What are Alaska Public Traffic Records?
The State of Alaska maintains records on each motorist licensed within its jurisdiction to monitor road users and their traffic behaviors. These records are referred to as traffic records or driving records, and they contain a driver's traffic violations, convictions, accidents, points, license suspensions, and related information.
In Alaska, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a division of the Department of Administration, maintains and regulates the distribution of traffic records to record owners and members of the public. The state courts also create and disseminate traffic court records. However, such records pertain to legal proceedings involving offending motorists rather than motorists' complete traffic or driving histories.
Are Traffic Records Public in Alaska?
Yes, traffic records are accessible to the public in Alaska. According to the Alaska Public Records Act, anyone may request to examine or copy public records from government agencies; traffic records created and managed by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the courts are subject to this provision.
People interested in viewing or copying their traffic records can visit or contact the relevant agency. While individuals may inspect records for free, requestors may be required need to pay for copies (if applicable).
Alaska law permits third-party access to traffic records, even where the requestor cannot provide a basis or justification for making such a request. In this case, the requesting party will only be required to provide is the written consent of the record owner before the traffic record is released. Notwithstanding, if the agency decides that releasing such information may harm or threaten the driver's safety, it can restrict access to the record (Alaska Statutes 28.15.151).
What do Alaska Traffic Records Contain?
Alaska traffic records comprise the following information about a driver:
- Personal information (name, date of birth, and location)
- License status
- Past traffic violations and convictions
- Violation points
- Crash reports
- DUI reports
- Driver license suspensions, revocations, restrictions, and probations
- Full medical certification details (for commercial driver's license holders)
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Alaska?
Yes, it does. Citations for traffic violations are included in all types of traffic records issued by the Alaska DMV. This includes citations for serious offenses (misdemeanors and felonies) such as drag racing and driving under the influence (DUI), as well as citations for minor moving violations (fine-based offenses) such as running a red light, making an illegal U-turn, tailgating, taking a one-way route, failing to obey traffic signals, and not wearing a seatbelt while driving. Citations issued for parking violations are not reported on Alaska traffic records.
Types of Traffic Citations in Alaska
In Alaska, traffic citations are issued for moving and non-moving violations.
These are minor traffic infractions that usually occur while a vehicle is stationary, but some may occur while a vehicle is moving. Typically, non-moving violations result from parking inadequacies and defective vehicle equipment. These offenses do not lead to demerit points and are not punishable by imprisonment, but offenders are liable to pay fines. A typical example of a non-moving traffic citation is a parking ticket.
Moving violations are serious violations perpetrated during a vehicle's movement. These offenses are deemed serious because of the high possibility of death, serious bodily injury, or property damage associated with them. It also explains why they attract heavier penalties such as a jail term; mandatory fines; the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a driver's privileges; and traffic violation points. Examples of these offenses include speeding, reckless driving, DUI, and refusing to pull over for law enforcement.
Alaska Traffic Citation Lookup
There are two ways to look up traffic citations in Alaska. The first is by visiting the court that presided over the traffic case. This court would be a district or magistrate court if law enforcement issued the citation in a county and a city court if the violation occurred in a city. During a physical search, a requester will be required to provide certain information to retrieve the citation, such as a first and last name, address, driver's license number, and the date the ticket was issued.
The second option is to search for the citation online. Alaska provides an e-pay system into which individuals can input their first and last names to look up ticket citations. However, only tickets issued within a county are accessible through the e-pay system. At times, road users can search for their citations on websites of cities that allow online payments, but the results may also be limited.
Alaska traffic case records may also be available from third-party websites since they are considered public records. Unlike government sources or websites, third-party websites do not have any geographical limitations. Hence, interested parties may access these websites from anywhere in the world. However, some third-party websites may require registration or subscription to access traffic records.
How to Lookup my Alaska Traffic Records
The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) oversees the creation, management, and distribution of traffic/driving records within Alaska. The agency offers three types of records:
- Insurance record: 3 to 5-year driving record
- 10-year driving record: shows the 10-year history of a driver's violations and medical certification for crash incidents during the period under review. This record is typically used for employment purposes.
- Full individual record: This is the comprehensive driving history of an individual, which contains up-to-date information on the party's license status, violations, convictions, departmental actions, and medical certifications. The record may also include information from other states.
The DMV offers four ways to look up these records: online, mail, fax, and in person.
The Alaska DMV provides an online Driving Record Request platform where interested persons can look up their traffic history records. However, requestors must provide a name and other identifying information to access information from the platform. It should be noted that the details provided must match the information on the requester's driver's license.
