,992.76$3,082.77
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At companies like Allstate, bad credit will raise your rate $960 a year. Bottom line? The better your credit, the better your rates.

Driving Record Rates by Companies

Your driving record also impacts your rates. DUIs, accidents, and speeding violations will inevitably raise your rates.

CompanyClean RecordSpeeding ViolationWith 1 AccidentWith 1 DUI
State Farm$2,031.37$2,228.13$2,424.84$2,228.13
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At companies like Geico, a single DUI will raise the annual rate by over $2,000! The easiest way to avoid hefty price raises is to keep as clean a driving record as possible.

Number of Insurers in Alaska

The good news is that Alaska has a lot of insurers to choose from. Alaskans may choose either a foreign or domestic provider, though there isn’t much of a difference between the two of them.

Domestic providers are only available in Alaska, whereas foreign providers are available in multiple states.

DomesticForeignTotal Number of Licensed Insurers
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As in most states, Alaska has a high number of foreign providers to choose from. With only four domestic providers, it is likely that most Alaskans will end up choosing a foreign provider.

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Alaska State Laws

State laws are important to know but can often be confusing. Driving laws change from state to state, so what is legal in one state may not be legal in another. The last thing you want is a ticket for breaking a driving law!

You need to make sure to familiarize yourself with Alaska’s driving laws, especially if you are a new resident or a new driver, to avoid expensive tickets.

To help guide you through Alaska’s driving laws, we’ve covered everything from insurance coverage laws to seat belt laws. So keep scrolling to learn how to follow Alaska’s must-know driving laws.

Car Insurance Laws

Car insurance laws go beyond having Alaska’s minimum car insurance coverage. There are also laws regulating windshield coverage, high-risk insurance, and much more!

How State Laws for Insurance are Determined

Every state has different filing processes. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) states that insurers in Alaska must file car insurance policies with the Alaska Insurance Department before drivers can use the car insurance.

Filing the policy before makes sure that insurers are giving drivers the required minimum liability insurance coverage.

While insurers are the ones filing the forms, it doesn’t hurt to doublecheck that the amounts are correct.

Windshield Coverage

Alaska doesn’t have a law requiring insurers to replace cracked or broken windshields, though comprehensive coverage will usually take care of windshield repairs.

Driving with a cracked or broken that obstructs the driver’s view is illegal in Alaska, so make sure to repair your windshield as soon as possible.

High-Risk Insurance

If drivers have a speeding violation, accident, or DUI on their record, Alaska authorities may require them to fill out an SR-22 form. An SR-22 form makes sure drivers purchase high-risk insurance, which means an increase in rates.

For most offenses, drivers will need to carry high-risk insurance for three years. Some high-risk drivers may find that insurers may refuse them coverage. If this is the case, drivers must turn to the Alaska Automobile Insurance Plan.

The Alaska Automobile Insurance Plan makes sure that all drivers have insurance, though its rates will be MUCH higher than normal providers.

Low-Cost Insurance

Alaska doesn’t have a government-sponsored program that offers low-cost insurance. If you find yourself struggling to purchase car insurance, though, there are still plenty of ways to cut down costs.

How? One word — discounts.

Most providers will have an extensive list of discounts they offer to clients.

Below are some common discounts you may see.

  • Good driver discount
  • Good student discount (need B+ average)
  • Anti-theft device discount
  • Safety device discount
  • Multi-car discount
  • Homeowner’s discount

These are just a few of the multiple discounts available, so make sure to talk to your provider about discount options. Shopping around for car insurance providers for the best rates can also help make car insurance more affordable.

Automobile Insurance Fraud in Alaska

Every year, billions are stolen in fraudulent insurance claims. The Insurance Information Institute (iii) describes car insurance fraud as the following two situations.

  1. Making a false claim for something that never happened (such as intentionally faking an accident)
  2. Submitting a legitimate claim but adding extra, false expenses onto it

To catch fraudulent claims, Alaska has a fraud bureau working to monitor insurance claims. Those who commit insurance fraud in Alaska face jail time, fines, community service, and other penalties.

So make sure to be honest and accurate on claims, as lying could result in a situation worse than the accident itself.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the amount of time allotted to file a claim. This makes sure people get through the claim process as soon as possible, and that claims don’t drag on for decades past the accident.

