Alaska Passes Voluntary Disability Designation ID Law
Alaska has passed a series of statutes permitting voluntary disability designation by an individual on their ID card or driver’s license
The 30th Alaska Legislature raised the topic of non-apparent, or hidden disabilities in relation to a person’s contact with law enforcement with the passing of House Bill 16. On May 15, 2017, Alaska Statutes 18.65.310(m) and 28.15.111(d) were enacted to authorize the DMV to provide a method for a person to voluntarily designate on a driver’s license or identification card, a discreet symbol that identifies a person with a medically verified cognitive, mental, neurological, or physical disability or a combination.
The primary purpose of the designator is to alert law enforcement to a person’s non-apparent disability during a traffic stop, or other routine contact.
The State of Alaska is the first state to offer to qualifying individuals a voluntary disability designator on a driver’s license or identification card. Under a Memorandum of Agreement with the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA), the DMV uses the IDA’s “i” symbol as the designator.
To raise awareness of non-apparent, or hidden disabilities and to facilitate positive interactions between citizens and peace officers, House Bill 16 also resulted in updates to DMV’s Driver’s Manual to include information on driver’s obligations when they are stopped by an officer.
If you are stopped by Law Enforcement
Drivers are required to stop as soon as is practicable and in a reasonably safe manner when signaled to do so by law enforcement. AS 28.35.182
If you are contacted by an officer and you have a deadly weapon concealed on your person, you must notify the officer immediately. AS 11.61. 220(a)(1)(A)
Drivers must have in their possession
Their driver’s license. AS 28.15.131
Proof of Insurance. AS 28.22.019
Proof of current registration to be shown upon request (may be displayed on a mobile device). AS 28.10.461
Best practices for citizens
If you are being pulled over, signal immediately to show the officer your intentions and pull over to the right as soon as it is safe to do so, even if you are in the left lane of a four-lane roadway.
Try not to stop on a curve, just after the crest of a hill, next to a guardrail, or other location that would make the stop unsafe for you and the officer.
The driver and all passengers should remain in the vehicle.
When it’s dark outside, turn the interior lights on.
Keep your hands visible, such as on the steering wheel.
Wait for the officer to ask prior to retrieving any documents from your wallet, purse, center console or glove compartment.
When the stop is complete, the officer will remain in place until you signal and safely reenter the lane of traffic unless they instruct you otherwise.
The team at Fireplace Warehouse ETC would like to congratulate Wayne, Sherri and everyone involved at the Invisible Disabilities Association for their efforts to get this initiative passed. To read more, click here.