Frequently Asked Questions



What is a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)?

Any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle that used in commerce; that has a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) over 14,000 lbs if used in intrastate transport or 10,000 if used in interstate transport; that is designed to carry more than eight passengers (including driver); or that is used to carry hazardous materials. (§390.5)

Do I need a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)?

Only if you operate a vehicle with a GVWR greater than 26,001 lbs, your vehicle is towing another vehicle (trailer) greater that 10,000 lb, vehicle is designed to transport 16 or more passengers or is used to haul placardable amounts of hazardous materials. (§383.5)

What is required to operate a commercial vehicle in Alaska?

All commercial vehicle operators are required to have:

Driver Qualification File on record for each driver. (§391.51)
Each driver is to be issued a current copy of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Book to read. We advise they carry it in the commercial vehicle. (§390.5)
Each vehicle is to have a Daily Inspection Report with a copy of the last inspection (yesterdays or last time vehicle moved) in the vehicle. (§396.13)
If a driver is driving over 100 air miles one-way, driving over 11 hrs a day or is unable to return to the dispatch location they need to carry a Daily Log Book. (§395.8)

Please check the following links for more information and clarification on Daily Log Books. Including information on recording mile posts, Deadhorse, and Prudhoe Bay.

All drivers must have to have a current Medical Card with them while on duty. (§391.41)
All commercial vehicles are required to have an Annual Inspection Form filled out with a copy of the inspection in the office, plus a sticker visible on the passengers’ side of the equipment or a copy of the inspection report in the rig. The location on the passenger side is for both the inspector’s convenience and for the vehicle driver. If the inspector can see an annual decal and has no other issues or visible violations, the inspector will probably send it on the way. If the inspector doesn’t see it, he/she will possibly stop the vehicle to see if it has the long form inspection form on board and go from there. If the sticker is unreadable, but still current, driver must carry a copy of the inspection in the vehicle. (§396.17) 
Each vehicle is to have a Maintenance File in the office with records covering at least the last year.  (§396.3)

Each vehicle must have Markings, which include name or trade name and USDOT number on both sides of the commercial vehicle, readily legible at a distance of 50 feet. (§390.21) Intrastate companies need a USDOT number as required by Alaska law.

Do I have to be in a random drug test?

Anyone operating a commercial vehicle with a CDL has to be in a random drug-testing consortium, as of January 1, 1996.  (§382.103)

Where does our company fit - intrastate carrier or interstate carrier?

Interstate commerce means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States); between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.
Intrastate commerce means any trade, traffic, or transportation in any State that is not described in the term "interstate commerce.”

Where can I get a U S DOT number?

Do I have to do a daily inspection of my truck?

Anyone driving a commercial vehicle has to do a daily visual pre-trip inspection and a written post-trip inspection, each day the vehicle is operated. The previous written inspection is to be kept in the vehicle.  (§396.11)

Where do I find a drug pool to get in?

The ATA recommends:
Worksafe, Inc., 907-563-8378
Tongass Substance Screening, 907-247-1431 in South East Alaska.

Who has to do my Annual Inspection?

You can do it yourself IF you meet the FMC Qualifications in (§396.19). The inspector is required to have it a copy of the inspection on file in their office.  The inspector also has to be qualified to inspect brakes to perform an annual inspection.
            Annual Inspector Qualification Certificate
            Brake Inspector Qualification Certificate

Can I adjust my own brakes?

If you meet any of the qualifications in (§396.25) you can do it yourself.  You are required to keep record of your qualification in your office.

Where can I get the forms necessary to run a commercial vehicle in Alaska?

The Alaska Trucking Association at 3443 Minnesota Drive, Anchorage, AK or at 276-1149, has all forms and books required to operate any commercial vehicle in Alaska. If we don’t have it, we can get it. Click here to view the products we have available for purchase.