Below is Alaska’s statute of limitations.

  • Personal Injury — Two years
  • Property Damage — Six years

There is more time to file property damage claims than personal injury claims, so make sure to file a personal injury claim first.

Alaska Unfair Claims Settlement Practices

A law in Alaska requires insurers to fully disclose all policy information to their clients. Known as the unfair claims settlement law, this law makes sure insurers follow ethical practices.

Insurers must disclose all policy information to their clients, in order to make sure that insurers don’t leave out benefits when clients follow claims. Of course, knowing your policy inside and out will make sure that you aren’t taken advantage of.

The law also prevents insurers from ignoring claims that clients file and requires insurers to respond to claims in a timely manner.

Vehicle Licensing Laws

Every state has different vehicle licensing laws. To guide you through Alaska’s laws, we’ve included everything from penalties for driving without vehicle insurance to license renewal procedures.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance is illegal in Alaska. If drivers are caught without insurance, their licenses will be suspended.

Offense Penalties
1st OffenseLicense suspension for 90 days
2nd OffenseLicense suspension for one year
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You may recall that the following are acceptable forms of proof of insurance.

  • Valid liability insurance ID cards
  • Copy of your current car’s insurance policy
  • Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of car insurance)

You must provide proof of insurance at traffic stops, accidents, or registering a vehicle. If drivers don’t follow Alaska’s insurance laws, their licenses will be suspended and they may receive a letter of intent to suspend their car’s registration.

If an intent to suspend registration is issued, drivers will have to turn in their registration and pay fines to reinstate it.

Teen Driver Laws

In Alaska, teens can apply for a learner’s license as young as 14 years old. Before teens can apply for a restricted license or an adult license, they must meet specific driving requirements.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these requirements are as follows.

Requirements for Getting a License in AlaskaDetails
Mandatory Holding Period 6 months
Minimum Supervised Driving Time 40 hours (10 of which must be at night or in inclement weather)
Minimum Age 16-years-old
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If teens have a restricted license, there are more rules in place that they must follow.

Restricted License Requirements in AlaskaDetails
Nighttime Restrictions1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Passenger Restrictions (family members excepted unless noted otherwise)No passengers younger than 21-years-old
When Restrictions may be LiftedDetails
Nighttime Restrictions 6 months or until age 18 (minimum age: 16 years and 6 months)
Passenger Restrictions 6 months or until age 18 (minimum age: 16 years and 6 months)
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Restricted license requirements make sure that teens learn in a semi-controlled environment where distractions are limited.

Older Driver License Renewal Procedures

In Alaska, license renewal procedures are different for the older driver population. Drivers 69-years-old and older must follow the rules below.

  • License Renewal Cycle — every FIVE years
  • Proof of Adequate Vision — required at EVERY renewal
  • Mail or Online Renewal — NOT permitted

So if drivers are part of the older population, they must renew their license in-person every five years AND provide proof of adequate vision.

New Residents

If you are new to Alaska, you will need to contact your insurer. Your current insurer will make sure your minimum liability coverage meets Alaska’s requirements. As a reminder, you will need liability coverage in the following amounts.

  • $50,000 to pay for the injuries of one person in an accident for which you are at fault
  • $100,000 to pay for the injuries of more than one person in an accident for which you are at fault
  • $25,000 to pay for property damage in an accident for which you are at fault

You will also need to make sure that you get updated insurance cards, updated vehicle registration, and a new driver’s license. If you are in an area where vehicle registration is not required, make sure to still purchase car insurance. It’s the smart thing to do.

License Renewal Procedures

For the general population of drivers in Alaska, the license renewal procedures are as follows.

  • License Renewal Cycle — every FIVE years
  • Proof of Adequate Vision — required when renewing in-person
  • Mail or Online Renewal — both permitted every other renewal

Alaska’s mail or online renewal system means drivers only have to visit the DMV in-person every 10 years. Just remember to fill out the necessary paperwork and get your eyes checked beforehand.

Reckless and Negligent Driving

Reckless driving and negligent driving are illegal in Alaska. While negligent driving (also known as careless driving) is a lesser charge than reckless driving, both charges mean a person drove in a manner that endangered others or property.

Below are the penalties for negligent driving, which is a traffic infraction rather than a crime in Alaska.

