Skip to content
Back to Top

Transportation Network Drivers FAQs

(Such as Uber or Lyft drivers)


On June 15, 2017, Governor Walker signed HB 132, "An Act relating to transportation network companies and transportation network company drivers; and providing for an effective date", otherwise known as the Let's Ride Alaska Act, or the Uber/Lyft bill.

It is the intent of the legislature to clarify the Alaska Worker’s Compensation Act, ensure the safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of rides provided by transportation network company drivers in the state, and preserve and enhance access to these important transportation options for residents of and visitors to the state.

Let's Ride Alaska Act went into effect on June 16, 2017.

IMPORTANT: transportation network driver’s applications to a transportation network company are for one (1) specific individual AND one (1) specific personal vehicle. This means:

  • A change in driver requires a new application; or
  • A change in personal vehicle requires a new application.

This Division does not provide legal advice. The information contained within these webpages is provided for your convenience and is not to be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to know what your registering, reporting and filing requirements are based on your specific business activities. Not knowing what is expected of you may not preclude you from the legal obligation to meet these requirements and compliance with the law. You are encouraged to seek the advice of a professional, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and/or Attorney if you need additional assistance.


1.   What do the following mean: digital network, personal vehicle, prearranged ride, transportation network company, transportation network driver or driver, transportation network rider or rider?

AS 28.23.180. Definitions.

  1. "digital network" means any online-enabled application, software, website, or system offered or used by a transportation network company that enables the prearrangement of rides with transportation network company drivers;
  2. "personal vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is used by a transportation network company driver and is owned, leased, or otherwise authorized for use by the transportation network company driver; "personal vehicle" does not include a taxi, limousine, or other commercial motor vehicle for hire;
  3. "prearranged ride" means transportation provided by a driver to a rider, beginning when a driver accepts a ride requested by a rider through a digital network controlled by a transportation network company, continuing while the driver transports a requesting rider, and ending when the last requesting rider departs from the personal vehicle; "prearranged ride" does not include shared expense carpool or vanpool arrangements or transportation provided using a taxi, limousine, or other commercial motor vehicle for hire;
  4. "transportation network company" means a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity that uses a digital network to connect transportation network company riders to transportation network company drivers who provide prearranged rides; a transportation network company may not be considered to control, direct, or manage the personal vehicles or transportation network company drivers that connect to the transportation network company's digital network, except where agreed to by written contract;
  5. "transportation network company driver" or "driver" means an individual who
    1. receives connections to potential passengers and related services from a transportation network company in exchange for payment of a fee to the transportation network company; and
    2. uses a personal vehicle to offer or provide a prearranged ride to riders upon connection through a digital network controlled by a transportation network company in return for compensation or payment of a fee;
  6. "transportation network company rider" or "rider" means an individual or person who uses a digital network of a transportation network company to connect with a transportation network company driver who provides a prearranged ride to the rider in the driver's personal vehicle between points chosen by the rider.

NOTE: AS 28.23 is administered by the Department of Public Safety.

2.   What are the requirements to be a transportation network driver?

Per AS 28.23.100, before a transportation network company may allow an individual to accept trip requests the following is required:

  • An application to the transportation network company must include your name, address, age, driver’s license number, motor vehicle registration and insurance information;
  • A local and national criminal background check;
  • Driving history.

In addition, check with the transportation network company for any additional application requirements.

IMPORTANT: transportation network driver’s applications to a transportation network company are for one (1) specific individual AND one (1) specific personal vehicle. This means:

  • A change in driver requires a new application; or
  • A change in personal vehicle requires a new application.
3.   Can a boat owner use their skiff/boat/vessel to provide ridesharing services in Alaska?

No.

On August 1, 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a statement that Let’s Ride Alaska Act is not applicable to passenger vessels.

Alaska House Bill 132, otherwise known as the Let’s Ride Alaska Act, that brings ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft to Alaska roadways, does not pertain to navigable waters of Alaska.

Despite the bill’s concessions for allowing ridesharing services to operate within Alaska, boat owners are not permitted to provide charter services as an Uninspected Passenger Vessel unless they meet pre-existing standards of safety and conduct.

Safety requirements for UPVs relate to licensing, watch standing, vessel documentation, mandatory drug testing regime, casualty reporting, required charts and electronic equivalencies, navigation lights and sound signals, life saving and firefighting equipment, safety orientation and instruction, and pollution prevention.

Any UPV operator, agent, master, owner or individual in charge found in violation of the applicable laws and regulations may be liable for a $5,000 civil penalty per incident.

For more information concerning Uninspected Passenger Vessels, please visit the Coast Guard Passenger Vessel Safety Program.

4.   Is there an age requirement for a transportation network driver?

Yes, per AS 28.23.100(b)(4), a transportation network driver must be 21 years of age or older.

NOTE: AS 28.23 is administered by the Department of Public Safety.

