State of Alaska

Department of Administration

Division Of Motor Vehicles

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


Commercial Vehicles, Heavy Use Tax & PRISM
Program Information

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax | PRISM

A commercial vehicle is defined as a vehicle used in a business for the purpose of transporting persons, goods, or property, in addition to any vehicle with an unladen weight over 10,000 pounds. Registration fees are primarily based on the unladen weight of the vehicle and are valid for two years. The unladen weight must be provided at the time of registration.  Commercial vehicles used for interstate transportation and registered in a jurisdiction other than Alaska may obtain dual registration in Alaska.

NOTE:  Any vehicle that is 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.

Commercial vehicles may be subject to a heavy vehicle use tax. 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. This is a federal tax and the State has no part in levying or collecting the tax. However, the State must see proof the tax weas paid, in the form of a validated copy of Schedule 1, IRS Form 2290 prior to registering a vehicle that is subject to the tax.

IRS 2290 - E-File this form

CLICK HERE for answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding IRS 2290.

Vehicles subject to the tax are vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 lbs. or more. 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.

If the taxable gross weight as defined above is less then 55,000 lbs., a heavy vehicle use tax declaration form must be submitted each time the registration is renewed.  This form must be submitted in lieu of IRS Form 2290.

There are several exceptions to the filing of IRS Form 2290. If the applicant provides proof that the vehicle was purchased within the past 60 days, then proof of payment is not required. To determine other exceptions, please contact a local IRS Office.

Please see the FEES page for information on current registration fees. 

Important information before you can register your commercial vehicle:

PRISM - 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.  Form MCS-150 is required to be completed prior to renewing your registration.

You will need the following items in order to renew a commercial vehicle with an empty weight of 8,000 pounds or above:

  • US DOT Number
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Number of Axles
  • Information as to whether or not the carrier responsible for safety is expected to change during the registration period.

The following form is required to renew a vehicle with an empty weight of 8,000 or above.

Customer Registration Instructions


Rev Date 08/17/2012