Article discussing drivers ed in AK. When driver education courses are mandatory, benefits and costs, who offers classes, etc.
Most new drivers in Alaska are required to successfully complete a State-approved driver's education program in order to obtain an Alaska driver's license. In fact, for many applicants, the driver's education certificate of completion is part of the actual driver's license application.
WHO MUST TAKE DRIVER'S EDUCATION
- Alaska residents under the age of 18 must hold a learner's permit for a minimum of six months, and also complete a State-approved driver's education program before applying for a new license.
- Alaska residents 18 and older who have never held a license from Alaska, or any other US state or foreign country, must hold a learner's permit for a minimum of 30 days, or complete a State-approved driver's education program before applying for a new license.
WHERE TO TAKE DRIVER'S EDUCATION
Driver's education courses are offered through both public and private school programs, all of which must be approved by the Alaska Department of Education. Driving schools, licensed by the Division of Motor Vehicles, cover the same course content.
WHAT'S COVERED IN A DRIVER'S EDUCATION COURSE
While driver's education courses vary from one school to another, all licensed programs must include the following components:
- Classroom periods, focusing on issues including alcohol safety and drug abuse awareness, defensive driving, motorcycle awareness and organ and tissue donation.
- In car instruction sessions with a qualified instructor.
After the successful completion of the driver's education course, your driving school will a send a copy of the completion certificate to the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles, after which you may be issued a permanent driver's license. Drivers under the age of 18 must have their certificate signed and authorized by a parent or legal guardian, who must certify that the student has had at least 40 hours of driving practice, including at least 10 evening or nighttime hours.
In addition to the core requirements of a driver's education course, many driving schools in Alaska offer optional programs that focus on particular aspects of driver education. Specialized courses include Auto Insurance Discount Courses or Defensive Driving courses, either of which may qualify students for a discount on auto insurance. These and other courses may also enable students to reduce points on their license, and/or get their license back sooner after a suspension. See our section on Alaska driving schools for more information.