Traffic - FAQ
Q. Can you get a ticket for having your front license plate in the front window of your car?
A. Yes, you can receive a citation for not having your front plate attached to your front bumper. If your car is registered in Alaska, you are issued two plates (front and rear). The rear plate must have the month and year tabs on it. If you purchased a vehicle without a front plate, or to obtain a new set of license plates, contact the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles.
Q. How long can I keep studded tires on my vehicle?
A. Studded tires are legal only between September 15 and April 30 each year. Should you drive with them outside of these dates, you may be fined $50 per tire.
Q. How dark can I tint my windows?
A. State law requires all passenger vehicles must allow at least 70% light through the front and front side windows, and 40% through rear and rear side windows. Anchorage police officers carry tint measuring devices in order to enforce this law, which carries a $300 fine.
Q. How do I know if my mufflers are legal on my vehicle?
A. The easiest way to determine if you are operating with legal mufflers is to make sure they are no louder than those it was originally equipped with from the factory. All others are illegal, even though it is legal for vendors to sell them to you.
Q. Where do I go to pay my traffic fine?
A. If it is a Parking Ticket, you must contact Anchorage Community Development Authority at 276-7275. For Anchorage Police Department citations, you may pay them in person at 4501 Elmore Road, Monday - Friday between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm, or you may pay them online at www.muni.org/apd. For any other law enforcement agency's citations (Airport Police, Palmer Police, Alaska State Troopers, etc.) you may pay the citation online or at the court.
Q. How do I contest my traffic ticket?
A. If your citation is marked "Mandatory Court - Infraction" or "Mandatory Court - Criminal", you must appear in court at the date and time shown on the citation. If your citation is marked "Optional Court" or "Correctable", you may contest your citation within 45 days of the date on the citation. You need to mark the box next to "I plead NOT GUILTY" on your citation, then sign on the signature line, date it and make sure your correct mailing address is on the citation. Either mail the citation or bring it to: 4501 Elmore Road, Anchorage, AK 99507. You will receive a court date in the mail in a few weeks. If you have any questions about your court date, call Traffic Court at 264-0713.
Q. Do officers have a quota for traffic tickets?
A. No. APD has never set a quota on traffic tickets written.
Q. After a Traffic Accident, Can I Move My Car?
A. Yes. In fact, municipal law requires that you move your vehicles so as not to block traffic, unless there are injuries or they cannot be moved. After you make initial contact with the other driver, move your vehicles to a safe area off the traveled portion of the roadway, or to a parking lot.
Q. If I have a minor collision, do I have to wait for an officer?
A. Technically, no, unless the total property damage is greater than $500 or if there are any injuries. If no one is injured, the total property damage is less than $500 and you elect to leave the scene, you can fill out an Alaska Motor Vehicle Crash form at the Anchorage Police Department or at a DMV, or report it online at: reportcrash.alaska.gov. This must be completed within ten (10) days of the accident.
General Traffic Questions
Q. I am trying to find out more on children riding on motorcycles. I know they have to have a helmet but is there a certain age they have to be before they can ride as a passenger? Also, where are they to sit?
A. Title 9.40.020 section D (interference with operator) is the only section that makes reference to your question. It states no operator may carry any person nor may any person ride in a position that will interfere with the operator or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator. No age is stated.
Q. What is the seatbelt law for children?
A. A car seat is required for children under 4 years of age. Children must be over 4 years old AND over 40 pounds to use a standard seatbelt. Children under 8 years old, under 65 pounds and under 4'9" tall must be in a booster seat. (See Municipal Code 9.36.020 - "Use of safety belts and child safety devices" for more information.) Children should be over 1 year old AND over 30 pounds to be in a forward-facing car seat. This is not a law but an NHTSA guideline.
The Alaska State Troopers has a brochure called "Growing Up Buckled Up" which is available to the public. It provides guidelines for child safety seat use and outlines Alaska's law on these issues.
You can also call the Alaska Injury Prevention Center if you would like to ensure that your child's car seat is properly installed. They can be reached at 907-929-3939.
Q. How long can a vehicle be parked on city streets?
Vehicles parked on city streets must be moved every 24 hours with the exception of weekends and holidays.