Sample Driver License Knowledge Tests

What to Expect in the DMV Test

What is the DMV test? 

In the United States, the government agency that is responsible for driver licensing and vehicle registration is the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV for short. They administer the tests for those who want to obtain their DMV license

Each state has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to driver licensing. But the most common out of all of them is that they follow the Graduated Driver License Program. Through this program, for you to get a DMV driver’s license, you can apply for the following: Learner’s Permit, Restricted or Provisional License, and Adult License. 

DMV Permit Test

The first stage of the licensing program is the DMV learner’s permit test. Passing this test means that first-time drivers and teens will be given a permit to drive. To get your DMV driving permit, you must pass the vision test and the knowledge test. 

DMV Restricted (Provisional) License Test

It is the second stage of the program where you have already obtained your DMV learner’s permit. You will then be given your provisional license if you pass the road test. This means that you can drive as long as you don’t go beyond the restrictions. 

DMV Adult Driver’s License Test 

This is the last stage. You must pass the vision test, knowledge test, and the DMV driving test. You will then obtain a DMV temporary license, which will be mailed to you. But if you don’t receive one, you can go to your local DMV license office.  

Format and Content Outline

There are different states, and each of them has its own policies about driver licensing. That’s why, as someone who wants to have a driver’s license, you must look up your state’s requirements and your DMV driver’s handbook. All of the things you should know, from traffic rules and road signs, you’ll find it in the handbook. Moreover, the DMV test is divided into three parts: a Vision test, Knowledge test, and Road test. You must pass all of these tests so that you can get your DMV license.

DMV Vision Test

What does a typical DMV vision test include?

All states require those who want to get a license to pass the vision test. It is supervised by a field professional who will require you to look at eye charts. If you have difficulty with that, then an eye machine will be utilized. To pass the vision test, you must take note of the DMV’s vision screening standard, which is the following:

  • You must have a 20/40 visual acuity in both eyes, Or
  • You must have a 20/40 visual acuity in one eye and 20/70 in the other eye.

DMV Knowledge Test  

Most states have similar content when it comes to the DMV written test. It has a multiple-choice type format, and it includes these topics:

Topics Content
Basic Driving Skills and Traffic Laws It contains  questions about Signaling, Passing, and Turning.
It contains  questions about Parking and Stopping.
It contains  questions about Rotaries/Roundabouts.
It contains  questions about the Right of Way.
It contains  questions about  Speed.
It contains  questions about Vehicle positioning and spacing.
It contains  questions about Driving laws.
Sharing The Road It contains questions about how to share the road with bicycles, pedestrians, school buses, commercial vehicles, and other motor vehicles.
It contains  questions about Safety and Defensive Driving.
Safety equipment It contains  questions about Distracted driving and Defensive driving.
It contains  questions about Hazardous conditions and Emergencies or Special Conditions.
Crashes or Collisions It contains  questions about Brake failure, wet brakes, and gas pedal sticks.
Signals, Signs, Markings It contains  questions about Traffic Signals and Road Signs
It contains questions about Pavement Markings.

Since states have their own rules and regulations, you must look at your state’s requirements. The knowledge test for each differs in format and passing score: 

STATE Number of Questions Age Requirement Passing Score
Alabama 30 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Alaska 20 questions at least 14 years old 70%
Arizona 30 questions at least 15 years 6 months old 70%
Arkansas 25 questions at least 14 years old 70%
California 46 questions at least 15 years 6 months old 83%
Colorado 25 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Connecticut 25 questions at least 16 years old 80%
Delaware 30 questions at least 16 years old 80%
District of Columbia 20 questions at least 16 years old 75%
Florida 50 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Georgia 40 questions at least 15 years old 75%
Hawaii 30 questions at least 15 years 6 months old 80%
Idaho 40 questions at least 14 years and 6 months old 85%
Illinois 35 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Indiana 34 questions at least 15 years old 82%
Iowa 35 questions at least 14 years old 80%
Kansas 25 questions at least 14 years old 80%
Kentucky 40 questions at least 16 years old 80%
Louisiana 40 questions at least 14 years and 9 months old 80%
Maine 25 questions at least 15 years old 84%
Maryland 25 questions at least 15 years 9 months old 84%
Massachusetts 25 questions at least 16 years old 72%
Michigan 50 questions at least 14 years and 9 months old 80%
Minnesota 40 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Mississippi 30 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Missouri 25 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Montana 33 questions at least 14 years and 6 months old 90%
Nebraska 25 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Nevada 50 questions at least 15 years 6 months old 80%
New Hampshire 40 questions at least 16 years old 80%
New Jersey 25 questions at least 16 years old 80%
New Mexico 25 questions at least 15 years old 72%
New York 20 questions at least 16 years old 70%
North Carolina 20 questions at least 15 years old 70%
North Dakota 25 questions at least 14 years old 80%
Ohio 40 questions at least 15 years 6 months old 75%
Oklahoma 50 questions at least 15 years 6 months old 80%
Oregon 35 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Pennsylvania 18 questions at least 16 years old 83%
Rhode Island 50 questions at least 16 years old 80%
South Carolina 30 questions at least 15 years old 80%
South Dakota 25 questions at least 14 years old 80%
Tennessee 30 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Texas 30 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Utah 25 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Vermont 20 questions at least 15 years old 80%
Virginia 25 questions at least 15 years 6 months old 80%
Washington 25 questions at least 15 years old 80%
West Virginia 25 questions at least 15 years old 76%
Wisconsin 50 questions at least 15 years 6 months old 80%
Wyoming 25 questions at least 14 years and 6 months old 76%

How long does the DMV written test take?

