Paperwork Required When Buying a Car in Alaska

Last Updated on March 22, 2018 by Jason Mason

In Alaska, you are required to register your car in your name and apply for a title as soon as you purchase it. When you buy a car from dealers, they normally handle this paperwork on your behalf. If you choose a private seller, you will be responsible for paperwork handling.

Transfer of Ownership

To obtain a car, you must complete two transactions with the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicle. You must transfer the ownership, commonly known as title transferring and also register that vehicle under your name at the above department.

Title Transfer

To have proof of vehicle ownership, the title of that vehicle must be transferred to you. The seller must sign the car title over to you. This transfer must be done within 30 days from the date of vehicle purchase. You will be required to pay $15 title fee and additional $15 for out of state residents, known as lien recording fee.

Vehicle Registration

Vehicle registration in Alaska is a must. This is the act of making your vehicle legal. You must pay applicable fees and taxes. Once it is registered, you will be provided with vehicle license plates by email. You can request specialized or personalized license plates, but these may come with extra fees. When registering a new car, you will be asked by the DMV to provide proof of your I/M Testing Certification if you live in a county that requires this certification. Be sure to ask your seller to give it to you.

Registration Fees

Registration fees vary from county to county, and these fees depend on the weight and size of the vehicle. Registration taxes depend on the buyer’s place of residence and price of the vehicle. Check the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) for more information.

Required Documents

You must register your vehicle in person at the Alaska DMV office. You will be required to take with you:

  • A bill of sale or receipts showing the actual purchase price of the vehicle. This documents must be signed by both seller and buyer.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • An odometer disclosure statement. You will need to provide Form 839.

After paperwork

After the registration process and title processing has been completed, the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) will send you license plates by mail. Before the expiry of vehicle registration, the DMV will send you a notice ordering you to renew your vehicle registration.

Buying or Selling Car without a Title

If you purchase a car from a dealer and you intend to register it, you can do so without a title. In this case, you will be required to provide the manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin to register your car. For sellers, if the title is issued in another state or lost, you can arrange to apply for a duplicate copy before selling your car. You will not be able to complete a sale without a title. If the title that you received from the seller is lost, you can leave a deposit equivalent to 1 ½ times the original price of the vehicle with the DMV.

Buying or Selling a car without Registration

You can sell or purchase a vehicle without registration. You will need to explain this on Form 812 (Application for Title and Registration).

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is required when registering and titling your vehicle. This document provides proof of vehicle ownership at the time of registration.