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
|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|
|Each test is random|
#1. Unless otherwise posted, what is the legal speed limit in a business district?
Legal speed limit in a city and town area is 30 mph.
#2. Unmarked crosswalks are crosswalks not marked by painted lines. They exist:
There is a crosswalk at every intersection, even if it is not marked by painted lines.
#3. The following practices are not recommended while driving. Which is also illegal?
Illinois law prohibits the use of handheld cellphones, texting or using other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free devices or Bluetooth technology is allowed for persons age 19 and older.
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.
#4. Two solid yellow lines mean no passing. Do not drive to the left of these lines unless:
Two solid yellow lines mean no passing. Crossing these lines is allowed if you need to turn into or out of a private road or driveway.
#5. Backing a vehicle on freeways:
It is illegal to back up on any shoulder or roadway of any controlled access roadway.
It is also illegal to back up on other roadways unless it is done safely and does not interfere with other vehicles.
#6. What should you do if you see smoke coming from under your vehicle's hood?
If smoke appears, pull off the road. Turn off the engine, move away from the vehicle and call the fire department. Vehicle fires can be very dangerous. Do not fight the fire yourself.
#7. True or false? When entering a highway construction area, a driver should discontinue wireless/cellphone use.
Don’t use your cellphone in work zones. Illinois law requires motorists to discontinue wireless/cellphone use (unless using a hands-free device that may include the use of a single-sided headset).
#8. The three-second rule refers to how you should:
The three-second rule refers to a following distance.
The three-second rule also applies to your speed when you are on a good road and during good weather conditions. If the road or weather conditions are not good, increase your following distance even more.
Remember, a three-second rule does not mean that you are able to stop within three seconds.
#9. Which is true about alcohol?
Alcohol is the number one killer on American roadways.
#10. You must have the following brake system in proper working order:
Your vehicle must have two brake systems and brakes on all wheels. The foot brake must be strong enough to stop a vehicle traveling at a speed of 20 mph in 30 feet. The emergency or parking brake must be strong enough to stop the vehicle in 55 feet at the same speed.
#11. About one-half of all motorcycle crashes involve another motor vehicle. Most of these crashes are caused by:
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.
#12. A traffic signal with a flashing yellow arrow means:
The flashing yellow arrow means you may turn in the direction the arrow is pointed after yielding the right-of-way to any pedestrians and vehicles in the intersection or crosswalk.
Oncoming traffic is NOT stopped by a red light. Proceed with caution.
#13. When you park on a hill headed uphill and there is a curb, you should turn your front wheels:
Headed uphill, turn your front wheels away from the curb and let your vehicle roll back a few inches.
#14. When stopped by a law enforcement officer, you should do all the following except:
Activate the vehicle’s hazard lights or emergency flashers. Roll down your window. Never exit the vehicle or have other parties exit the vehicle unless instructed by the officer.
#15. What is the most important driving technique when driving on icy or snowy roads?
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. Do not use your cruise control.
#16. What is the no-zone in terms of driving?
No-zone is a highway safety term that describes areas on the side, front and rear of large trucks where passenger vehicles disappear from view (blind spots) and where accidents are most likely to occur .
#17. You are over age 21. A law enforcement officer believes you have been driving under the influence. The officer wants to take a blood or breath test. If you refuse, your driver's license will be suspended for:
When driving on Illinois roadways, you automatically consent to submit to certain tests. If you refuse to submit to testing, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year. If you are a second offender within a five-year period, your privileges will be suspended for three years if you refuse to test.
#18. When entering an expressway, you should:
Expressway traffic must be given the right-of-way.
#19. Your car must have a horn that can be heard from a distance of:
Vehicles must have a horn that can be heard from 200 feet. Sirens, whistles and bells are allowed only on authorized emergency vehicles.
#20. Which of the following vehicles must always stop before crossing railroad tracks?
Be prepared to stop for vehicles that must stop at crossings, such as school buses, motor vehicles carrying passengers for hire or vehicles transporting explosives or hazardous materials.
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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
Study for the Knowledge Examination
Before you start, you should have:
- The latest version of Rules of the Road. Get it from a licensing office or online .
- The Parent-Teen Guide if you are applying for a permit.
- A parent or other licensed driver to discuss rules and safe driving with.
If you follow these steps, you will learn more efficiently. Read more about the best way to study here: Best Way to Study .
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?
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, 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 Illinois written knowledge test for an instruction permit has 35 questions. 15 question address common road signs and the remaining 20 questions deal with safety rules and common traffic laws.
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 COVID-19 Response
Illinois driver services facilities will remain closed for in-person service until Jan. 5, 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There are currently no knowledge testing or road testing available at service centers.
Illinois Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards expired during the pandemic are extended until June. 1, 2021.