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Alaska Buying a Vehicle

Home 9 US State 9 Alaska DMV Services 9 Alaska Buying a Vehicle

Getting a Title & Registration if You Buy a Car From a Dealership

Getting a title and registration for a vehicle purchased from an Alaska dealership is easy. This is because Alaskan dealerships (like dealerships in other states) can file the title and registration paperwork for you. A dealership can even give you a temporary plate that will allow you to legally drive until your permanent plate arrives in the mail. It should come (along with a copy of your registration) in roughly two to three weeks. Your title should come at about the same time, unless your vehicle is financed. If you have a loan on a vehicle, you will not get the title until the loan is paid off.

Getting a Title & Registration if You Buy a Car From a Private Citizen

It is more time-consuming to get a title and registration for a vehicle purchased from a private citizen, but the Alaskan laws make it relatively simple. You will need to submit the signed title and a bill of sale, along with a copy of the vehicle’s previous registration (if available). You must submit this paperwork in person at an Alaska DMV office. The paperwork can only be submitted by mail if you live in a remote part of the state. 

Completing the Title

You no doubt already know that you must get the title signed over to you. However, there is more to completing the title than that. An Alaska title has a blank section designed to be filled out when the vehicle is sold. You will have to print your full legal name, sign the title, and add the date. The seller will have to provide more information, including:


  • Their full legal name
  • Their signature
  • The date of sale
  • The price
  • The current mileage reading from the vehicle’s odometer
  • Information about any liens on the title

Registering Your New Vehicle

Once you have the title and the other required paperwork, you can submit it at a DMV office and get the vehicle registered. Registrations in Alaska last for two years. Most states have car registrations expire on the last day of the owner’s birth month, but Alaska is a little different. Each vehicle is assigned an expiration month when first registered. This expiration month does not change when the vehicle is sold.

Paying the Relevant Fees

Titling and registering a vehicle in Alaska is relatively expensive. The base registration fee is $100. The base fee for a new title is $15. You will also have to pay sales tax, which can vary based on the purchase price and on the age of the vehicle. In-person transactions also come with an additional $10 service fee. The acceptable methods of payment vary at different DMV offices, though most accept debit and credit cards in addition to cash.

Last Verified:
Dec 28, 2022