Category: Alaska

Alaska Car Insurance

When it comes to car insurance laws and policies the state of Alaska is a good deal different from most other states due to its unique environmental, geographical and socioeconomic characteristics. Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of the state’s car insurance law that sets it apart from the from other states is that while Alaska has a slew of laws concerning Alaska car insurance, and there are certain towns and regions in the state that are exempt from these requirements. These areas that are exempt from the state’s laws on car insurance are typically isolated from the outside world and have rather small populations, both of which can make minimum car insurance requirements an undue burden on the community. In addition to vehicles that are operated in the specified areas, vehicles that are designed to go off-road and vehicles that are non operational are not required to adhere to Alaska’s minimum car insurance requirements.

For those that are not exempt from Alaska’s laws governing car insurance a rather strict mandatory coverage limit must still be met in order to operate a vehicle legally. The state of Alaska requires that every vehicle be insured with at least $50,000 for injuries to a single person, $100,000 for injuries to multiple people and $25,000 for property damage; all three of which are designed to cover those that are not at fault in an accident. These amounts are higher than in any other state in part because Alaskan officials want to minimize the lawsuits that are a common result of accidents where the minimum insurance carried by the at-fault driver is not enough to cover the damages from the accident. If a driver has accrued more than 6 points on their license in a 5 year span they will be required to meet these limited liability insurance requirements established by the state of Alaska even if they live in an area that is normally exempt from such requirements. Like most other states Alaska also requires that the driver of a vehicle keep proof of insurance in the vehicle at all times. Failure to provide proof of insurance when it is requested by a police officer or an authorized representative of the Department of Public Safety could result in the vehicle being confiscated and impounded until such proof is provided and all fines have been paid. In addition to routine traffic stops proof of insurance is also required if a driver is involved in an accident that resulted in bodily injury, death or damage of property over $501. Alaska is also one of many states that will legally require a driver to carry full coverage on a vehicle that was purchased with a loan. In some states this is left up to the lenders and car dealerships but Alaska has had regulations in place for many years that ensure that all new vehicles purchased with a loan will carry full coverage auto insurance so that if the vehicle is totaled in the first year or two neither the owner or the lender are left holding a worthless asset.

Although car insurance laws in Alaska may seem somewhat lax, especially in their allowance of people that live in certain parts of the state to disregard the legal requirements, when it comes to enforcement of the car insurance laws on the book not many states are as unbending as Alaska. If a driver is pulled over in Alaska and fails to show proof of insurance minimum 90 day suspension of the driver’s license will the punishment handed out and based on the driving record and prior infractions the suspension could be as long as a year. Alaska state law also stipulates that any driver that is involved in an accident and fails to provide proof of insurance, regardless of who is at fault, will have their license suspended for a similar period of time. No matter what the case or how it is discovered, if the DMV is notified that someone is driving a vehicle without proper auto insurance they are required by state law to immediately suspend the license of the owner of the vehicle and/or the person that is driving the vehicle. Failing to provide proof of insurance in Alaska will also result in a hefty fine of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent infraction.

In instances where someone that does not have insurance on their vehicle is responsible for an accident that caused property damage or bodily harm the state of Alaska still holds the uninsured driver responsible for paying all damages to the injured party within a period of three years. If the matter is not settled within that time frame the driving privileges of the at-fault uninsured driver that failed to pay for the damages will be revoked for a period of three years.

Filed under: Alaska, Articles, Car InsuranceTagged with: ,

New Rules for Alaska Emissions Testing

According to the DMV website, updated on 10/02/2014, emissions testing on vehicles is required for many original registered vehicles. These tests need to be updated every two years.

Vehicles that will require emissions testing are as follows:

A car, truck, motor home, or RV requires emissions testing in the following circumstances.

  • It is a 1968 model or newer vehicle registered in Fort Richardson, Elmendorf AFB, Indian, Chugiak, Eagle River, Girdwood and Eklutna or within the Municipality of Anchorage.
  • It is a 1975 model or newer and driven mainly in the urban areas of Fairbanks North Star Borough, including Eielson AFB, Fort Wainwright, Salcha and North Pole.
  • It runs on diesel fuel and dual-fuel.

Source: http://www.dmv.com/ak/alaska/emissions-testing

Certificates that are issued after your vehicles emissions testing are valid for 90 days. This valid test is required to reinstate a suspended registration or an original or registration renewal. Used car dealers will have to perform emissions testing on any cars before they are sold to the public. If a vehicle is purchased from a personal owner, the new owner will be responsible for emissions testing.

Exemptions

There are a few exemptions for vehicle emissions testing:

  • It is a new vehicle less than 4 years old.
  • It is a motorcycle or a motor scooter.
  • It is a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 12,000 pounds or more.
  • It is a trailer, snowmobile or an ATV.

Click here for further information on testing your vehicles emissions.

Filed under: Alaska, Articles, State Emissions Testing

Alaska – General Emissions Information

Alaska General Emissions Information

The State of Alaska requires emissions testing or I/M inspections for all vehicles. They are required for most new registrations as well as annual renewals. The emission test or I/M inspection are required to be completed every two years on existing vehicles.

Which Vehicles are required to have an Emissions Test

There are three reasons that a car, truck, motor home, or recreational vehicle requires an emission test:

  1. If it is newer than 1968 and registered in one of the following counties: Fort Richardson, Elmendorf AFB, Indian, Chugiak, Eagle River, Girdwood, and Eklutna or within the Municipality of Anchorage.
  2. If it is newer than 1975 and is registered in one of the following counties: Fairbanks North Star Borough, Eielson AFB, Fort Wainwright, Salcha and the North Pole
  3. It runs on diesel fuel and duel-fuel

How long are certificates valid?

Certificates that are issued by an I/M or an emission inspector are valid for 90 days. You will need to have a valid test in order to reinstate a registration that has been suspended and will also need to complete the original vehicle registration or registration renewal process. Keep in mind that all used car dealers are required to provide a valid emissions test for any vehicle that is sole. However, it is the buyer’s responsibility to have one completed if they purchase it through an individual.

Are there any exemptions:

There are some exemptions to these rules if they fall into the following categories:

  1. Younger than 4 years old
  2. Is considered a motorcycle or a motor scooter
  3. Weighs more than 12,000 pounds
  4. Is a trailer, snowmobile or an ATV

Testing Locations

You can have your vehicle tested at an authorized I/M Inspection facility that is licensed by the state. Signs are supplied by the DMV and should be displayed where you can see them. Test standards, as well as the maximum fees, should also be displayed at the station as well. Some inspection sites can also register your vehicle as well.

Fees

There is a maximum fee that has been set by the DMV, however, this amount varies depending on the vehicle that you drive, the type of fuel that is used, as well as the county. There is an administrative fee of $2 that is applied to residential vehicles and $1 for commercial vehicles

What if my vehicle fails?

If you do find that your vehicle has failed the test, you will be required to have it repaired and retested. However, there may be some waivers that apply to you. Below are the waivers that have been set up by the state by the DMV. You must have this approved prior to registration:

  • Seasonal Waiver: If you will be driving in Anchorage between April 1 and October 31
  • Outside use waiver: you have an Anchorage address, but you do not reside there
  • Repair Cost Minimums Waiver: If you have purchased $450 in certain parts to help you pass the emissions test and it still fails the test
  • Parts on order waiver: Parts have been ordered for the repair, but have not arrived yet.
Filed under: Alaska, Articles, State Emissions Testing