Alaska has a number of different licenses available to teen drivers. However, the two most common teen licenses are an instruction permit and provisional license—both are prerequisites for a teen to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license.
At 14 years old, Alaska teens can apply for an instruction permit. The instruction permit application requires:
The instruction permit is valid for two years and allows the holder to operate a motor vehicle while under the direct supervision (front seat) of a parent, guardian, or licensed adult who’s at least 21 years old with at least one year of driving experience.
After holding an instruction permit for six months with no traffic violations, a 16-year-old Alaskan can apply for a provisional license. The application must be submitted and must include a completed parental consent form. The application must also include proof from a parent, guardian, or employer that the applicant has completed at least 40 hours of supervised driving. Ten of these hours must be completed in “progressively challenging circumstances,” such as at night or during inclement weather. After completing the driving test, the applicant can be issued a provisional license.
A provisional license holder can drive alone but with certain restrictions. The driver can’t operate a vehicle from 1:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. unless supervised by an adult, guardian, or licensed adult who’s at least 21 years old. Exceptions are allowed for driving to, from, and during employment.
A provisional license can’t be used to transport any non-sibling passengers unless supervised by a parent, guardian, or adult who’s at least 21 years old.
A violation of these restrictions is an infraction and will result in two license demerit points.
A teen who has held an instruction permit for six months, a provisional license for six months, has no traffic violations for six months, and is at least 16 years old can apply for an unrestricted driver’s license. The application still requires parental consent and proof of identification and residency.
A restricted instruction permit is also available to teens who are 14 years old but does not require any examination. This permit is just for driver’s education and allows the holder to drive only while supervised by a licensed driver’s education instructor.
Drivers younger than 16 years old who can show “extreme hardship” might be eligible for a special driver’s license after passing the necessary examinations. Examples of such hardships include the death or incapacitating illness of a parent.
As many parts of Alaska are almost inaccessible, an off-highway license is available to teens who live in certain remote areas. These teens can obtain the off-highway license without having to go through the normal examination requirements.
The parent or guardian who signs a teen’s license application will be held liable for the negligence and willful misconduct of the youth driver. At any time, the parent can withdraw consent and request the DMV cancel the teen’s license.
Before any driver can operate a vehicle in Alaska, the vehicle must be properly insured. In Alaska, the mandatory liability insurance requirements include at least $50,000 bodily injury per person, $100,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage per accident. Failure to carry insurance can result in a $500 fine, license suspension, and vehicle impoundment.