In Alaska, it’s illegal to drive without a valid driver’s license. This article explains what constitutes driving without a license, the penalties for a violation, and exemptions to the rule.
Generally, every person who operates a motor vehicle on an Alaskan highway must possess and be able to display a valid driver’s license.
License not in possession. Failure to display a valid license upon the request of an officer doesn’t have to result in a conviction. If the driver is able to produce, in court or at the police station, a driver’s license that was valid at the time of the officer’s request, the charge is supposed to be dismissed. However, a violation is considered an infraction and can result in a fine of up to $300.
Driving without a valid license. A violation of driving without a valid license in Alaska is traffic infraction. A traffic infraction cannot result in jail time but does carry a fine of up to $300.
Exceptions. Certain persons are exempt from the licensing requirement, such as military personnel and farmers driving tractors. Non-residents with a foreign driver’s license are also exempt. However, all of these exceptions come with limitations, so confer with an attorney if you think one of the exceptions might apply to your situation.
Driving on a suspended, restricted, or revoked license is generally a traffic infraction in Alaska and comes with a fine of up to $300. However, any violator whose license was suspended due to a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction can be convicted of a misdemeanor and faces the following penalties:
Fines. A misdemeanor violation carries a fine of up to $500.
Jail. For a first misdemeanor offense, the driver is subject to a jail sentence of ten to 90 days—though the person might not actually serve the full time in jail if probation is granted. For a second or subsequent conviction, however, probation cannot be granted until the ten days of jail is served.
License. The court is permitted—but not required—to revoke or suspend the driver’s license.
Forfeiture. The vehicle used in the commission of the violation will also be subject to forfeiture and sale by the state.
It should be noted that a license is not automatically reinstated once a suspension or restriction period has passed. Speak with a qualified attorney for the specifics.