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Illinois DMV Driver License Tests & Permit Practice

Facts about the Illinois Permit Knowledge Test

What You Should Know
  Number of questions on exam: Traffic signs: 15
Traffic laws and safe driving: 20
Total: 35
  Passing score: 80 percent
  Correct answers to pass: 28
  Allotted time to complete test: No limit
  Wait time before retest: 1 day
This Practice Test
  Number of questions on each practice test: Traffic rules: 20
  Question pool: 500+
  Each test is random

#1. Motorists must not drive between vehicles in an organized funeral procession, except when:

Motorists must not drive between vehicles in an organized funeral procession, except when required to do so by a law enforcement officer.


#2. What does a solid white line between lanes mean?

Solid white lines separate lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. Crossing a solid white line requires special care and is discouraged.


#3. When you drive through a construction zone, you should:

When approaching or entering a highway construction or maintenance area (also known as work zones), Illinois law requires motorists to slow down, discontinue wireless/cellphone use (unless using a hands-free device that may include the use of a single-sided headset), yield to any authorized vehicles or workers in the area, change to a lane away from the workers when possible and proceed with caution.


#4. The driver in front of you signals (left arm extended, with elbow bent upward, at about a 90-degree angle):

Right turn – left arm extended, with elbow bent upward, at about a 90-degree angle.


#5. When driving on a slippery surface such as snow or ice, you should:

Reduce your speed. Allow extra space between your car and the car ahead. Do not brake or turn suddenly. Use a low gear when going down steep hills. Be careful on bridges and overpasses. These areas freeze first and dry out last.


#6. More than 50 percent of all motorcycle crashes occur on freeways.

More than 50 percent of all motorcycle crashes occur at intersections. The most common situation occurs when an oncoming automobile makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle. A vehicle driver should watch for motorcycles before turning and yield the right of way. A driver should be particularly careful when making a left turn across lanes of oncoming traffic and should wait to be sure of the motorcycle operator’s intent before proceeding to make a left turn.

Drivers involved in crashes often report not seeing the motorcycle or seeing it too late to avoid a collision.


#7. Assuming you are traveling 55 mph and suddenly need to stop. How far will your car approximately go before you react and start braking (1 second)?

The process of stopping your car has three main components: perception, reaction and braking. Perception and reaction are affected by human factors, but it usually takes longer to stop than most people realize. The time it takes to react is approximately one second. In that time (1 second) a car has traveled 81 feet. Remember, this is not when the car has actually stopped!


#8. You must use your headlights:

Vehicles must have two headlights and they must be on from sunset to sunrise and be used in times when rain, snow, fog or other conditions require the use of windshield wipers. They also should be used when objects 1,000 feet away cannot be seen. Bright lights must be dimmed 500 feet before meeting an oncoming vehicle or 300 feet before passing a vehicle.


#9. You are preparing to pass another vehicle when the vehicle ahead of you stops at a crosswalk. What should you do?

Never pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. It is illegal and dangerous. A pedestrian you cannot see may be crossing the street.


#10. When you park on a hill headed downhill and there is a curb, you should turn your front wheels:

Headed downhill, turn your front wheels into the curb or toward the side of the road. Set the parking brake.


#11. When making a left turn you should always:

Left Turns:

  • Give a left turn signal from the proper turning lane.
  • Obey traffic signs and signals.
  • Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, emergency vehicles and other vehicles in the intersection.
  • Check all approaching traffic.
  • Point the wheels straight ahead until you actually start to turn.
  • Complete the turn into the lane closest to you going in your intended direction.

#12. You have a handheld cell phone. What should you do if you want to use it when you are on the road?

Driving is a skill that requires your full attention. Minimize distractions. Focus on safe driving practices. If your cell phone rings, do not answer it. Let the call go to voicemail, if you have this feature. If you must answer or make a call, pull safely off the road and stop. Do not use your cell phone during hazardous conditions or engage in distracting conversations.

The only time Illinois drivers can use a handheld cellphone is:

  • To report an emergency situation.
  • While parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
  • While stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park.

#13. Trucks and buses have:

When following a large vehicle, stay out of its blind spots. Position your vehicle so the driver can see it in the side mirrors.

Blind spots may exist up to 20 feet in front of the cab, on either side of the tractor trailer, particularly alongside the cab, and up to 200 feet in the rear.


#14. If an advisory speed sign isn't posted before a curve:

If a speed limit is not posted before a curve, you must judge how sharp the curve is and change your speed. Slow down before you enter the curve. Braking and turning at the same time may cause your car to skid.


