This month we officially became residents of Alaska!  In other words, we received our Alaska Drivers’ License! 

We waited to apply for our Alaskan Driver’s License at the DMV until we had a “semi-permament” address.  In preparation, we took a few online Alaska driving practice tests at home. I think I went through over 100 different questions.  The good news, there were only 20 questions on the exam.  We both passed. Completed Form 478. Submitted the required identification. Aced the vision test. Paid the fee. Took our voided Texas Driver’s License. Half-smiled for the camera. Waited 2.5 weeks for our Alaska Driver’s License to arrive in the mail.

I almost applied for a Class C (commerical) instead of a Class D (regular, non-commerical) License as I relied on the information from my Texas Driver’s License. There are a few differences between Texas and Alaska driving in classification and road regulations.

Alaska is part of the USA, yet in many ways it feels like living in another country.  In the faces I see, the languages I hear, the foods I taste, the scents I smell and the customs I try to learn – I find hues of Latin America, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Last Frontier. It is amazing to be in one place with constant reminders of my past. I am proud to be an Alaskan, even if I am a Cheechako.

Cheechako – A very important word for visitors to know. A cheechako is a newcomer to the country. The name is usually used in the pejorative sense, such as when someone displays a lack of skill or understanding in the ways of the wilderness. The opposite would be a “sourdough.” alaska.org/advice/speak-alaskan