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Moving to Alaska FAQs

Posted By:
Becky Google+
3:36 PM

People tend to have a lot of questions about moving to Alaska, and I’ve attempted to answer some of the most common. Let’s get started.

Is it true you can get paid to move to Alaska?
If you search message boards about moving to Alaska, you’ll see various versions of the question “can I move to Alaska for free?” over and over. The answer is “no.” This is a misconception. The state does not pay you to move to Alaska. What you’re probably thinking of is the Permanent Fund Dividend that is paid to permanent residents of Alaska each year.  Read my post “Moving to Alaska for Free?” for more detailed information.

What is the Permanent Fund Dividend?
The Permanent Fund Dividend is paid to every qualifying Alaskan, normally every October. The money comes from Alaska oil revenues. For more information about the fund, visit Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Frequently Asked Questions.

How do I establish residence in Alaska?
In order to receive the Permanent Fund Dividend, you must establish residence in Alaska, have lived in the state for at least one year and intend on living there permanently. As proof of residence, you must have severed residence in any previous state you have lived in and you must be able to provide one of the following:

  • A contract for moving your household goods to Alaska dated prior to the qualifying year (company paid is not acceptable)
  • Proof of owning a home or renting a home in Alaska (employer paid housing is not acceptable).
  • Employment and unemployment records
  • School records
  • Voter registration
  • Motor vehicle registration records
  • Court or other government agency records
  • Licensing records

For more information on Alaska residency requirements as related to the Permanent Fund, please contact dor.pfd.info@alaska.gov.

How much does it cost to move to Alaska?
The best answer I can give is “it depends.” Your price will depend on where you’re moving from, how much you’re moving, when you’re moving and what Alaska moving service you use. Many people will tell you that the most affordable way to move to Alaska is with a “you pack, we drive’ service like U-Pack Moving. To get a quick idea of how much it costs to move to Alaska with U-Pack, you can request a free, no-obligation moving quote online or call 800-413-4799.

What is the best way to move to Alaska?
If you’ve gotten moving quotes already, I think you’ll see fairly quickly that “you pack, we drive” services are the ideal way to move to Alaska. Typically full-service movers are far too expensive and it’s a very difficult drive in a rental truck. With “you pack, we drive” services, you save money by doing your own packing and loading, but you don’t have to drive the moving truck.

What is the cheapest way to move to Alaska?
The answers above should answer this question as well. When you get moving quotes you’ll likely see that U-Pack is the lowest cost option for Alaska moves. U-Pack brings a moving trailer or moving container to your location in the lower 48 and you load. If you move in a trailer, U-Pack can deliver to your door in most Alaska locations. If you’re using a moving container, you can save even more money by unloading at the ABF service center in Anchorage.

Can I move to Alaska in a rental truck?
Yes, but it may be a little more than you bargain for.  You’ll be traveling on the ALCAN Highway, which begins in Dawson Creek, BC and “officially” ends in Delta Junction, AK 1422 miles later (96 miles from Fairbanks). Today it is a well-maintained two-lane paved highway (minus a few spots under construction), but you may want to avoid driving it in the winter if possible. Once you pass through Fort Nelson, you’ll cross the Rocky Mountains—about 150 miles of narrow roads with curves and hills (and no guardrails through much of it). Also, keep in mind that you must go through customs in Canada.

If you do attempt to drive the ALCAN make sure you’re prepared: have the vehicle (whether your own or a rental truck) serviced and completely checked out before you leave, bring along your passport and driver’s license, make sure your registration is up to date, pack food, water, things to keep warm and basic tools (in case you have a break-down or other issues that cause a delay). It’s also good to note that cell phone signals will be very spotty along the highway.

How long does it take to move to Alaska?
It depends on how you choose to move. If you’re using traditional van lines or full-service moving companies, it can take 1-2 months (or more) for your shipment to arrive. Moving to Alaska with U-Pack typically takes 8-15 business days, depending on where you’re moving from.

What is the cost of living in Alaska?
I recommend using a cost of living calculator like this one http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/, or this one http://www.bestplaces.net/col/.

How do I find a job in Alaska?
The Alaska Job Center Network, powered by the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development, is a great place to start.

Do I have to pay income tax in Alaska?
No. Alaska does not levy income tax on personal income. And, as an added bonus, there is no statewide sales tax in Alaska. For more information on taxes in Alaska, visit the Alaska Tax Division.

Do I have to display two license plates in Alaska?
Yes. Alaska law requires motor vehicles to display two license plates—one on the front and the other on the rear.

Do I need to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle in Alaska?
Considering the weather, yes, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. If you don’t have a 4-wheel drive, make sure your vehicle is equipped to travel in these conditions (snow tires, chains, etc.)

What are the Motor Vehicle Registration Fees and Taxes in Alaska?
For updated information on motor vehicle registration fees and taxes, please visit the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles.

Category: Alaska Moves

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