Car Buying and Selling Regulations in Alaska

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In the state of Alaska, buying and selling a vehicle is an easy thing if you do your homework well.

Enjoy the Luxuries, Insist on Safety

When purchasing a car in Alaska, many buyers get carried away with the performance and the look of the car. But keep in mind; it’s the reliability and safety measures that count during winter. In fact there are so many reliable and safe vehicles in the market, but also you can’t miss too many unreliable and unsafe ones. Because of the changing nature of weather in Alaska, it is important to look at the safety and reliability of the vehicle before purchase. In this guide, you will learn what to look for when purchasing a vehicle to ensure that you get the best value for the money you invest. Learn what to look for when buying a vehicle so that the money you invest will reward you with excellent, reliable transportation.

Buying your vehicle

You can purchase your vehicle from a private seller or dealership. Usually, vehicles purchased from a dealer are in good condition, while those sold by private sellers may come with some defects. So it is advised to hire a certified mechanic to check a vehicle purchased from a private seller before you invest your hard-earned money. You will need to look at the sweetest deal, not in terms of luxury ride but overall performance, reliability and safety.

Transfer of Ownership

You must transfer the vehicle ownership into your name after purchase. To do so, you must complete two transactions with the Department of Motor Vehicle in Alaska. First you must apply for a new title and second, register the vehicle in your name.

Title Transfer

You must transfer the title or apply for a new one within 30 days from the date of vehicle purchase. Title transfer is an important practice as it transfers the vehicle ownership into your name. You can use a title certificate to show proof of vehicle ownership if need arises. Title transfer is done once, especially during the title of vehicle purchase. But you can add another owner to the title (marriage) or remove the name of the second owner from the title (divorce). If you are financing your car, you may also request the DMV to issue a new title certificate after a loan is paid off and a lien is released.

Vehicle Registration

Registering a vehicle that you have purchase is an act of making yourself a legal owner of that vehicle. Once you register it in your name, you will be issued with new license plates from DMV through mail. You may request specialized, customized or personalized license plates if you wish. The DMV sometimes may ask you to submit a copy of your I/M Testing Certification when registering your car. It is the responsibility of the seller to update this certificate and provide it to you.

Registration Fees

Registration fees in Alaska vary depending on the weight and size of the vehicle you are registering. Vehicle registration taxes vary depending on the vehicle purchase price and the place of residence of the buyer.

Required Documents

The first time you are registering your vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicle in Alaska, requires you to do so in person. You must take with you the required paperwork such as:

  • Bill of Sale or paperwork showing the purchase price. This paperwork must be signed by both the seller and buyer.
  • Proof of car insurance.
  • An odometer disclosure statement.

After You Register

After transferring the title and registering the vehicle into your name, you will be issued with license plates from the DMV in Alaska. You will also receive the current tabs for the period that you registered your vehicle. If the registration renewal period is near, the DMV will send you a letter notifying you to renew your registration.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle without a Title

Alaska law does not require you to sell or purchase a vehicle without a title. If the title to the vehicle you intend to purchase is missing, lost or damaged, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy with the DMV and sign it over to you. Without this vital document, you won’t be able to complete a sale.

Buying or Selling Without Registration

You can purchase a vehicle without a current registration. However, you will need to explain to the Alaska DMV Division of Title and Vehicle Registration.