It depends on which state you are taking it in. Some take at least 20 minutes, while others take 90 minutes. The important thing is to check your state’s requirements. 

DMV Road Test

The DMV behind-the-wheel test will determine whether you can safely drive a motor vehicle according to your state’s driving laws. While you are driving, a DMV test examiner will supervise and evaluate your driving skills. You must pass the road test so that you will be issued a driver’s license. 

How to study for my DMV written test?

As a beginner or someone who wants to get an adult driver’s license, you must pass the knowledge test. This is the first thing you must do so you can drive safely. The written test will contain various topics. You must strategize well so you can pass the minimum standard.  

1. You must study the DMV Handbook thoroughly. All of the things that you need to know are there. It will tackle driving laws, state policies, safety regulations, and road signs, among others. That’s why you should get your own copy. You can even get one online through your state’s official website for free.

2. While reading the handbook, you must jot down notes. You won’t be able to retain what you have studied if you don’t take notes. You can use all of the information you have jotted down for review. It will make things convenient for you, and you won’t have a difficult time trying to remember certain topics.

 

3. You should draw traffic or road signs. There are so many signs that are listed in the handbook that you might get confused. If you draw them, you’ll be able to remember what they signify easily. You’ll be able to distinguish between warning signs and informational signs.

 

4. DMV practice tests will help you ace the written test. By taking the DMV license practice tests or DMV permit practice tests, you’ll know all of the things that you have to study. It doesn’t hurt to know what topics you should emphasize and what topics are your weakest.

You can start learning about it by answering some of these DMV questions that are taken from the book DMV Test: How to Pass on Your First Try:

1. It is okay to pass when approaching a curve or the top of a hill if you hurry.

  1. True
  2. False

2. What is one of the most important things to remember about driving at night or in fog?

  1. Drive within the range of your headlights
  2. Watch for cars at stop signs
  3. put on your hazard lights
  4. Use your high beams at all times

3. Which of the following is true about large trucks?

  1. They make wide right turns
  2. They take longer to stop than cars and motorcycles
  3. They tend to travel slower than other vehicles
  4. All of the above

5. As they say, Experience is the best teacher. That’s why you should go out as much as you can and     observe the roads and cars. You can also always ask pointers from those you know who passed the test. They’ll be able to give you information and advice that you can’t get anywhere so easily. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to apply for a DMV license

  1. You must pass the age requirement for the license you are applying for. If you are a minor, you must get your parents’ or guardian’s consent and signature.  
  2. You must visit your local DMV driver’s license office. You can also schedule your DMV appointment online for faster service. 
  3. You must bring the documents that are required by your state, such as two forms of identification, birth certificate, residency documents, Social Security card, etc.   
  4. You must pay for the DMV registration fee. You can take the test at one of the DMV locations or DMV testing centers near you.    
  5. If you pass all of the tests, before you can get your license, you must pay for the license fee. 

How hard is the driver’s permit test?

The learner’s permit test is composed of all of the topics you have learned in the driver’s handbook. If you read your state’s manual as best as you can, then the test won’t be harder than you think. A lot of those who take the knowledge test, often get disappointed when they don’t pass. It is because they didn’t prepare enough. A piece of popular advice to pass it would be is to take practice tests. 

Is the test for a driver’s permit timed?

It will differ for each state. You should look up your state’s requirements. Some take only 20 minutes, while others take an hour or so.

How to set an appointment for DMV’s written test?

You can make an appointment online or go to the DMV office. But, it is advisable that you should do it online to make the process faster and more convenient. 

What happens if I fail the DMV written test 3 times?

There is no limit to taking the test. The only thing that you have to do is to go through the application process again.

Can I take a written driving test online?

Yes, it can be, but you have to check if your state offers it online. If they do, you must create an account and register. 

How is a driving test scored?

A DMV test examiner will be with you while you take the test. He/She will be holding a score sheet wherein they will mark it according to how you drive the vehicle and if it is in accordance with the topics covered in the syllabus.  

Where can I find a practice test for the DMV written driving test?

You can take free DMV practice tests at Practice Test Geeks. We provide materials that are thorough and will cover all of the topics in the DMV driver’s handbook.   

What should I bring to a DMV written driving test?

The general requirements for most of the states are two forms of identification, Social Security card, consent of either the parents or guardian, and the application forms. 

Can I take the driver’s test even though my permit expired?

Yes, you can. The purpose of the learner’s permit is to allow minors to drive under the supervision of an adult licensed drivers. If you are already of legal age, then you can apply for the regular driver’s license.  

Resources:

https://driving-tests.org/

https://www.test-guide.com/DMV/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsYHa97aO5QIVTnRgCh02DgllEAAYAiAAEgLKfPD_BwE

https://freedmvpracticetests.com/articles/how-to-study-your-drivers-manual

https://dmvnv.com/pdfforms/dlbook.pdf

https://dmvwrittenexam.com/

https://www.verywellfamily.com/driving-age-by-state-2611172

https://dmv.dc.gov/service/knowledge-test

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