Downtown Anchorage seen with the Alaska Range to the north.
Ken Graham

Quick Guide to REAL ID-Compliant CDLs

Monday, March 11, 2019

If you or your employees need a Commercial Driver’s License – CDL – in Alaska, you’ll need a few extra documents to renew or to get one for the first time. New CDLs comply with federal standards for the issuance of identification, including driver's licenses. A REAL ID license is optional when renewing a non-commercial (Class D) driver’s license. But commercial licenses are only available as REAL ID. In short, you’ll just need a few extra documents when you next go to apply or renew a CDL.

What do I need to take with me to the DMV?

To get the new CDL, applicants must provide:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or other Lawful Status
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of Name Change (if applicable)
  • Two Documents Verifying Alaska Residency

How much does it cost?

A new or renewed CDL is $120. It’s valid for 8 years.

Changes to state laws governing the issuance of driver’s licenses, including commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) took effect January 1, 2019. All commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) must now be REAL ID compliant.

Is my current CDL still valid?

All standard CDL cards currently in circulation are valid until they expire.

What about seasonal drivers?

Most seasonal workers and drivers will be required to obtain an Alaska license or CDL. The holder of an out-of-state driver’s license has to obtain an Alaska license by the end of a 90-day period after entry into the state. Statute also prohibits a person who has been a state resident for 30 days or longer from operating with a CDL issued by another state. The DMV's REAL ID reference guide has templates for verification letters for housing and employment for use with temporary/seasonal workers.