Classification of Negligent Driving Fines Points
Infraction Up to $3006
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Reckless driving is more serious, with increased fines, points, and additional penalties.

Classification of Reckless Driving FinesPoints Jail Time License Suspension
Crime - Misdemeanor Up to $1,00010Up to 1 yearMinimum 30 days
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Drivers who have 12 or more points within a year will automatically have their licenses suspended.

Rules of the Road

Alaska requires every driver to know the rules of the road before receiving a learner’s license or a driver’s license. Sometimes, though, drivers can grow a little rusty on road rules because they don’t have to study a manual anymore.

Some laws can change too, making it hard to keep up with the rules of the road.

To help make sure all drivers are up to date on important driving laws, we’ve compiled some important driving laws up next. Keep reading to learn about everything from seat belt laws to ridesharing.

Fault vs. No-Fault

Alaska is an at-fault state. This means that the driver who caused the accident is liable for all medical and property damage costs. This is why it is so important to have insurance!

If you don’t have liability coverage and are at-fault, you will likely be unable to pay off all the bills.

So even if you live in an area where minimum liability coverage isn’t required, having insurance will provide you with essential protection in case of an accident.

Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws

Buckle up slogans are around for a reason. The chance of fatalities goes up when people aren’t wearing seatbelts. In an impact, seatbelts prevent people from being violently thrown from the vehicle.

And since no-one ever knows when an impact will occur, that seat belt needs to stay clicked in.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at Alaska’s seat belt law.

Seat Belt Law in AlaskaDetails
Effective SinceSeptember 12, 1990
Primary EnforcementYes
Age/Seats Applicable16+ years old in front seat
1st Offense Maximum Fine$15 plus fees
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Primary enforcement means an officer can pull you over and ticket you for not wearing a seatbelt. While the maximum fine is $15, other processing fees may apply.

Another important law is Alaska’s car seat law.

Type of Car SeatAge and Weight Details
Rear-Facing Child Restraint Younger than one or less than 20 pounds
Forward-Facing Child Restraint One to three years old and more than 20 pounds
Child Booster SeatFour through 15 years old who are either shorter than 57 inches or who weigh more than 20 but less than 65 pounds
Adult Belt Permissible Four through 7 years old who are at least 57 inches or 65+ pounds; 7 through 15 years who are shorter than 57 inches or weigh less than 65 pounds
1st Offense Maximum Fine $50
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Make sure to also follow manufacturers’ age and weight recommendations when installing car seats for our smaller passengers.

As for riding in the cargo areas of pickup trucks, Alaska doesn’t have a law restricting this. Of course, this doesn’t mean passengers should throw caution out the window.

Passengers can easily be thrown from the cargo area, so make sure to buckle up if possible and have the driver take it slow.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

The keep right law is incredibly simple to follow in Alaska. If drivers are driving UNDER the speed limit, they are prohibited from driving in the left lane and must KEEP RIGHT.

Just remember that slower traffic must stay in the right lane, and you’ll be fine.

The move over law is also simple but is vital in keeping people safe. If drivers see a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights traveling in the same direction, the drivers must move over to a lane further away from the stationary vehicle.

Below are some other vehicles with flashing lights that drivers must move over for.

  • Tow trucks
  • Road maintenance
  • Animal control

Of course, if you see a regular vehicle with hazard lights on, you should still move over. If you can’t move over safely, make sure to slow down.

Speed Limits

Another law intended to keep people safe on the roads is maximum speed limits. The faster people drive, the greater the risk they face of crashing or rolling over.

Roadway TypeMaximum Speed Limit
Rural Interstates65 mph
Urban Interstates55 mph
Other Limited Access Roads65 mph
Other Roads55 mph
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Since these are the MAXIMUM speed limits, going over a posted speed limit will still result in a ticket even if a driver is below the maximum speed.


If you are thinking of joining a company like Uber or Lyft to become a transportation network driver in Alaska, you will need to purchase ridesharing insurance and have minimum liability coverage.

You must also have a clean driving record for three years, a clean background check, and be over 21 years old.

So make sure to talk to your provider about ridesharing insurance and talk to the ridesharing company to make sure you meet Alaska’s requirements.

