Alaska CDL Requirements
Alaska CDL Classes
In order to obtain or renew an Alaska CDL you must be domiciled in the state of Alaska. Alaska must be your true fixed and permanent home and principal residence to which you intend to return whenever you are away.
You must obtain an Alaska commercial driver’s license in order to operate any commercial vehicle that falls into one or more of the following classifications:
Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the towed vehicle is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as any vehicle towing another vehicle that does not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds.
Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that does not meet the criteria of either Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or is used in transporting materials classified as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.
Alaska CLP Requirements
In order to qualify for an Alaska commercial learner’s permit, you must:
- Be at least 17 years of age.
- Have had a valid Class D license for at least a year.
- Provide original documented proof of your identity and date of birth (i.e., a certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, valid I.D. card, etc.).
- Provide original documented proof of your Social Security number (i.e., your Social Security card, W-2 form, pay stub with your name and SSN on it).
- Provide original documented proof of U.S. legal presence (i.e., a certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, valid I.D. card, etc.).
- Provide proof of your Alaska residency that shows your name and current address (i.e., a utility bill, vehicle registration, W-2 form, etc.).
- Pass the vision test.
- Pass the commercial motor vehicle driver general knowledge test.
- Pass any other written knowledge tests for the class and type of CMV you intend to drive.
- Pass the written knowledge tests for any CDL endorsements you wish to obtain.
- Provide parental consent if you are under the age of 18.
- Pay any and all applicable fees.
Alaska CDL Requirements
In order to qualify for a commercial driver’s license in the state of Alaska, you must:
- Be at least 19 years of age for intrastate driving.
- Be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving.
- Held an Alaska state driver’s license for at least one year.
- Complete, sign, and submit the Application for Commercial Driver License (CDL)
- Provide a completed and signed Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Medical Examination Report.
- Self-certify that you intend to drive a CMV in either intrastate commerce or interstate commerce.
- Pass a vision exam.
- Schedule an appointment to take the CDL Skills Test.
- Pay the $25 CDL Skills Test fee (fee is non-refundable).
- Pass the CDL Skills Test.
- Pay the $100 fee for the commercial driver’s license.
A commercial driver may only carry one license and that license must have been issued by their home state.
Transferring a Commercial Driver’s License from Another State
In order to transfer a CDL from another state to Alaska, you must do the following:
- Complete, sign, and submit the Application for Commercial Driver License (CDL).
- Complete, sign, and submit the Commercial Driver Medical & Self Certifying Verification Form.
- Provide proof of your date of birth, legal name, social security number, and your current physical Alaskan address.
- Surrender your valid out of state license. (Cannot be expired over one year).
- Pass the written twenty question “Rules of the Road” test to convert to an Alaska license.
- Pass the “Hazardous Materials” test if you have that endorsement and would like to keep it.
- Pass the required knowledge tests for endorsements that you would like to add to your CDL and do not have on your current license. Some endorsements require a road test.
- Pass a vision exam.
- Pay the $100 fee for an Alaska commercial driver’s license.
If your out of state CDL is expired over one year you must pass ALL written tests that apply to the class of license you would like to obtain. For out of state CDLs that have been expired for more than five years, a road test is required.
The Alaska CDL Knowledge Tests
The CDL knowledge tests are administered at the Alaska DMV Offices. All commercial driver’s license applicants must pass the general knowledge test in order to be eligible to receive a CDL. Applicants must also take the knowledge tests whenever they add a class of vehicle to their Alaska CDL, add special endorsements to their Alaska CDL, or to remove an air brakes restriction that has been placed on their Alaska CDL.
The CDL general knowledge test consists of 50 questions in multiple choice form. In order to receive a passing score, each applicant is required to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly in the time allotted for that test. All knowledge tests require a score of at least 80% to pass.
Any applicant that exceeds the time limit or incorrectly answers too many questions on the general knowledge test will fail the test. Any applicant that uses any kind of test aid during the test will automatically fail the test. Anyone caught talking to another person during the test will automatically fail the test. Use of cell phones and camera devices is prohibited in the testing area.
