Personalized License Plates in Alaska

Alaska’s vast landscapes and spirited culture offer a unique backdrop for vehicle owners to express their personality and interests through personalized license plates. This comprehensive guide delves into the process of obtaining a personalized license plate in Alaska, providing you with all the necessary information to showcase your individuality on the road.

Eligibility Criteria for Personalized Plates

In Alaska, the opportunity to customize your vehicle’s license plate allows for a personal touch on the road. However, there are specific eligibility criteria you must meet to apply for these personalized plates. Here, we’ll break down these criteria into easy-to-understand components.

Be a Registered Vehicle Owner in Alaska

First and foremost, you must be a registered vehicle owner within the state. This means your vehicle — whether it’s a car, truck, motorcycle, or any other type of vehicle eligible for registration — must be legally registered under your name in Alaska. Registration proves your vehicle complies with state regulations, and it’s a prerequisite for applying for a personalized license plate. Essentially, if you don’t have your vehicle registered, you’re not eligible to customize its license plate.

Adhere to Plate Character Specifications

Once you’ve confirmed your vehicle is registered, the next step is to ensure your desired plate characters meet Alaska’s specific requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure plates are easily readable and appropriate for all audiences. Here’s a breakdown of these specifications:


  • For most vehicles: You’re allowed up to 6 characters on your plate. These characters can be a combination of letters and numbers that represent a word, phrase, or abbreviation meaningful to you.
  • For motorcycles: The limit is up to 7 characters, due to the different plate design and size for motorcycles. This extra character gives motorcycle owners a bit more flexibility in expressing themselves.

Content Restrictions

  • No offensive language: Your chosen characters cannot include words, phrases, or abbreviations that might be considered offensive, vulgar, or inappropriate in any context. The DMV reviews each application to ensure that plates maintain a standard of decency.
  • No symbols: While some states might allow symbols on personalized plates (like a heart, star, or hand sign), Alaska’s plates are restricted to alphanumeric characters only — that’s letters (A-Z) and numbers (0-9).
  • No numbers only: Your plate can’t consist solely of numbers. The idea behind personalized plates is to express something unique or personal, which typically requires the inclusion of letters to form words or meaningful combinations.

By adhering to these criteria, you not only ensure your application is accepted but also contribute to a system of personalized plates that are respectful, understandable, and enjoyable for everyone on the road. When choosing your plate characters, consider what’s important to you — it could be a hobby, initials, a personal motto, or anything else that fits within these guidelines and represents who you are.

Checking Plate Availability

Before applying, verify the uniqueness of your desired plate to avoid duplication and confusion. Visit the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website to check the availability of your chosen plate.

Ensuring the uniqueness of your personalized license plate in Alaska is a crucial step in the application process. Here’s a detailed guide on how to check plate availability, apply for your plate, and understand the associated fees.

Checking Plate Availability

To ensure your personalized plate is unique and hasn’t already been taken, you must check its availability through the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This step is essential to prevent duplications and confusion on the road. Here’s how you can check:

  1. Visit the Alaska DMV Website: Start by accessing the official DMV website for the state of Alaska.
  2. Search for Plate Availability: Look for a section dedicated to personalized license plates. Within this section, there should be a feature or tool that allows you to input the plate characters you’re interested in and check if they are available.

This proactive measure saves time and effort by ensuring your desired plate isn’t already in use by someone else.

Application Process

Online Application

For convenience, Alaska offers an online application process for personalized plates:

  1. Access the Alaska DMV Website: Go to the official site to begin.
  2. Find Personalized License Plate Section: Navigate through the website to locate the section specifically for personalized plates.
  3. Complete the Application Form: Fill in the online form with your details and the characters you wish for your plate. Ensure everything is correct and matches your documentation.
  4. Submit with Fee: Finalize your application by submitting it along with the required fee. This payment covers the assessment of your plate design and the creation of your plate if approved.

Mail Application

Alternatively, you can apply via mail:

  1. Download Form: Obtain the personalized plate application form from the Alaska DMV website.
  2. Fill Out Form: Enter your personal information and desired plate characters accurately.
  3. Mail Application and Fee: Send the completed form along with the necessary payment to the DMV’s provided address.