For mail requests, an individual will need to obtain and complete a Driving Record Request Form (or Form 419F). This form should be mailed together with a check or money order of the record fee to the following address:
Division of Motor Vehicles
3901 Old Seward Highway, Suite 101
Anchorage AK 99503
Persons who choose this method must also complete a driving record request form, including their credit card information, and fax the form to (907) 269-5202.
When visiting a local branch of the DMV to obtain a traffic record, a requester must come with a copy of the driver record request form (already filled) and a means of identification.
Regardless of the request method used or one's preferred record, the Alaska DMV charges $10 to obtain a copy of a traffic record.
Alaska Traffic Violations
An Alaska traffic violation is defined as any infraction of the state's traffic laws. These violations can range from minor offenses like speeding or failing to yield to more severe crimes, such as DUI or hit and run. Depending on the severity of the offense, penalties for traffic violations can include fines, points on the offender's driver's license, and even jail time. If a motorist is convicted of multiple traffic violations within a certain period, they may also be subject to license suspension or revocation.
Some of the most common traffic violations in Alaska include:
- Speeding: Speeding is one of the most common traffic offenses in Alaska. The state has a maximum speed limit of 65 mph on highways and 55 mph on other roads. However, there are also many areas where the speed limit is lower, so it's always essential to be aware of the posted limit.
- Failing to Yield: Failing to yield the right-of-way is another common traffic violation in Alaska. This can occur when the motorist fails to yield to a pedestrian with the right-of-way or when they don't yield to oncoming traffic before making a left turn.
- Running a Stop Sign or Red Light: Running a stop sign or red light is a dangerous offense that can result in serious accidents. If a motorist is caught running a stop sign or red light, they can expect to receive a ticket and points on their license.
- DUI: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in Alaska. Motorists caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%, or higher can be charged with DUI. Penalties for DUI include jail time, fines, and license suspension.
- Hit and run: Leaving the scene of an accident is a severe offense in Alaska. Motorists involved in an accident are required by law to stop and exchange information with the other driver. Failing to do so can result in hit-and-run charges, which can carry severe penalties.
- Reckless Driving: Reckless driving is a catch-all category that covers any dangerous or careless driving. Examples of reckless driving include speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and making improper passes. Motorists convicted of reckless driving can expect to receive a ticket and points on their license.
Alaska License Plate Lookup
License plates are an essential part of Alaska traffic records, as they help law enforcement officials track down criminals and other drivers who have violated traffic laws. Interested persons can look up Alaska license plates online using the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website. The DMV website provides a searchable database of all registered vehicles in the state, including license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions.
Requestors can also find information on reporting a lost or stolen license plate and what to do if they receive a traffic ticket in the mail. Further questions regarding Alaska's license plate lookup process can be directed to the state DMV.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Alaska
Alaska's trial courts (the district and superior courts) manage all traffic case records in the state. As such, individuals who wish to view these records for free can do so through the state judiciary's Courtview Public Access website. Only a defendant's name, case number, or ticket information is required to access records.
Another option is to visit the presiding county court to look up the record for free. In this case, a requester may need to fill out statutory forms before viewing a record.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in Alaska
Generally, the Alaska statutes do not explicitly state how long traffic violations stay on a person's driving record. Nevertheless, less severe offenses like speeding may remain a maximum of 12 months before being deleted. For persons under 21, some convictions may stay up to 5 years. However, for DUI and felony driving-related offenses, the record stays for life.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Alaska
The most effective way to remove traffic records (particularly criminal traffic records) from public websites in Alaska is to obtain a sealing or expungement order from the courts. However, Alaska only permits the sealing or expungement of accurate traffic records when the motorist has been falsely accused of a traffic offense or if their arrest/conviction information contains a mistake.
For persons who are ineligible to seal or expunge their records in Alaska, an alternative is to replace the mailing address and phone number on file at the DMV's or relevant agency's office. This way, their privacy will be protected when their records become publicly available.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Alaska?
Yes. When an Alaska court convicts an individual of a criminal motoring or traffic offense, it affects their criminal record. Offenses like a DUI, reckless driving, and failing to stop and report an accident are examples of convictions that can go on a person's criminal record.
When a motoring offense appears in an individual's criminal record, it typically remains there forever. Because of these offenses, the individual may have to deal with other difficulties like an increase in auto insurance premiums and the inability to secure driving-related jobs in the state.