#15. You are following a vehicle at a safe distance on a wet road. Another driver overtakes you and pulls into the gap in front of you. What should you do?

You must always watch for changing conditions and adjust your speed accordingly. Fall back until you have regained a safe following distance.


#16. You near an intersection on a one-way street to make a left turn onto another one-way street. The traffic light displays a red arrow. What does this mean?

The constantly lit red arrow means do not make the movement shown by the arrow until a green arrow appears.

There are two exceptions. You may make a right turn at a red arrow. You also may make a left turn at a red arrow when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street that has traffic moving to the left. In both instances, drivers must come to a complete stop and yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before proceeding.


#17. A zero-tolerance violation is:

Under Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Law, a driver under age 21 caught with any trace of alcohol in his/her system will lose his/her driving privileges.


#18. After a train has passed at a railroad crossing with more than one track, you should:

If you are stopped at a railroad crossing with more than one track, do not start as soon as the train passes. Wait until you have a clear view down both tracks before you start across.


#19. Which of the following must you obey over the other two?

It is important to obey the orders of a police officer, firefighter, highway authority official or uniformed adult school crossing guard who is directing traffic or performing his or her official duties .

Also, obey special signs or instructions from workers (flaggers) in work zones.


#20. Cold showers effectively speed up the elimination of alcohol from the body.

Time is the only way to remove the effects of alcohol. Food, coffee, physical exercise and showers do not speed up the elimination of alcohol from your body.

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About this Illinois Practice Test

This practice test is a learning tool. Each test has 20 questions about Illinois safety rules and traffic laws. All answers are found in the Illinois handbook “Rules of the Road”. Many questions are from the official written examination.

After each practice question, the test will show you if your answer is correct or not. If you miss a question, there is also a brief explanation.

Read the feedback and focus on why you missed the question. Did you misunderstand or did you not know the answer? Always compare the answer with the information in the handbook; this way you will learn faster.

The Illinois knowledge examination consists of two parts. This is the second part.

The first part of the test addresses common road signs. A random practice tests with all signs is found here: Illinois Road Signs Recognition Test – 15 Questions

Illinois Road Sign Identification Test


Study for the Knowledge Examination

Before you start, you should have:

<ul><li>The latest version of Rules of the Road. Get it from a licensing office or <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">online <i class="fa fa-external-link" aria-hidden="true"></i></a>. 
</li><li>The <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Parent-Teen Guide <i class="fa fa-file-pdf-o" aria-hidden="true"></i></a> if you are applying for a permit.        
</li><li>A parent or other licensed driver to discuss rules and safe driving with. </li></ul>

If you follow these steps, you will learn more efficiently. Read more about the best way to study here: Best Way to Study .

Permit Test - Touch Screen

When you have a good understanding of the contents in Rules of the Road, take several sample tests to check how much you have learned. The test score also tells you if you are ready for the real examination or not.

The official passing score in Illinois is 80 percent, but you should aim higher on a practice test. Try not to miss more than one or two questions on each sample test. Go back to the study guide for each question you miss. Compare answers with the information in the booklet.

Who Must Take the Illinois Written Test?

  All new drivers.

All new drivers applying for an original Illinois Driver’s License or Instruction Permit must pass the written knowledge exam.

  Drivers with a license from a foreign country.

If you move to Illinois and have an out-of-country driver’s license, you must pass the vision exam, the written knowledge exam, and usually also the road skills test.

  Drivers with an out-of-state license.

Unlike the rules in many other states, you must also take the knowledge test if you have a valid license from another state. The road skills test is, however, waived in most cases.

  When you renew your license and have traffic convictions on your record. .

Drivers must also take a written exam every eight year, unless they have a clean driving record with no traffic convictions.

If you have a traffic crash or other moving violation on your driving record, the Secretary of State can also ask you take the written exam again.

  When you let your Illinois license expire more than 1 year.

Should you let your Illinois driver license expire more than a year, you must take all tests again. This also applies if your license has been revoked by the state.


What You Should Know about Illinois Written Test

During the written test, you will be asked to identify traffic signs by shape, color, or symbol, identify signals and pavement markings, and answer questions about traffic laws and safety rules. Questions are drawn from all parts of the handbook.

You are not allowed to use any books, papers, cell phones, or other wireless devices during the test.

Any applicant observed in a situation that could be considered suspicious during the test will be warned. If you are found cheating, you will fail that portion of the exam. You must also wait 30 days before you can take on the test again.

Taking the exam for another person is a criminal offense may result in a fine and minimum seven days in jail.

What happens if I fail the test

What Happens if I Fail the Test?

Should you fail the test, you can normally take it again the next day.