Fees Explained

The costs associated with personalized plates in Alaska include:

  • One-time Application Fee: This non-refundable fee is paid when you submit your application for a personalized plate. It covers the review and processing of your request.
  • Annual Renewal Fee: In addition to your vehicle registration renewal, there’s an annual fee for maintaining your personalized plate. This ensures your plate remains active and in good standing.
  • Additional Costs: Depending on your selection, there may be extra fees. These could involve choosing a special plate design that supports charitable organizations or causes within the state.

Understanding these steps and fees will streamline your application process for a personalized license plate in Alaska, making it a straightforward path to expressing your individuality on the road.

Creative Ideas for Your Plate

Personalizing your license plate in Alaska offers a unique opportunity to showcase your interests, profession, or love for the state’s stunning locations. Here’s a guide to spark creativity for your plate design, along with some essential dos and don’ts to ensure your plate meets Alaska DMV guidelines and resonates with your personal style.


Your plate can reflect what you love to do in your free time, making your vehicle a testament to your passions. Consider these examples:

  • “HIKER” for those who love exploring Alaska’s rugged trails.
  • “FISHON” captures the essence of a fishing enthusiast waiting for that next big catch.


Highlight your profession with pride. It’s a great conversation starter and a nod to your dedication to your career:

  • “TEACHER” honors educators who shape the future one student at a time.
  • “DOCTOR” showcases the commitment to healing and health.

Favorite Alaskan Locations

Celebrate your favorite place in Alaska, whether it’s a well-known landmark or a hidden gem:

  • “DENALI” for those who are inspired by North America’s tallest peak.
  • “KENAI” reflects the beauty and serenity of the Kenai Peninsula, a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Personalized Plate Do’s and Don’ts

When designing your personalized plate, keep these tips in mind:


  • Reflect Your Personality: Choose a plate that says something about who you are, what you love, or what you stand for.
  • Adhere to DMV Guidelines: Make sure your plate idea complies with all Alaska DMV regulations regarding length, content, and character use to ensure it’s approved without issues.


  • Select Offensive Content: Avoid any language, numbers, or abbreviations that could be considered offensive, vulgar, or inappropriate. The DMV will reject plates that don’t meet community standards.
  • Choose Misleading Combinations: Steer clear of plate designs that could be confusing or misleading on the road, such as mimicking emergency or official vehicles.

Creating a personalized license plate in Alaska allows you to express your identity, passions, and connections to the state. By following these guidelines and injecting your creativity, you can design a plate that not only complies with regulations but also adds a personal touch to your vehicle. Whether it’s through your hobbies, profession, or a place in Alaska that holds special meaning, your personalized plate can make your vehicle truly yours.

Benefits of Personalized Plates

  • Expression of Individuality: Showcase your interests or personal motto.
  • Vehicle Identification: Makes your vehicle more recognizable.
  • Supporting State Programs: Fees contribute to state funds and programs.

Process After Approval

Once your personalized license plate application is approved by the Alaska DMV, you will be notified about the approval through email or mail. This notification will include detailed instructions on how to collect your new plate. Typically, you can either pick up your plate at a designated DMV office or have it mailed to you. Ensure to follow the instructions provided to receive your plate without any issues.

Renewing Your Personalized Plate

In Alaska, personalized license plates must be renewed annually. This renewal process is often tied to your vehicle registration renewal:

  • Pay the Renewal Fee: The annual renewal fee for personalized plates is in addition to your regular vehicle registration fee. Make sure to pay this fee to keep your personalized plate current and valid.
  • Timely Renewal: To avoid any late fees or the risk of losing your personalized plate, renew before your registration expiration date. You can typically renew online, by mail, or in person at a DMV office.

Transferring Personalized Plates

If you decide to sell your vehicle, you have options regarding your personalized plate:

  • Transfer to a New Vehicle: If you’re selling your current vehicle and purchasing another, you may be able to transfer your personalized plate to the new vehicle. Check with the DMV for the specific process and any fees involved.
  • Retain Your Plate: If you’re not immediately transferring the plate to a new vehicle, inform the DMV that you wish to retain your personalized plate for future use.