All applicants should arrive at the DMV Office at least one hour prior to closing when taking the knowledge tests. Most DMV Offices are busier during the afternoon hours so, please keep that in mind when you plan on taking your test.
Once you successfully pass the required knowledge tests, the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles will issue you a commercial learner’s permit so that you can practice operating a commercial motor vehicle. You may only operate a CMV under the supervision of a front seat passenger who is at least 18 years old and carries a valid Alaska CDL of the same class as the class of vehicle you are operating. You may not operate any vehicle that is transporting materials deemed hazardous.
Over 60% of first time Alaska CDL applicants fail the written test! Be sure to download the Complete CDL Practice Test Study Package, as it contains practice tests containing questions and answers specifically designed to help you pass the actual CDL written tests administered by the DMV. You may also want to download the Complete CDL Cheat Sheet Study Package as it includes a collection of study guides with key information designed to help you rapidly learn all the sections of the CDL manual you must know in order to pass the CDL written exams.
Our Free CDL Practice Test will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.
Click here to find an Alaska DMV Office near you that administers the CDL knowledge tests.
The Alaska CDL Skills Test
Once you obtain your commercial learner’s permit, you will be allowed to take the CDL Skills Test for a non-refundable fee of $25. The Skills Test is given by appointment only and is administered by the Alaska DMV Offices. Walk-ins are not permitted. To schedule a test appointment, contact your nearest Alaska DMV Office or use the online DMV Skills Test Appointment and Reporting (STAR) system. You must provide your own test vehicle. The DMV Office will not provide a vehicle for you to test in.
The CDL Skills Test is a three part test that consists of a Pre-trip Inspection, a Basic Controls Test, and an On-Road Driving Test. You will be required to take the test in the same class and type of motor vehicle that you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.
If you take the CDL Skills Test in a commercial motor vehicle that is not equipped with air brakes, then you will have an air brakes restriction attached to your commercial driver’s license. If you fail any one part of the CDL Skills Test, you will be required to retake the entire test again. Only one CDL Skills Test can be taken per day. If your test vehicle is not legally equipped and safe to drive, you will not be able to proceed with the Skills Test.
- Pre-trip Inspection: Before you can take the CDL driving tests, you will first be tested on your knowledge of the class of vehicle you plan on driving once you obtain your CDL. The Pre-trip inspection also determines if your commercial vehicle is safe enough to drive on public roads. If you fail the Pre-trip Inspection, you may not be allowed to take the Road Skills Test.
- Basic Controls Test: Before you can take the Road Skills Test, you will first need to prove that you have the skills to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads. This test consists of various off-road maneuvers such as backing up your vehicle, moving your vehicle forward, and making turns within a defined area.
- Road Skills Test: Once you pass the first two tests, you will be required to drive your commercial vehicle on public roads in various traffic situations. You will be required to operate the same class of commercial vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.
The Basic Controls Test will most likely include the following maneuvers:
- 90 degree alley docking
- Straight line backing
- Parallel parking (driver side)
- Parallel parking (conventional)
- Offset back/right
- Offset back/left
The Road Skills Test will be administered on a route predetermined by the examiner. The test route will most likely include the following:
- Observing traffic signs
- Observing traffic signals
- Observing other traffic
- Using vehicle controls
- Maintaining proper lane positions
- Downgrade stopping
- Upgrade stopping
- Railroad crossings
- Bridge clearance
- Underpass clearance
- General observance of traffic laws
- General safe driving practices for trucks or buses
On the day of your CDL Skills Test appointment you must:
- Arrive on time.
- Bring your validated commercial learner’s permit.
- Bring your valid D.O.T. medical card (cannot be more than 2 years old).
- Bring a passenger (age 21 or older) that is qualified to drive a CMV with the same class of CDL or greater than the test vehicle.
