Alaska State Veteran's Benefits
Veterans Land Discount/Purchase Preference
The Veterans Land Discount program allows certain veterans a 25% discount on the purchase price of state residential/recreational land. The discount may be used only once during the veteran's lifetime and may not be used in conjunction with the veterans preference.
Under the Veterans Land Sale Preference, before offering to the general public any unoccupied residential land by auction, a veteran has the exclusive opportunity purchase the land at a restricted sale at fair appraised market value. Parcels that are offered under this preference must be five acres or less, classified as settlement land and zoned for residential use only.
Property Tax Exemptions
Real property owned and occupied as the primary residence and permanent place of abode by a qualified disabled veteran whose disability was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty and whose disability has been rated as 50 percent or more by the military service or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is exempt from taxation on the first $150,000.00 of assessed valuation. The exemption transfers to a spouse if the veteran passes away and the spouse is at least 60 years of age.
Veterans Housing and Residential Loans
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) administers the Veterans Mortgage Program which offers financing for qualified veterans at lower interest rates. Active duty service in the Armed Forces, Public Health Service, NOAA or service as a cadet at the US Military, Air Force, Coast Guard or Naval Academy may qualify. Loans are generally processed rapidly, require little or no down payment, and often include lower interest.
AHFC also offers a Veterans Interest Rate Preference, in which a veteran receives a one percent lower interest rate on the first $50,000 of a bank loan when purchasing a new home, ask the bank handling the financing to implement this program for you. AHFC grants a preference to veterans for the rent or sale of a portion of its low cost housing projects units.
Veterans Employment Services
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has 21 Job Centers across the state. The Anchorage (Midtown and Muldoon), Fairbanks, and Wasilla Job Centers have on-site Veteran Representatives; however, all Job Centers provide priority services to qualified veterans and their eligible spouses. Services include:
Military Credit for State Retirement
Qualified individuals may be eligible for additional credit for up to five years of military service. Military service will increase your retirement service and monthly benefits. Surviving Spouses of Service members may also be eligible.
Free Tuition for Spouse or Dependent of Armed Services Member
The spouse or dependent of an armed services member who died in the line of duty or who died as a result of injuries sustained while in the line of duty or who was listed by the Department of Defense as a Prisoner of War or as Missing in Action is entitled to a waiver of undergraduate tuition and fees the students must be in good standing in a state supported educational institution in Alaska.
Veteran License Plates
The State Legislature has designated several special license plates for veterans, recipients of the Purple Heart Medal, veterans who have been a Prisoner of War (POW), veterans who are survivors of Pearl Harbor, and Gold Star Families. Plates are issued free of charge after proof of service or family loss is validated by the DVM. There is a $30.00 plate fee charged to all other applicants for service veterans plates at the time of initial application for or replacement of veteran's plates and National Guard Plates.
Disabled Veteran Plates
A person who qualifies for 50% disability may apply for one disabled veteran plate that is not subject to Motor Vehicle Registration Taxes or registration fees.
Drivers License Extensions
Effective in June 1997, Alaska adopted a military extension policy that states that your non-commercial driver's license is valid for 90 days after discharge or return to the State of Alaska, whichever occurs first. Effective January 1st, 2011, the policy was extended to military spouses.
Waiver of Commercial Driving Skills Test
The DMV may waive the commercial motor vehicle driving test for certain drivers with recent military commercial motor vehicle experience.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Members of the military service who are on active duty permanently stationed in Alaska, or a dependent of a member of the military service on active duty permanently stationed in Alaska, and who have met residency requirements may apply for military licenses at the time of license application and pay the same rate as a resident.
Disabled Veteran Hunting and Fishing License
Disabled Veteran resident hunting and sport fishing licenses are available at no charge to honorably discharged veterans with a 50% or greater service-connected disability and Alaska residency. Applicants must have lived in Alaska for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application.
Alaska Marine Highway System
A reduced fare pass is available for travel on Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) vessels for U.S. veterans having a service-connected veteran's disability. The pass entitles the disabled veteran and an attendant (if required by physician) to travel at half the regular passenger fare. Reduced fare does not include vehicle or stateroom. The pass is valid for travel between Alaskan ports on all AMHS vessels, year-round.
State Camping Pass for Disabled Veterans
The legislature granted Disabled Veterans (DAV) the right to receive one Alaska State Park Camping Pass free of charge. The DAV Camping Pass, which is valid in all developed Alaska State Park campgrounds and is good for two years.
Alaska Railroad Discount
The Alaska Railroad offers a 20% discount to active duty, military retirees and dependents. ID showing proof of status must be shown at boarding.
Recording Veterans Report of Separation Form
A veteran may record, without fee, the original or a certified copy of his or her Armed Forces Report of Separation (DD-214 Form) at any State Recorder's office of the Department of Natural Resources.
The Recorder's office maintains 14 District offices throughout the state, overseeing 34 recording districts that record, index, and archive all of the documents that create the Official Public Record of the state of Alaska.
Every eligible veteran is entitled to Military Funeral Honors performed by uniformed members of the armed forces.
Governor's Advocacy Award
Individuals who demonstrate an extraordinary personal concern, compassion, and commitment to veterans causes, veterans, and their families are eligible for the annual Governor's Veterans Advocacy Award. A winner could also have formed a new, innovative or creative volunteer program or project that benefits vets. Accomplishments must have been performed on a volunteer basis. Governor's Veterans Advocacy Award will be presented on Veterans Day, November 11th.
Visit the Alaska State VA website to get more details about any of these programs.