Alaska is a state often associated with its beauty and its sparse population means the roads within the state don’t always experience heavy traffic. This makes Alaska an ideal location for those looking to experience the open road without having to worry about traffic jams. Regardless of whether you wish to gaze in awe at North America’s highest mountain Mount McKinley or marvel at the wildlife contained within Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska offers motorcyclists the opportunity to drive almost unencumbered throughout the great state.

Yet the lack of traffic could cause complacency which often leads to accidents. It would be foolish and illegal to ride through Alaska without becoming a licensed rider.  A thorough understanding of the rules of the road and safe motorcycle operation is essential if you want to earn your license and explore all this state has to offer.

Follow this step by step guide to learn how to get your Alaska motorcycle license.  Let’s get started.

AK Motorcycle Age Requirements

Applicants between the ages of 16 and 18 cannot successfully apply for a motorcycle license Class M1 until they have had a learner’s permit for at least six months.

A Class M2 license allows an applicant who is 14 or 15 years of age to operate a motor-driven cycle only. An M2 vehicle is defined as a motor cycle, motor scooter, motorized bicycle, or similar conveyance with a motor attached and having an engine with 50 cc or less displacement. This does not include a 3-wheel all-terrain vehicles.  Also, it’s important to keep in mind that those younger than 18 must have their parent’s permission in order to operate a motorcycle.

You cannot qualify for a motorcycle license in Alaska unless you are eligible for a regular driver’s license but you cannot hold a normal vehicle license if you’re aiming to earn a Class M1 motorcycle license.

Required Tests

In Alaska, it is necessary to pass both a written motor vehicle test as well as a road test.

Written Test

The written test is administered at your local DMV office and features a series of multiple choice questions on the rules of the road and safe motorcycle operation.  You can prepare for the written test by studying the information found in the AK DMV Motorcycle Handbook and taking free practice tests available here.

Vision test

An optical exam must also be successfully negotiated before the final hurdle, the motorcycle road test is attempted.

Road Test

Road testing is a skills assessment of your motorcycle skills.  You will need to schedule an appointment with the DMV and must provide a motorcycle with current registration, proof of insurance, and a motorcycle permit.  Those who has already passed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course will not be required to take the motorcycle road test. Once you complete the motorcycle road test successfully you must bring proof to the DMV to receive your motorcycle endorsement.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

It is against the law to operate a motorcycle on the open road without possessing a certain level of insurance. It is not necessary to purchase insurance if you are able to self-insure or post a bond with the DMV. However, neither of these methods are practical and can cost more than purchasing regular motorcycle insurance.

In Alaska, the minimum insurance requirements are $50,000 worth of coverage for bodily injury per person, $100,000 for bodily injury per accident and $25,000 for property damage liability. Bodily injury covers the physical damages suffered by the other party and property liability insurance takes care of any damages their property incurs. Yet the above minimum requirements don’t cover your injuries or damage so it is wise to purchase a higher amount to cover yourself.

Alaska Motorcycle Helmet Rules and Regulations

Helmets are required for all passengers, drivers younger than 18, those taking the road test and for anyone who only possesses an instruction permit. Considering the fact that head injuries are a common result of motorcycle accidents, it would be prudent for all drivers to wear them to prevent injury or even loss of life.