Alaska CDL Requirements

You must get an Alaska commercial driver’s license (CDL) to be able to drive commercial vehicles in Alaska. Also see the Federal CDL Requirements applicable to every state.

Alaska adopted the Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, and is part of a nationally uniform system of classifying, testing, and licensing commercial vehicle drivers.

When is an Alaska CDL Required

You need an Alaska CDL when you operate the following vehicles:

CLASS A – Applies only to “combination” vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) more than 26,000 pounds, and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with a Class A CDL (plus any appropriate endorsements) can also operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D (below)

CLASS B – Includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being pulled must not be more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with an Alaska Class B CDL (plus appropriate endorsements) can also legally operate all vehicles in Class C or D.

CLASS C – Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B as contained in this section, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).

CLASS D – Private passenger, regular operator.

Those exempted from the commercial driver licensing requirements

  • Drivers of recreational, military and emergency vehicles.
  • Farm vehicles are exempt if controlled and operated by a farmer, used to transport agricultural products or machinery to and from a farm, not used in for-hire or contract carrier operations, and if driven no further than 150 miles from the farm.

Alaska CDL Age Requirements

You must be at least 19 years of age to drive commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) within state lines (Intrastate). However, drivers must be at leat 21 years old to:

  • commercial vehicles across state lines (interstate)
  • haul hazardous materials which require placarding or
  • operate vehicle with doubles or triples trailers

An applicant must pass the knowledge, skills and vision test prior to issuance of the CDL.

How to Apply for an Alaska CDL

Testing and Issuance Requirements

Your social security card is required to obtain a CDL along with other birth and identity documents if you have never been licensed in the State of Alaska.

  • The commercial driver license fee is $100.00.
  • There is a $25.00 non-refundable fee for those requiring a road test.

Road test appointments may be scheduled online, in person at any DMV office, or online using DMV STAR (see page 4). In the Municipality of Anchorage, commercial tests are administered by the Center for Employment Education (CEE). Call 279-8451 for an appointment.

The minimum passing score for all knowledge tests is 80%.

To obtain a passing score on the skill test, the applicant must demonstrate that he/she can successfully perform all of the skills required. Under Department of Administration regulation 2 AAC 90.420 the knowledge tests may be taken once per day until successful completion. The road skills test will be given to the applicant once he/she satisfactorily meets all other requirements; second road skills test will be conducted at least one week after the first test if the department determines it is necessary; further testing will be at the department’s discretion and the department may require proof that additional driver training has been completed.

Medical Certificate and Self Certification Requirements

Effective January 1, 2012 all CDL drivers are required by Federal law to self certify to the type of CMV operation that applies to the driver. The types of operation are as follows: Non-excepted interstate, excepted interstate, non-excepted intrastate and excepted intrastate. Depending on the type of operation a driver self certifies to, Federal and State law requires drivers to carry on their person while operating a CMV, a medical examiner’s certificate which certifies that they are physically qualified to operate a CMV. There are excepted reasons for not having a medical card, as explained in CFR 383.73. For questions regarding CDL Medical Cards, please call Dept. of Transportation at (907) 341-3200.

Effective January 1, 2012 the State is required to downgrade any CDL holder with an expired medical certificate on file within 60 days of expiration.

Implied Consent – When you operate or drive a CMV you have already consented to a chemical test of your breath for the purpose of determining the alcohol content of your blood or breath. The law of “implied consent” allows law enforcement officers to request a sample of your breath. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test your CDL will be disqualified for one year for a first offense, or three years if transporting hazardous materials. A second and subsequent offense is a minimum ten years disqualification.