Welcome to the last frontier of all you need to know about Alaska license plates! What are your options? How much does it cost to get a new one or a replacement? Can you use plate covers or frames? Read on for all the answers:
Getting an Alaska license plate is a relatively straightforward process, but it does come with some costs and restrictions. In addition, several types of plates are available to Alaskan drivers, such as personalized plates or collector’s items. Depending on the plate type and tags, specific fees and regulations may be associated with it.
Take a quick look at all you need to know about getting an Alaska license plate for your car:
Does Alaska have two license plates?
No, Alaska is a one-plate state.
The vehicle law requires passenger vehicles, trucks, trailers, vans, motorhomes, APVs, and motorcycles to display the plate on the back. Commercial vehicles weighing over 10k pounds can mount their Alaska license plate in the front. All plates must have a month and year tab; you can only display DMV-approved stickers/emblems and cannot paint the plate another color. Personalized and special plates are available on request.
Do the plates cost extra?
Your vehicle registration fee includes the standard Alaska license plate and tabs. Find out all about Alaska car registration here.
Personalized/Special plates and replacements cost extra. It costs $5 to replace the Standard Gold plates and $30 to personalize them. Fees for other types, like commemorative, special issue, military, etc., vary per the Alaska Statute (Motor Vehicles) 28.10.421.
What are the different types of Alaska license plates?
Apart from the Standard Gold, you can choose from the Grizzly Bear and Supporting the Arts license plates that are free of charge with registration. You can also get custom Mountain or Caribou plates for $30.
Special Alaska License Plate Types:
Support Your Favorite Cause: Alaska Children’s Trust, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice, Veterans Commemorative, etc.
Support Alaska’s Universities: UAA, UAF, UAS, PWS
Military and Veteran Plates: Airforce, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy (Available with Unit symbols also)
Alaska National Guard Plate
Special Plates for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors: Former POW, Gold Star Family, Purple Heart, etc.
For Fraternal Organization Members: Pioneers of Alaska, Freemasons, Lions Club, etc
Special Issue License Plates: Alaska Kids, Historic Vehicle, Farm vehicle, etc
Note: Special Alaska license plates are made on request and may take more processing time. Learn more about fees and rules here.
There are no initial or renewal fees for ADA/Accessibility Alaska license plates (Disabled w/ Parking Privileges, Disabled Veteran w/ Parking Privileges, and Disabled Veteran w/o Parking Privileges).
Did You Know:
What is the rarest license plate state? According to mecum.com, the 1921 Alaska plate is a prized find for serious license plate collectors as it is one of the rarest. Only a few exist, and experts estimate their value at $60K+.
What color are Alaska license plates?
The standard plates are yellow. Blue on yellow “The Last Frontier” plates are a popular collector’s item, and you’ll find replicas online.
Blue accents are common across Alaska license plate types. But it varies per the image and design of personalized or special plates. It is not legal to paint or alter an Alaska license plate; tags/decals/stickers other than those issued by the DMV could also get you in trouble.
Are license plate frames and covers legal in AK?
Alaska Vehicle Registration and Licenses Code (Sec 9.52.040) states that:
“No motor vehicle may be operated or parked on a street, highway or vehicular way, or area within the municipality with any number, letter, or registration decal or sticker of a license plate obscured or covered by dirt or debris, a tinted or shaded cover plate, any nontransparent covering, or any coating not provided by the manufacturer of the license plate.”
So, as long as your license plate and tags are clearly visible, you can customize them with clear plastic covers and decorative frames. If the cops pull you over for a violation – for example, for dirt obscuring your plate – you’re likely to be let off with a warning after clearing the obstruction.
What is the Alaska license plate controversy?
In 2021, Matthew Tunseth shared an image on social media that triggered online discussions about personalized Alaska license plate rules. The image showed a black Hummer in downtown Anchorage with “3REICH” on the plate. Many lawmakers were quick to condemn Nazi reference – however, one decided to take another route and blew up the controversy with just one post about the issue.
Anchorage Assembly member Jamie Allard took to her official Facebook account and opined that the personalized text on the plate is just a German word that means “Realm.” Counterarguments soon outnumbered her comments, and she eventually took the post down. Allard was also a member of the state commission that investigates complaints against discrimination. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) promptly removed her from the position.
Earlier, another Anchorage resident Eva Gardner reported a Hummer SUV with “FUHRER” on its Alaska license plate. However, her complaint to the DMV went unheard – unless the other Nazi-referencing plate appeared on Twitter. Soon, the DMV announced their plans to review vanity plates issued since the mid-2000s and improve their personalized plate review process.
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