(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) announced today that the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) will delay the implementation of the recently released new unaccompanied minor policy.
In reaction to the policy announcement, numerous Alaskans contacted ADOT&PF expressing their concerns of the difficulties that the policy would create for families that have already scheduled travel, particularly for the Thanksgiving and winter break school holidays.
The current policy will remain in effect and stipulates that in order to travel aboard AMHS vessels, children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a person 19 years of age or older. Children ages 12-15 must be either accompanied by an adult or present written permission for passage signed by their parent or guardian. Children ages 16-17 may travel without restriction.
An authorization form for 12-15 year old unaccompanied travel is available at all AMHS terminals and at FerryAlaska.com. Although parents may choose this option, AMHS does not recommend it if another alternative is available, as AMHS does not provide special supervision of minors traveling unaccompanied.
The primary purpose for the proposed change was to protect children traveling on state ferries who, depending on their age, may currently travel unsupervised and in some instances without parental consent.
ADOT&PF will continue to work with Department of Law to review the AMHS policy as it pertains to unaccompanied minors on state ferries. Any future policy change will be announced several weeks prior to implementation.
For additional details regarding AMHS policies, please visit FerryAlaska.com or call your local ferry terminal by dialing 1-907-465-3941 or toll-free at 1-800-642-0066.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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