Alaska Department of Administration, Divison of Motor Vehicles
Administration >  Motor Vehicles >  Vehicle Registration >  Commercial Vehicles, Heavy Use Tax & PRISM Program Information

Commercial Vehicle Registration

Anyone who owns or operates a commercial vehicle with an empty weight greater than 8000 lbs. must submit additional information to us when registering their vehicles. Commercial vehicle registrations are for two years.

A commercial vehicle is a vehicle used in a business for the purpose of transporting persons, goods, or property.

Registration fees are primarily based on the unladen weight of the vehicle; for more information, please visit Motor Vehicle Registration Fees & Taxes

Please Note: Any vehicle that is registered in a business/company name is considered a commercial vehicle for registration fee purposes. Leased vehicles are owned by a business/company, they are automatically considered commercial vehicles for purposes of biennial fees. This includes vehicles that would normally be considered passenger vehicles.

Please Note: If registered elsewhere you may also obtain dual registration in Alaska.

How to register a commercial vehicle?

For a commercial vehicle with an empty weight of 8,000 pounds or above, you must:

  • Complete Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 812)

  • To complete the form, you will need to know:

    • Your US DOT Number
    • Your companies Tax Identification Number (TIN)
    • Your vehicle's number of Axles
    • If the carrier responsible for safety will change
    • Proof of payment or exemption from the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
      • Select and sign where indicated in the commercial section on form 812 to clarify the vehicle is exempt from HVUT due to weight.

How do I get a USDOT number?

When you obtain a USDOT number, you are entered into the PRISM Program, which will monitor your operations for safety. If you are identified as an unsafe carrier, your registration will be denied.

To get a USDOT number with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

  1. Complete a Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150 Form)
  2. If you do not have computer access or need help call DOT: (907) 365-1206

If you already have a USDOT number, you must ensure that your MCS-150 form has been updated within the last 2 years. You must wait 48 hours to renew your registration after updating this form.

Please Note: You must ensure that your Tax Identification Number (TIN) for the USDOT number matches the TIN you use for your Alaska registration.

What is the PRISM Program?

The Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) program, is a Federal and State partnership which links the commercial vehicle registration processes to motor carrier safety. This program and all participants are monitored by the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section of Alaska's Department of Transportation and & Public Facilities.

For additional information, please read Commercial Vehicle Registration (pdf)

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

Commercial vehicles may be subject to a heavy vehicle use tax from the Federal government. We will need proof the tax was paid before we can register a vehicle.

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 passed by the US Congress levies a tax on certain heavy trucks. The tax is paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and filing of the tax is done on IRS Form 2290.

For more information, please visit: FAQs for Truckers Who e-file (from IRS)

How do I get proof I've paid the tax?

When registering a vehicle, we must see proof the tax was paid in the form of a validated copy of Schedule 1, IRS Form 2290.

You can obtain your Schedule 1 from the: IRS Trucking Tax Center

Do I need to pay?

Greater than 55,000 lbs.

Vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 lbs. or more are subject to the tax and must submit the IRS Form 2290 each time the registration is renewed.

The IRS defines taxable gross weight as the sum of:

  • the unladen weight of the vehicle
  • the unladen weight of any trailers or semi- trailers customarily used in combination with the vehicle
  • the maximum load carried on the vehicle and on any trailers or semi-trailers customarily used in combination with the vehicle
Less than 55,000 lbs.

If the weight is less than 55,000 lbs., the vehicle owner must select exempt and sign to certify in the commercial section of the Vehicle Transaction Application (Form 812) each time the registration is renewed. This form must be submitted in place of IRS Form 2290.

New Purchase

If the vehicle was purchased within the past 60 days, then proof of payment of the tax is not required to register your vehicle.

Other Exceptions

There are several exceptions to the filing of IRS Form 2290, please contact a local IRS Office information.