Automation on the Road

Currently, Alaska doesn’t have a law regulating the use of automated vehicles. The IIHS defines automated vehicles as “the use of a machine or technology to perform a task or function that was previously carried out by a human.”

This means that there can be multiple levels of automation. While cars aren’t fully automated yet, most cars today have some level of automation.

Features like cruise control and lane departure warning are all automated features, which means your car could be considered partly automated.

Safety Laws

Safety laws prohibit impaired driving. Alaska places strict penalties in place to prevent drunk driving, marijuana-impaired driving, and distracted driving. Keep reading to learn what these laws entail.

DUI Laws

Drunk driving usually results in tragic outcomes. Alaska suffered 22 alcohol-related deaths in 2017, and unfortunately, drunk driving continues to be a problem in Alaska.

Alaska created the following law to help combat drunk driving fatalities.

DUI Law in AlaskaDetails
Name for Offense Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Operating Under the Influence (OUI)
BAC Limit0.08
High BAC Limit NA
Criminal Status1st to 3rd offenses are class A misdemeanors; 3rd+ in 10 years is a class C felony
Look Back Period 15 years
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A look back or washout period means a DUI will stay on a driver’s record for 15 years. Of course, a DUI on a driving record means increased rates.

If authorities convict drivers of drunk driving, drivers will face the following penalties.

OffenseLicense SuspensionFinesJail TimeMandatory Interlock Other
1st Offense90 days$1,500 minimum +$200 license reinstatement feeMandatory minimum 72 consecutive hours1 yearSR-22 liability insurance required for 5 years, possible attendance at ASAP endorsed treatment program
2nd Offense1 year$3,000 minimum +$500 license reinstatement feeMandatory 20 days minimum 2 yearsSR-22 liability insurance required for 10 years
3rd Offense3 years$4,000 minimumMandatory 60 days minimum 3 yearsSR-22 liability insurance required for 20 years
4th Offense 5 years$10,000 minimumMandatory 120 days minimum3 years if license restoredSR-22 liability insurance required for life
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Driving drunk can cost drivers their driving privileges, as well as hefty fines and jail time.

Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

Alaska doesn’t have a law specifically addressing marijuana-impaired driving, but this doesn’t mean driving under the influence of marijuana is legal. If you drive while high, authorities will charge you with impaired driving.

Impaired driving carries many of the same penalties as drunk driving. Drivers may receive license suspension, fines, jail time, and other penalties.

Bottom line? Don’t drive impaired. Not only does it place you at risk, but also everyone around you.

Distracted Driving Laws

In the age of the smartphone, distracted driving has reached a new level. The second it takes to check a text or send a selfie is all it takes for an accident to happen. To try and curb this dangerous behavior, Alaska has placed the following restrictions on cellphone use.

Hand-Held BanYoung Driver Cell Phone BanTexting BanEnforcement
NoNoAll driversPrimary
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All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and law enforcement officers can ticket drivers they see texting while driving.

Road Dangers in Alaska

Alaska’s terrain has driving risks unique to the state. From crumbling highways to large wildlife leaping in front of cars, Alaska’s drivers need to remain alert.

For instance, moose collisions are highest during the snowy winter months, when moose walk on cleared roads. Alaskans also need to be on the watch for caribou, bears, and bison.

Knowing these risk factors can help drivers avoid accidents. That’s why we are going to dive into the major road risks in Alaska, from vehicle theft to factors in collisions.

So keep reading to learn about Alaska’s must-know road dangers.

Vehicle Theft in Alaska

There are certain types of vehicles that are stolen more than others. Alaska, which features rougher terrain, has more versatile vehicles (such as trucks) stolen than other types.

The table below shows the number of vehicles stolen in Alaska.

Vehicle Make and ModelVehicle YearTotal Stolen
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)2003147
Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size)199820
Dodge Pickup (Full Size)199844
Ford Explorer199431
Ford Pickup (Full Size)200495
Ford Pickup (Small Size)200022
GMC Pickup (Full Size)199758
Honda Accord199346
Honda Civic200056
Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee199928
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The vehicle year simply means that out of the total stolen, that vehicle year was the most popular stolen model. For instance, out of the 147 Chevrolet pickups stolen, the 2003 Chevrolet pickup was stolen the most.

The FBI also compiled a 2013 report on crime rates by state cities. We have included the FBI’s data on vehicle thefts by cities below.