5.   Who cannot be a transportation network driver?

AS 28.23.100(b) a transportation network company may not allow a driver to accept trip requests through the transportation network company’s digital network if the driver

  1. has, in the past three years,
    1. been convicted of or forfeited bail for a third or subsequent moving traffic violation;
    2. been convicted of
      1. driving while license canceled, suspended, revoked, or in violation of a limitation under AS 28.15.291;
      2. failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer under AS 28.35.182:
      3. reckless or negligent driving under AS 28.35.400 or 28.35.410; or
      4. a law or ordinance of another jurisdiction having a similar elements to an offense listed in (i) – (iii) of this subparagraph;
  2. has, in the past seven years, been convicted of
    1. any offense that is an unclassified, class A, or class B felony in this or another jurisdiction; or
    2. a felony or misdemeanor involving
      1. a crime under AS 28.33.030, AS 28.35.030, or 28.35.032;
      2. a crime under AS 28.35.050 or 28.35.060;
      3. a crime against a person under AS 11.41; or
      4. a law or ordinance of another jurisdiction having similar elements to an offense listed in (i) – (iii) of this subparagraph;
  3. is listed on the United States Department of Justice National Sex Offenders Public Website;
  4. is under 21 years of age.

NOTE: AS 28.23 is administered by the Department of Public Safety.

6.   Do I need an Alaska Business License to be a transportation network driver?

Per AS 28.23.080, a transportation network company driver is an independent contractor for all purposes and is not an employee of the transportation network company if the transportation network company

(1)  does not unilaterally prescribe specific hours during which a driver shall be logged onto the digital network of the transportation network company;

(2)  does not impose restrictions on the ability of the driver to use the digital network of other transportation network companies;

(3)  does not restrict a driver from engaging in any other occupation or business; and

(4)  enters into a written agreement with the driver stating that the driver is an independent contractor for the transportation network company.

AS 28.23.080 does not apply to AS 23.20 if the transportation network company is owned or operated by the state, a municipality, a federally recognized tribe, or an entity that is exempt from federal taxation under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) (Internal Revenue Code).

What does all this mean?

If all criteria (1) through (4) above are met:

and the transportation network company for which you drive is not owned or operated by the state, a municipality, a federally recognized tribe, or an entity exempt from federal taxation,

then you are an independent contractor transportation network company driver who

must obtain an Alaska Business License pursuant to AS 43.70 prior to engaging in business activity in Alaska.

If any of the criteria (1) through (4) above are not met:

then you may be an employee of the company for which you drive. Employees do not need to obtain an Alaska Business License, but their employers must obtain an Alaska Business License and must comply with Alaska’s labor laws.

7.   I am an independent contractor transportation network driver who needs to get an Alaska Business License. How do I get an Alaska Business License?

Per Business Licensing Regulations:

  • 12 AAC 12.020(b) an independent contractor must have a business license separate from the person to whom the contractor provides goods or services.
  • 12 AAC 12.990(5) “independent contractor” means a person who provides goods or services for compensation but does not have the status of an employee while providing those goods or services.

For business licensing information go to: Business Licensing Section

In addition, if your business structure is an entity (i.e. corporation, LLC, LLP, LP, etc.), per Alaska Statute Title 10, then you must register your entity prior to obtaining an Alaska Business License; for more information go to: Corporations Section

TIP: prepare before you begin to get licensed by going to: How To Get Licensed

8.   Do I have to display my Alaska Business License in my personal vehicle I will be using while I am a Transportation Network Driver?

Per Business Licensing Regulations 12 AAC 12.020(i), the business license or a photocopy of the business license must be displayed in a conspicuous location at each business establishment.

9.   Will I need a business license from my municipality, city or village to be a transportation network driver?

Check with your local government or agency for any additional business licensing requirements, potential restrictions per local ordinances, and/or sales tax requirements.

10.   Will I need a special endorsement on my Alaska Driver’s License to be a transportation network driver?

No, there is no special endorsement needed on an individual's Alaska Driver's License to be a transportation network driver.

Alaska driver’s licenses are administered by the Department of Administration/Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For more information contact the DMV office closest to you or go to: DMV Frequently Asked Questions

In addition, check with your local government, municipality, city, or village to see if there are any local ordinances for additional restrictions or requirements.

11.   Will I need an additional registration or permit for my personal vehicle that I will be using while I am a transportation network driver?

Per AS 28.23.010, the state or a municipality may not require a transportation network company driver to register the personal vehicle the driver uses to provide prearranged rides as a commercial or for-hire vehicle.

However, you are encouraged to check with your local government, municipality, city, or village to see if there are any local ordinances for additional restrictions or requirements for your vehicle.

IMPORTANT: transportation network driver’s applications to a transportation network company are for one (1) specific individual AND one (1) specific personal vehicle. This means:

  • A change in driver requires a new application; or
  • A change in personal vehicle requires a new application.
12.   Is an inspection required for my personal vehicle that I will be using while I am a transportation network driver?

