How to Take a Drivers Education Course in Alaska
Alaska drivers ed is optional, so many teens may think they are better off not enrolling in a driving course. However, the right driving knowledge, skills and education may be more important in Alaska than in many other states. Because the state is notorious for extreme weather and long driving distances, it is essential to learn safe driving techniques. Drivers education is the best way to gain the necessary knowledge and experience to feel confident on the open road. Therefore, even while this education is not required, it is still a beneficial and rewarding option for most prospective drivers.
Drivers ed classes also provide a range of other benefits. For instance, parents may find comfort in the fact that their teen will learn under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable instructor. Schools may also offer adult drivers education options. The state even provides a helpful list of approved drivers ed programs, driving schools and defensive driving courses, making it easy to become a better driver.
Who needs to take drivers ed in Alaska?
Alaska drivers ed school is not required. However, first-time drivers still have several options for learning how to drive, whether this is through parent-taught drivers education or an approved state driving school. Drivers ed classes are ideal for preparing for the license test.
Drivers should keep in mind that some areas in rural Alaska will allow drivers to obtain an off-highway license without needing to take a test. This special accommodation is only available for individuals who live in a community that is not connected to the state’s main road system and therefore do not have easy access to DMV services. If this is the only type of license that the individual requires, then enrolling in an AK driver education program may not be necessary.
Types of Drivers Ed Classes in Alaska
While the state provides a list of approved driving schools, the ultimate decision as to which course to enroll in is up to you. Some other options to consider are parent-taught or drivers ed online classes. Some high schools may offer driver’s courses to students.
Online classes are a convenient way to learn the rules of the road but do not provide the hands-on experience that an approved driver education course would. Reputable schools should offer both classroom learning and behind-the-wheel practice, and the courses should be carefully structured to offer as much value as possible.
What will you learn in an Alaska drivers ed school?
You can expect to cover all of the material necessary to pass the state driver’s license exam, both the written exam and the road test. Topics that will be addressed include:
- DUI regulations.
- Traffic laws and state rules.
- License requirements and driver responsibilities.
- How to operate a vehicle.
- Safe driving techniques.
- Handling various road conditions.
Alaska Drivers Education Requirements
In Alaska, you can apply for an instruction permit if you are 14 to 16 years of age. If you are 16 to 18, you may apply for a provisional license. There are other state requirements in order to qualify for a learner’s permit and for a driver’s license. In any case, drivers ed classes in Alaska are not required. However, they can be instrumental in providing a foundation of knowledge to help you through the process.
Benefits of an Alaska Driver Education Course
Because Alaska is a large state and many locations are spaced far apart, it is essential for you to be a safe and well-prepared driver. Driver ed school should prepare you for the reality of what you will encounter on the road. By teaching you road rules, reviewing various traffic signs and giving you experience behind the wheel, these courses can help make you a better driver.
How to Enroll in an Alaska Driver Ed School
If your school has a driver’s ed program, talk to a teacher or counselor to get information on the course, when you will be able to take it and any other requirements that may be necessary. For drivers ed online classes in AK, registration only takes a few minutes, and many online schools will allow you to begin immediately or take classes flexibly, based on your schedule. Similarly, some of the schools on the approved Alaska DMV list allow you to register online for courses while others may require that you register by phone.
Alaska DMV Drivers Ed Certificates
Upon program completion, most drivers education schools will provide you with a certificate. While the certificate is not necessary in order to get your driver’s license, you should still have one for your records. If you want to make sure you obtain a certificate after completing a course, ask in advance to be sure that the program you plan to enroll in offers one.
Drivers Ed for New Alaska Residents
If you completed a driver’s education course in another state before you moved to Alaska, you do not need to worry about whether or not your certificate will transfer. Because Alaska driver’s ed is optional, you do not need to provide proof of classes. However, you will want to go over the Alaska driver’s manual to ensure you are up-to-date with state laws and regulations. If you want extra help preparing for the official driver’s license test as a new state resident, you may choose enroll in traffic school, which is discussed below.
Alaska Drivers Ed vs. Traffic School
Driver’s ed and traffic school are two different terms that are sometimes mistakenly used synonymously. However, there are fundamental differences between the two. Driver’s education, for instance, is for new and first-time drivers who need to learn the basics of vehicle operation, road safety, DUI laws, etc. Traffic school is for drivers who already possess their license and are looking to refresh their knowledge of defensive driving and road rules.
Many individuals find themselves in traffic school following a traffic violation or ticket. Often, traffic school will allow the individual to avoid getting points on a license. Both teens and adults may utilize driver’s ed and traffic school. However, regardless of age group, traffic school is intended for those individuals who have already received their licenses.
Alaska Driver Education Fees
Driver’s ed prices in Alaska depend largely on where you decide to receive your training. However, you can anticipate that many driving schools will offer an all-inclusive course as well as some individual options like additional classroom training or driving instructor hours. Most complete courses cost between $200 and $600.
Alaska Driver Education Course Forms
- Application for Alaska Driver License, Permit or Identification Card
- Parent/Guardian Consent Form for a Minor
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Guide to Rural Driving Information from doa.alaska.gov
- Approved Driving Schools from doa.alaska.gov
- Your First Alaska Driver’s License from doa.alaska.gov