If you had more than 8 errors, chances are that you will miss the passing score again. Give it a few more days and study both the “Rules of the Road” and the practice tests.

The more you study, the more likely you are to pass.

You have tree attempts to pass the knowledge test, counting from the day you applied for the permit and paid the application fee.

What Happens after I Passed the Test?

After passing the vision test and knowledge test as a new applicant, the examiner issues a temporary instruction permit.

For teenagers this is the first step in the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program.

The purpose of the GDL Program is to let drivers between 15 – 20 years to pass three progressive stages toward full-driving privileges.

Teen drivers must earn the right to move from one phase to the next, based on experience and their driving behavior.

Phase I: Instruction Permit Phase – Restrictions

With an instruction permit you may start driving together with a parent or any adult who is 21 years or older, holds a valid driver’s license, and has at least one year of driving experience.

The permit is valid for two years if you are under 18 years (one year if you are 18 years or older).

The instruction permit comes with the following restrictions:

  General night curfew.

A permit holder cannot drive Sunday-Thursday between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and Friday-Saturday between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. (local ordinances may set different curfews).

  Number of passengers is limited.

The number of passengers in the vehicle is limited to one in the front seat and the number of safety belts in the back seat.

  No wireless/cellphone use while driving.

Permit holders under 19 years cannot use any wireless/cellphone use while driving, including hands-free devices.

Exemption exists to contact a law enforcement agency, health care provider or emergency services agency in the case of an emergency.

Phase I: Instruction Permit Phase – Before You Can Move On

Before you can move on to phase II

Before you can move on to phase II, you must:

  Hold your permit for a minimum of nine months.

Before you can move on to the next step you must hold the instruction permit for at least nine months.

  Practice driving a minimum of 50 hours, including 10 hours at night.

During the permit phase you must practice driving with a supervising driver for at least 50 hours, of which 10 hours must be at night.

The 50 hours are in addition to any time spent behind-the-wheel with a driving instructor.

It is a good idea to keep a log of your driving practice, even if you don’t have to show this log when applying for your provisional license. A parent or legal guardian must, however, certify that you have completed a minimum of 50 hours of practice driving.

  Not have any driving infractions, underage alcohol convictions or court supervisions during the previous nine-month permit phase.

To obtain court supervision for a traffic violation, a driver must appear in court with a parent/legal guardian and must attend traffic safety school. Limit one court supervision for serious driving offenses.

If you are convicted of a moving violation, there is an additional nine-month waiting period before you can apply for a driver’s license.

If you are caught driving without a permit you must wait until you are at least 18 years before you can apply for a license.

A violation of the night curfew may result in a permit suspension.

Phase II: Initial Licensing Phase (Provisional License) 16 – 17 years

To be eligible for phase II in the GDL program, a driver under 18 years must have completed a state-approved driver education course. Applicants between 18 and 20 years may instead complete a six-hour Adult Driver Education course.

A parent or legal guardian must certify that you have completed a minimum of 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours at night.

You must have held your permit for at least nine months.

Phase II: Initial Licensing Phase – Restrictions

With a provisional license you may drive without a supervising driver, but the license still has some restrictions.

  No driving at night.

You cannot drive Sunday-Thursday between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and Friday-Saturday between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Exemptions in the law allow you to drive to and from employment or school-sanctioned activities during curfew hours. You may also drive if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

  No more than one passenger under 20 years for the first 12 months.

For the first 12 months or until you turn 18, whichever occurs first, the number of passengers is limited to one person under 20 years. A sibling, stepsibling, child, or stepchild of the driver is not counted towards this limit.

After 12 months or when you turn 18, the number of passengers is limited to one in the front seat and the number of safety belts in the back seat.

  No use of cellphones.

All cellphone/wireless use while driving, including a hands-free device, is prohibited if you are under 19 years and not in an emergency.

Phase II: Initial Licensing Phase – Sanctions

If you are guilty of a moving violation within the first year of licensing, the passenger limitation is extended six months.

Two moving violation convictions within a 24-month period will result in a minimum one-month license suspension.

If the Secretary of State suspends your license, you may be retested and must pay a $70 reinstatement fee.

If you violate the nighttime driving restriction, your driving privileges may also be suspended.

Frequently Asked Questions

The failure rate on the Illinois written test is less than 10 %. The first part with traffic sign identification (15 questions) is considered very easy and the second part about road rules is graded easy.

You must be at least 15 years old to apply for a learner's permit or instruction permit in Illinois.

Illinois Road Sign Test Questions

Video: Illinois Road Signs Test

Illinois Road Sign Identification Test

Illinois Road Sign Identification Test

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