Lost or Stolen Plates

Should your personalized plate be lost or stolen, it’s important to act promptly:

  • Report to DMV: Notify the Alaska DMV as soon as possible. You may need to file a police report if your plate was stolen.
  • Request a Replacement: Follow the DMV’s procedure for requesting a replacement plate. There will likely be a fee for the replacement.

Displaying Your Plate

Proper display of your personalized license plate is crucial:

  • Visibility: Your plate must be clearly visible and free from obstructions. Ensure it’s not covered by bike racks, dirt, or anything else that might make it hard to read.
  • Legal Requirements: Comply with all Alaska legal requirements for license plate display, including mounting it at the designated spot on your vehicle and keeping it in good condition.

By understanding and following these steps, you can enjoy your personalized license plate in Alaska while ensuring compliance with all state DMV regulations. Whether it’s renewing your plate, transferring it to a new vehicle, dealing with loss or theft, or displaying it correctly, these guidelines help keep the process smooth and straightforward.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Transfer My Personalized Plate to Another Vehicle?

Yes, you can transfer your personalized plate to another vehicle, provided you follow the Alaska DMV’s procedures. This usually involves filling out a transfer application and paying a transfer fee. Ensure both the old and new vehicles are registered in your name.

What If My Plate Design Is Rejected?

If your plate design is rejected by the DMV due to non-compliance with guidelines or any other reason, you will be notified about the rejection. You have the opportunity to submit a new design that adheres to the DMV’s specifications. It’s important to review the guidelines carefully before resubmitting to avoid further rejections.

Application Process Duration?

The application process for a personalized license plate in Alaska typically takes 4-6 weeks. This duration accounts for the time needed to review your application, manufacture the plate if approved, and then mail it to you or prepare it for pickup.

Special Characters?

The options for special characters on Alaska’s personalized plates are limited. Generally, the state allows only alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers) and a few select symbols, if any. Check the Alaska DMV website for the most current information on what special characters, if any, are permitted.

Renewal Fees and Due Dates?

Renewal fees and due dates for personalized license plates in Alaska vary by plate type. The annual renewal fee is in addition to your regular vehicle registration fee and must be paid to keep your personalized plate active. Renewal due dates coincide with your vehicle registration renewal. To find out the specific fee for your personalized plate and its renewal due date, consult the Alaska DMV website or your renewal notice.

These FAQs cover essential aspects of the personalized license plate process in Alaska, from transferring plates between vehicles to understanding the application timeline and dealing with rejected designs. Always refer to the Alaska DMV’s official resources for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Resources and Helpful Links

For direct access to application forms and further assistance:

Alaska DMV Personalized Plate Page

  • Alaska DMV Personalized Plate Page: This is your primary resource for everything related to personalized license plates in Alaska. On this page, you can find detailed information on eligibility criteria, application procedures, fees, and guidelines for plate design. Additionally, it offers direct access to online services where you can check the availability of your desired plate and submit your application electronically.

Contact Information

  • Alaska DMV Contact Information: For any inquiries or further assistance, the DMV contact page provides comprehensive contact details, including phone numbers, email addresses, and physical office locations. Whether you have specific questions about your application, need clarification on plate design rules, or require assistance with other vehicle-related services, the contact page is your go-to resource for direct support from DMV representatives.

Utilizing these resources will streamline your personalized license plate application process in Alaska. From initial research to final submission and beyond, the Alaska DMV’s official website and contact information serve as invaluable tools to ensure a smooth and successful experience.


Personalized license plates offer a unique avenue for Alaskans to express their individuality and connect with their community. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can navigate the application process smoothly and enjoy the personal touch a customized plate adds to your vehicle.

Call to Action

Brainstorm your ideal personalized plate today and visit the Alaska DMV website to begin your application. Express yourself on the road and drive with pride in Alaska!

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I am parth a automotive expert and analyst based in USA, New York and New York, New York. I have already written two books on automobiles. In auto sell we can give a valuable Reviews or tell about how to Register your vehicle . for any information and advertisement with us contact at [email protected]

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