Yes, per AS 28.23.105(a) a safety inspection of the individual’s personal vehicle must be conducted before accepting trip requests through the transportation network company. You will need to work with the transportation network company for compliance with the safety inspection.

The components of the inspection include: foot brakes; parking brakes; steering mechanism; windshield; rear window and other glass; windshield wipers; headlights; taillights; brake lights; front seat adjustment mechanism; doors; turn signal lights; horn; speedometer; bumpers; muffler and exhaust system; tires, including tread depth; interior and exterior mirrors; and safety belts.

In addition, check with your local government, municipality, city, or village to see if there are any local ordinances for additional restrictions or requirements for your vehicle.

NOTE: AS 28.23 is administered by the Department of Public Safety.

13.   Is there an age limit for my personal vehicle that I will be using while I am a transportation network driver?

Yes, per AS 28.23.105(b) the vehicle may not be more than 12 years of age.

In addition, check with your local government, municipality, city, or village to see if there are any local ordinances for additional restrictions or requirements for your vehicle.

NOTE: AS 28.23 is administered by the Department of Public Safety.

14.   What are the insurance requirements while I am a transportation network driver?

Per AS 28.23.050(a) A transportation network company driver, or transportation network company on behalf of the driver, shall [mandatory] maintain primary automobile insurance that recognized that the driver is a transportation network company driver or otherwise uses a vehicle to transport passengers for compensation and that covers the driver while the driver is logged onto the digital network of a transportation network company or while the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride.

For more information on the statutory automobile insurance requirements for transportation network drivers, go to AS 28.23.

In addition, check with your insurance company to determine how being a transportation network driver may impact your personal policy.

IMPORTANT: AS 21.96.018 gives insurance companies the right to exclude coverage in an automobile insurance policy while a driver is logged onto a digital network of a transportation network company or while a driver provides a prearranged ride.

Per AS 28.23.050(h) a transportation network company driver MUST carry proof of coverage at all times during the driver’s use of a vehicle in connection with a digital network of a transportation network company.

Check with your local government, municipality, city, or village to see if there are any local ordinances for additional insurance requirements.

IMPORTANT: the following activities may impact your insurance policy, check with your insurance company:

  • Being logged on the digital network of a transportation network company
  • Connection with a digital network of a transportation network company
  • Connection with a transportation network company’s digital network
  • Engaging in a prearranged ride
  • Providing a prearranged ride
  • Transporting passengers for compensation

NOTE: AS 28.23 is administered by the Department of Public Safety.

15.   As a transportation network driver, what can I not do?

Per AS 28.23.100(c) a transportation network driver may not:

  • Provide a prearranged ride unless the rider has been matched to the driver through the transportation network company;
  • Solicit a ride;
  • Accept a street hailed request for a ride;
  • Solicit cash payment for a fare from a rider; or
  • Accept cash payment for a fare from a rider.

IMPORTANT: transportation network driver’s applications to a transportation network company are for one (1) specific individual AND one (1) specific personal vehicle. This means:

  • A change in driver requires a new application; or
  • A change in personal vehicle requires a new application.

NOTE: AS 28.23 is administered by the Department of Public Safety.

16.   Will some locations, where I may drive as a transportation network driver, have restrictions or require additional licenses or permits?

Check with the agency which administers the locations where you may be driving as a transportation network driver. Some locations to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Airports, for example:
    • Fairbanks International Airport
    • Juneau International Airport
    • Kenai Municipal Airport
    • Stevens Village Airport
    • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
  • Alaska State Parks, for example:
    • Chugach State Park
    • Chena River State Recreation Area
    • Denali State Park
    • Harding Lake State Recreation Area
    • Kenai Peninsula
    • Kodiak State Parks
  • National Parks in Alaska, for example:
    • Denali National Park
    • Kenai Fjords National Park
    • Mendenhall Glacier
    • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
  • Military Bases in Alaska, for example:
    • Fort Elmendorf
    • Fort Greely
    • Fort Richardson
    • Fort Wainwright
    • Juneau Coast Guard Base
    • Kodiak Coast Guard Base
    • Valdez Coast Guard Base
  • Municipalities or Cities
  • Tribal Land
  • Villages
17.   IMPORTANT – Check with other agencies.

After you have met the requirements of this Division there will be other agencies you need to work with to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal government requirements.

For more information go to: Business Structure FAQs, see question #16.

For additional resources, which may provide technical, informational or advisory assistance, go to:

In addition, you may wish to contact a professional association or organization affiliated with your business activity.

If you need further assistance you are advised to seek the services of an attorney or other qualified professional.

  18.   Complaint FAQs

It is your responsibility to know which agencies you may need to register, report, or file with, based on your specific business activities.

Not knowing what is expected of you may not preclude you from the legal obligation to meet these requirements and compliance with the law.