City2013 Total Motor
Bristol Bay Borough6
North Pole6
North Slope Borough15
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As the largest city in Alaska, Anchorage is also the worst place in Alaska for vehicle theft.

Road Fatalities in State

Do you know the major causes of fatalities in Alaska? If not, we are going to cover everything from weather conditions to crash type.

Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Every state has different weather conditions that can contribute to crashes. Below is 2017 data on crashes by weather condition and light condition in Alaska.

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
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Alaska’s weather can cause dangerous road conditions. Alaska’s snow is a major hazard, as there were 10 fatal crashes in snowy conditions in 2017.

Fatalities (All Crashes) by County

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collected extensive data on traffic fatalities. We are going to look at the NHTSA’s data on everything from county rates to impaired driving rates so that you can be aware of what risk factors are happening in your area.

The first statistics we want to dive into are traffic fatalities by county.

County 20132014201520162017
Aleutians East Borough00000
Aleutians West Census Area00130
Anchorage Borough1725262118
Bethel Census Area11214
Bristol Bay Borough01100
Denali Borough14014
Dillingham Census Area10000
Fairbanks North Star Borough7119812
Haines Borough00010
Juneau Borough02011
Kenai Peninsula Borough466116
Ketchikan Gateway Borough00011
Kodiak Island Borough10000
Lake And Peninsula Borough00000
Matanuska-Susitna Borough1114152021
Nome Census Area01004
North Slope Borough01011
Northwest Arctic Borough11001
Prince Of Wales-Outer Ketchikan
Census Area10112
Sitka Borough00000
Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area00011
Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area00000
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area22141
Valdez-Cordova Census Area21040
Wade Hampton Census Area12201
Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area00020
Yakutat Borough00000
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area11131
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Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna have the highest fatality rates from year to year.

Traffic Fatalities

In Alaska, rural roads see more fatalities than urban roads. Not only do the higher speeds on rural roads mean greater impacts, but there is also increased wildlife traffic.

The table below shows the fatalities on rural and urban roads over a span of ten years.

Road Type 2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
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If you are driving on rural roads, make sure to exercise caution. Drive the speed limit, and keep your eyes open for wildlife crossing the road.

Fatalities by Person Type

The NHTSA doesn’t mean if a person has road rage or not when it talks about person type. Person type shows if a fatality was a pedestrian or car occupant, as well as what type of vehicle was being driven.

Person Type 20132014201520162017
Passenger Car Occupants101981622
Light Pickup Truck Occupants 614141813
Light Utility Truck Occupants11791811
Large Truck Occupants21020
Other/Unknown Occupants64558
Van Occupants02662
Bus Occupants01000
Bicyclists and Other Cyclists 13011
Other/Unknown Non-occupants00002
State Total5173658479
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Light trucks have more fatalities than large trucks. A small, light car with a low crash rating carries a greater risk of fatality, especially if it crashes into a larger vehicle.

Fatalities by Crash Type

Frequently, types of crashes have a varying degree of deadliness. Below, the table shows what the most fatal crash types are in Alaska.

Crash Type20132014201520162017
- (1) Single Vehicle3341415751
- (2) Involving a Large Truck45145
- (3) Involving Speeding2218223626
- (4) Involving a Rollover1721153320
- (5) Involving a Roadway Departure3243366448
- (6) Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)815141318
Total Fatalities (All Crashes)5173658479
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Single vehicle crashes and roadway departures have some of the highest fatality rates.

Five-Year Trend For The Top 10 Counties

Below, you will see the top counties with the worst fatality rates.

County Name20132014201520162017
Anchorage Borough1725262118
Matanuska-Susitna Borough1114152021
Fairbanks North Star Borough7119812
Kenai Peninsula Borough466116
Denali Borough14014
Bethel Census Area11214
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area11131
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area22141
Valdez-Cordova Census Area21040
Wade Hampton Census Area12201
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Once again, Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna counties consistently have the worst fatality rates.

Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

Speeding contributes to fatalities each year. Below, you can see NHTSA’s data on which counties suffer from the most speeding fatalities.