- Bring a test vehicle that is the same class of license that you are testing for that is safe to drive.
Failure to do any of the above may result in an immediate cancellation of your CDL Skills Test appointment! The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles advises applicants to schedule their Skills Test appointment a few weeks in advance and to arrive early for their test appointment. If you decide to cancel your Skills Test appointment, you must cancel the appointment no later than 24 hours in advance.
The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles has the right to cancel any CDL Skills Test appointment due to bad weather, under sourced staffing, or any other unforseen circumstances. Be sure to call the DMV Office on the day of your Skills Test to see if your appointment has been cancelled.
Be sure to download and study the Alaska Commercial Driver License Manual, as it contains pertinent information that will help you pass the CDL Skills Test.
Commercial Driver Self-Certification
In the state of Alaska, all commercial driver’s license holders must self-certify as to what type of driving they will be doing (intrastate or interstate), and whether they meet or exceed the medical and physical standards put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to legally and safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. All Alaska CDL applicants must self-certify once they obtain their commercial driver’s license.
You are required to self-certify whenever you:
- Apply for a commercial driver’s license.
- Renew a commercial driver’s license.
- Apply for a higher class of commercial driver’s license.
- Apply for a new CDL endorsement.
- Transfer a commercial driver’s license from another state.
All commercial drivers who intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for the following purposes only, do not require a commercial driver’s license and are considered “exempt” and therefore are waived from self-certification:
- Fire and emergency vehicles used to preserve life and property or to carry out governmental operations.
- Vehicles operated by non-civilian operators of military equipment.
- Recreational vehicles that are being used for personal recreational use only.
- Any farm vehicle used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies within 150 air-miles of the owner’s farm and not used in the operation of a common or contract motor carrier.
If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you are considered “non-exempt” and are required to hold a valid CDL and must self-certify. You may also need to provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
If you operate a commercial motor vehicle in either intrastate or interstate commerce solely for the following purposes, then you are under “excepted” status, and therefore do not need to provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, but may need to undergo a medical evaluation:
- Transporting school children and/or school staff members between home and school.
- Operating any vehicle as an employee of either Federal, State, or Local government.
- Operating fire and rescue vehicles for emergency purposes and other related events.
- Transporting sick, injured, or deceased persons.
- Primarily transporting propane heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring an immediate response.
- When responding to a pipeline emergency requiring an immediate response such as a pipeline leak or rupture.
- When custom harvesting on a farm or to haul farm machinery and supplies to and from a farm or when transporting crops between a farm and a market or storage facility.
- When operating a farm vehicle that is not a combo vehicle (power unit and towed unit), and is used to haul agricultural products, farm supplies (cannot be materials deemed hazardous), or farm machinery to and from a farm and within 150 air miles of the farm.
- Transporting bees as an apiarist during beekeeping season.
- When transporting migrant workers.
- As a private motor carrier of passengers for non-business activities.
If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you operate in either “non-excepted” intrastate commerce, “non-excepted” interstate commerce, or both. “Non excepted” interstate drivers and “non-excepted” intrastate drivers must provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate along with a completed and signed copy of the Commercial Driver Medical & Self Certifying Verification Form. The Medical Examiner’s Certificate cannot expire within 60 days from the date of submission.
Any commercial drivers who self-certify as “excepted” interstate or “excepted” intrastate, must complete, sign, and submit the Commercial Driver Medical & Self Certifying Verification Form only. “Excepted” drivers do not have to submit any medical documents or waivers but, may have to undergo a medical evaluation. Please read A Guide for Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Holders for more details. You can submit your documents by mail, fax, or email, no matter what your self-certification status is.
If you have any questions regarding self-certification, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Alaska CDL Help Desk by calling (907) 269-3770 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you call. You can also email the Alaska CDL Help Desk at Lauren.Edades@alaska.gov. Please address your emails to Lauren Edades.
For more information about the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, please continue reading below.
Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License
- Licensed U.S. doctor of medicine (M.D.)
- Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)
- Licensed physician assistant (P.A.)
- Advanced practice registered nurse
The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be attached to the Medical Examination Report and dated within the previous two years if you are renewing your commercial driver’s license. If you are a first time CDL applicant submitting your Medical Examiner’s Certificate, then the certificate must not expire within 60 days from the date of submission.
The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles will only accept your medical forms if they have been completed by a qualified physician who has been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can search for a FMCSA certified physician by using the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
The FMSCA requires you to have at least 20/40 vision in each eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees (70 degrees in each eye) in order to be certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under certain conditions, you may be able to be waived from these and other medical requirements. Read the Intrastate Vision Application Information and the Intrastate Diabetes Application Information for more details.
Once you have completed and signed the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, the Medical Examination Report, the Commercial Driver Medical & Self Certifying Verification Form, and any applicable medical waivers, you can submit your documents by doing any of the following:
- Bring your completed and signed documents in person to any Alaska DMV Office.
- Fax your completed and signed documents to (907) 269-3774.
- Email your completed and signed documents in the pdf format (as an email attachment) to email@example.com.
- Mail your completed and signed documents to:
Anchorage Driver Licensing
1300 W. Benson Blvd, Ste. 100
Anchorage, AK 99503
Please include your name, address, and contact number on all mailings and faxes. Make sure your information is legible and be sure to double check and, if needed, correct any errors before submitting your documents. All CDL applicants are advised to keep copies of these documents for their own records. Failure to comply with state and federal self-certification regulations will result in a suspension, downgrade, or cancellation of your commercial driving privileges.
If you have any questions about submitting your medical documents, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Alaska CDL Help Desk by calling (907) 269-3770 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you call. You can also email the Alaska CDL Help Desk at Lauren.Edades@alaska.gov. Please address your emails to Lauren Edades.
Any person that is applying for a Hazardous Materials CDL endorsement is required to undergo a federal background check and federal fingerprint check according to guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration. All applicants must also provide the required documents to verify their identification and legal U.S. status. For more information, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s F.A.Q. page.
You can apply for the security threat assessment on the TSA Hazardous Material Endorsement Enrollment Website. You must begin applying at least 30 days before the expiration of your CDL. You can start the application process on the HTAP Online Application Website. To apply by phone call (855) 347-8371. Use the TSA Enrollment Center Locator to find the nearest TSA approved fingerprint office.
In the state of Alaska, if you are currently serving in the military or have been honorably discharged within the last 90 days, and you have driven military vehicles that would require a CDL to operate as a civilian with a 2 year safe driving record, then you may qualify for the waiver of the CDL Skills Test and may be exempt from taking the commercial driver skills test. You will still be required to take the written tests. Certain restrictions apply. Download, print, and complete the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver to start the process.
Alaska CDL Endorsements
H Placarded Hazmat Required to transport hazardous materials under DOT regulations.
N Tank Vehicles Required to transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.
X Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination Required to transport hazardous materials in tank vehicles
T Double/Triple Trailers Indicates CDL holder is certified to operate multiple trailer haulers.
P Passengers Indicates the CDL holder is certified to operate passenger vehicles.
S School Bus Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus.
Important Resources for Alaska CDL Requirements
Complete CDL Practice Test Study Package
Complete CDL Cheat Sheet Study Package
DMV Skills Test Appointment and Reporting
Application for Commercial Driver License
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
A Guide for Commercial Drivers License
Intrastate Diabetes Application Information
Intrastate Vision Application Information
CDL Vision Waiver Form
Commercial Driver Medical & Self Certifying Verification Form
Medical Examiner’s Certificate
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
Check out our list of truck driving schools in Alaska that will provide you with the necessary skills to obtain your commercial driver’s license and start your career in the exciting field of commercial truck driving! You may also want to check out our nationwide list of truck driving schools.
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Map of Alaska CDL Testing Locations
Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information.
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