How to Lookup an Alaska License Plate
Using the State of Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles, you can request a complete license plate report, including VIN and the owner's name and address.
When requesting records with the State of Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles you need to provide your name, date of birth, driver's license number, a phone number, and the last four digits of your social security number. You must also supply a business name (if applicable), email address, and proper documentation for why you need the data. In many cases you need to provide a signed consent form. Only people with a vested interest can get records such as insurance companies, towing company, the vehicle owner, the courts, law enforcement and a few other exceptions. Using InfoTracer's lookup tool, you need only the plate number and state and as long as you comply with DPPA rules, you will get a complete report with all the vehicle and owner information.
Alaska has strict DPPA laws restricting access to personal information from license plate records. If the user violates those laws and uses the information for a purpose other than intended, they could face fines of up to $2,500, attorney's fees, and even jail time.
How to Register a Vehicle and Get License Plates in Alaska
When you purchase a vehicle in Alaska (new or used), you have 30 days to register it, apply for the title, and get plates. You must display two plates on the vehicle at all times (one on the front and one on the back).
When applying for an Alaska title and registration, the state requires you to first go to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to do a title search and obtain a vehicle history report. They also recommend using this search engine before buying a used car. The state also requires you to have a Vehicle Transaction Application Form 812 filled out and signed, along with the Odometer Disclosure and the title, Manufacture's Certificate of Origin (MCO), or equivalent document.
Additional requirements may also include:
- A payoff statement from the Lienholder.
- Notarized power of attorney - in some situations.
- For vehicles over 8,000 pounds, other paperwork is required.
- All applicable fees.
Alaska registers vehicles for two years, and then they must be renewed in the same month as the original registration. An expired registration will be pro-rated to cover the months until the next renewal. You can transfer plates from one vehicle to another (as long as both are registered in your name), but standard plates are non-transferrable.
Alaska License Plate Options
Alaska offers its residents many license plate options. The annual vehicle registration fee pays for a standard plate. Any special plates will be more expensive. The types they offer are:
- Standard - three styles to choose from (may be personalized).
- Personalized Plates - meaning you can choose the letters/numbers if they are available, and you have two optional styles to choose from.
- Causes - there are nine plates that support special causes like veterans, breast cancer awareness, and others.
- Disability Plates - they have three styles to choose from available to disabled Alaskans.
- Schools - there are four university plates to choose from that support those institutions.
- Alaska National Guard - for servicemen and women.
- Military Service for Veterans - five types of plates for military vets (Air Force, Army, Marines, Coast Guard, and Navy.
- Special Armed Forces Plates - for survivors and descendants of military vets (POWs, Purple Heart Recipients, Pearl Harbor Survivors, etc.).
- Fraternal Orders - license plates for members of the Freemasons or Knights of Columbus and others.
- Special Issue - a wide variety of license plates for farm vehicles, collectors, EMS/Fireman, antique cars, and more.
What is Alaska's Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)?
Alaska's license plate privacy laws are very strict, and pursuant to AS 40.25.300 (their DDPA policy), only specific individuals may access personal information pertaining to license plate lookups and automobile registrations. To request records, one of the following circumstances must apply:
- You are the owner of the vehicle.
- You have the owner's written permission and are requesting records for research or verification purposes. You must supply proof of written permission.
- You are an agent, employee, or contractor of a business that requested vehicle information and needs to verify it. You must provide proof of consent from the owner.
- If the record is to be used in connection with a civil, criminal, administrative or arbitration proceeding.You must provide a copy of the subpoena or other legal document.
- If the record is to be used by an insurance company or affiliate and the information is to be used for claims, investigations, or anti-fraud activities.
- If the information is to be used to inform vehicle owner of a towed, impounded, or abandoned vehicle.
Alaska License Plate Search Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Legal to Lookup License Plate Numbers in Alaska?
It is legal to lookup license plate numbers in Alaska as long as you have a valid, legitimate reason to do so. If you are looking for just basic information like year, make, and model, you don't have to worry. If you are looking for personal details about the owner, their address, Lienholder information, VIN, or other more specific details, you need to provide proof of consent or documentation that validates you are eligible to receive such information.
What Information Do I Need to Request License Plate Records?
When requesting records from the Alaska DMV, you will need to provide your name, date of birth, driver's license number, a phone number, and the last four digits of your social security number. You must also supply a business name (if applicable), email address, and proper documentation for why you need the data.
How to Look Up an Alaska License Plate Using the VIN?
Alaska urges residents to use the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to lookup vehicles using a VIN. This method will provide a complete history report. You can also lookup license plate data using a VIN on various websites. However, be forewarned that strict DPPA laws prevent you from using the information for any purpose other than those stipulated.
How to Locate the Owner of a License Plate in Alaska?
Only people with a vested interest can obtain the address for the owner of a vehicle. For example, if a car is abandoned, the police can pull a copy of their license plate report to notify them. A curious resident, however, cannot use that same information to contact them.
What are Some Legal Uses for License Plate Information?
Due to stringent DPPA laws in Alaska, there are only a few legal purposes for obtaining license plate information, they are:
- For insurance purposes (claims, investigation, fraud).
- A court case, via a court order.
- The owner requires a copy for his or her records.
- A towing company to notify the owner that their car is on the lot, or similar purpose.
- Repossession of a vehicle when the owner has not paid the loan.
How To Lookup Alaska License Plates for Free?
There are various websites and public records portals where you can look up license plates for free. However, the information you will receive is basic (year, make, model, color, and body style). You can pay for a more complete report but must follow DPPA rules when ordering.