County 20132014201520162017
Aleutians East Borough00000
Aleutians West Census Area00030
Anchorage Borough83543
Bethel Census Area10013
Bristol Bay Borough00000
Denali Borough13002
Dillingham Census Area10000
Fairbanks North Star Borough35375
Haines Borough00000
Juneau Borough01000
Kenai Peninsula Borough22054
Ketchikan Gateway Borough00010
Kodiak Island Borough00000
Lake And Peninsula Borough00000
Matanuska-Susitna Borough521174
Nome Census Area00003
North Slope Borough00010
Northwest Arctic Borough00000
Prince Of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census
Sitka Borough00000
Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area00010
Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area00000
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area01030
Valdez-Cordova Census Area00030
Wade Hampton Census Area01201
Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area00000
Yakutat Borough00000
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area10100
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Alaska created speed limit laws for a reason. The faster drivers go, the less reaction time they have. Follow the posted speed limits and encourage others to do the same — it could just save a life.

Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08) by County

Remember all those DUI laws we went through? Alaska’s laws may seem harsh, but a look at the fatalities caused each year by drunk driving may change your mind.

County 20132014201520162017
Aleutians East Borough00000
Aleutians West Census Area00130
Anchorage Borough57755
Bethel Census Area10112
Bristol Bay Borough00000
Denali Borough11001
Dillingham Census Area10000
Fairbanks North Star Borough23431
Haines Borough00000
Juneau Borough01001
Kenai Peninsula Borough12130
Ketchikan Gateway Borough00010
Kodiak Island Borough10000
Lake And Peninsula Borough00000
Matanuska-Susitna Borough23586
Nome Census Area01004
North Slope Borough00010
Northwest Arctic Borough00000
Prince Of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area00001
Sitka Borough00000
Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area00010
Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area00000
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area10020
Valdez-Cordova Census Area11020
Wade Hampton Census Area02201
Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area00000
Yakutat Borough00000
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area00100
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That one extra drink isn’t worth your life or others. With so many ridesharing companies available today, it is easy enough to take an Uber home!

Teen Drinking and Driving

Teens are known for participating in risky behavior. One of the tragedies that result from this risk-taking is drunk driving.

Alaska’s underage drunk driving causes an average of 1.4 fatalities per 100,000 people, which is ABOVE the national average of 1.2 fatalities!

To see how Alaska is working to end teen drunk driving, let’s take a look at Alaska’s arrest record for underage drinking and driving.

DUI Arrests (under 18-years-old)DUI Arrests (under 18-years-old) Total Per Million People Rank
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The good news is that Alaska ranks eighth in the U.S. for underage drunk driving arrests. This means Alaska is fantastic at keeping underage drunk drivers off the streets!

EMS Response Time

Now that we’ve covered fatality rates, let’s switch tracks and look at EMS response times in Alaska.

Location of IncidentTime of Crash to EMS NotificationEMS Notification to EMS ArrivalEMS Arrival at Scene to Hospital ArrivalTime of Crash to Hospital ArrivalTotal Fatalities in Crashes
Rural2.91 min13.16 min39.33 min48.59 min47
Urban0.84 min6.18 min22.00 min28.83 min30
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Generally, help in urban areas will arrive quicker. In rural areas, though, help will still arrive in under an hour.


In our modern day society, we depend on transportation to take us where we need to go. With such busy lives, transportation is a vital part of our lives.

To see how transportation functions in Alaska, we will take a look at everything from car ownership to traffic congestion.

Car Ownership

In Alaska, most residents own a total of two cars, followed almost equally by three- and one-car households.

Commute Time

The good news is that Alaskan residents spend only an average of 17 minutes commuting each day. This is much lower than the countrywide average of 25.3 minutes!

Commuter Transportation

In Alaska, the most common methods of transportation are driving alone, carpooling, and walking.

Carpooling is the second most popular option for a reason. There are multiple benefits to carpooling, such as saving money on gas!

Traffic Congestion

The great news is that NONE of Alaska’s cities made it onto major traffic scorecards. Since Alaska residents only spend an average of 17 minutes commuting each day, it makes sense that there isn’t a ton of traffic congestion in Alaska.

Still, if you are planning on driving through some of Alaska’s larger cities, you may want to allow a little extra time for normal traffic congestion.

Congratulations! You’ve made it through our extensive guide and are now ready to hit Alaska’s rugged roads! Want to start comparison shopping today? Enter your ZIP code in our FREE online tool below!