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2021 Iowa MVD Test & Permit Practice – 100% Free

This Iowa Practice Test
  Number of questions on each practice test:25
  Question pool:750+
  The Iowa practice test is random



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#1. Who is exempt from wearing seat belts?

Rural letter carriers for the U.S. Postal Service are exempt from the seat belt law. (This exemption only applies between the first delivery point after leaving the post office and last point before returning.)


#2. Suppose you are driving on a four-lane highway. From which lane should you turn right?

The correct lane for the right turn is the lane next to the right edge of the roadway.


#3. What should you do if you are involved in a traffic crash and someone is injured?

If anyone is hurt in the accident, you must help get medical attention if the injured person asks for assistance. If anyone is seriously hurt and cannot ask for help, be sure to summon an ambulance or medical assistance immediately. When someone is hurt or killed in an accident you must also immediately report that accident to the nearest law enforcement agency.


#4. After stopping, a left turn against a red arrow is:

Idaho does not allow turning against a red arrow. Drivers turning must stop and wait.


#5. With an instruction permit you may drive alone:

All driving must be supervised.

May drive only with parent or guardian, family member over 21, driver education teacher, or driver over 25 with written permission of parent or guardian.

Number of passengers limited to the number of seat belts in the vehicle.


#6. When passing a truck you should do the following, except:

Do not cut in too quickly after passing a large vehicle.

A loaded truck with good tires and properly adjusted brakes, traveling at 55 mph on a clear, dry roadway, requires a minimum of 290 feet to come to a complete stop. It is essential therefore to not enter a roadway in front of a large vehicle. It is also important to avoid changing lanes in front of a large vehicle if you are turning off the roadway.


#7. If the road is wet when you see this sign, which is most likely to cause a problem?

Slippery when wet. In wet weather, drive slowly. Do not speed up or brake quickly. Make sharp turns at a slow speed.


#8. What does this sign mean?

Road curves gradually to the right. Be prepared for the change in direction.


#9. Which is the background color of a road sign directing you to a state park?

Brown and white signs point out scenic areas and parks.


#10. When driving inside a roundabout, it is wrong to:

Do not change lanes in the roundabout.

This question asked what you should not do.


#11. Stopping at 60 mph takes twice the distance it takes at 30 mph.

Stopping at 60 mph does not take twice the distance it takes at 30 mph as one might think, but three times the distance.


#12. What parts of a road might hold frost and ice while the rest of the road is dry?

Overpasses, bridges, shaded areas freeze first and may still be icy after the rest of the road is free of ice.


#13. When you see this sign, you must:

Do Not Pass. This sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone.

Passing signs consider unseen hazards such as intersections, driveways, and other places a vehicle may enter the roadway. The signs indicate where you may pass, or the beginning and ending of a passing zone, or where you may not pass. Where passing is allowed, you may do so only if it is safe.


#14. What does this sign mean?

Stop signs are always octagonal (8-sided). A stop sign means that you must bring your vehicle to a complete halt at the marked stop line. If there is no marked stop line, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. If there is no crosswalk, stop at a point nearest the intersecting roadway where you have a clear view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection.


#15. What is most important when you adjust to a safe speed?

Posted speed limits do not tell you at what speed to drive. They only tell you what the maximum legal speed is under ideal conditions. By law, you have to go slower if conditions make the posted speed limit unsafe.


#16. Passing another vehicle to the right on an unpaved shoulder is:

Passing another vehicle by driving off the pavement is illegal.


#17. What is the best advice to a driver who has been drinking alcohol?

There are ways of dealing with social drinking situations. Arrange to go with two or more persons and agree which one of you will not drink alcohol. You can rotate among the group to be a designated driver. You can also use public transportation or a cab, if available.


#18. When is it allowed to drive around or under a lowered gate at a railroad crossing?

Never drive around the gates. It is dangerous and against the law.


#19. What does the two-second rule mean?

The safest and easiest way to judge a safe following distance is to use the two-second rule. This will keep the vehicles in front of you far enough ahead that you will be able to stop within the assured clear distance ahead.

Remember, the two-second rule does not mean that you are able to stop within two seconds.


#20. When approaching a stopped school bus picking up children and traveling in the opposite direction on a two-lane roadway with a center turning lane, you must:

If the red lights are flashing or if the stop arm is out, you must come to a complete stop at least 15 feet from the bus. You must remain stopped as long as the red lights flash or the stop arm is out.

The only exception to this is where you are approaching the bus from the opposite direction on a road with at least two lanes in each direction.


#21. Whenever you stop your car and go into a store to make a quick purchase, you:

Whenever you park and leave your vehicle, you must turn off the engine and set the parking (emergency) brake. Lock your vehicle and take your keys. Never leave the ignition keys in a parked car.


#22. If you become stranded in a snow blizzard and no help seems available, it is generally wrong to:

If you become stranded in a blizzard and no help seems available, leave the car only if you are positive you can reach safety. It is easy to get lost in the snow. Many people have died of exposure because they became disoriented in the swirling snow and lost their way even though they had only a short distance to go.

Do not keep the engine running all the time. Try to run the engine and heater only 10 minutes or so every hour.

Keep active. From time to time, flap your arms up and down and stomp your feet. It will help stimulate circulation. It will also help you stay awake.


#23. Lanes marked on both sides by double-broken yellow lines are known as:

Reversible lanes.

Some travel lanes are designed to carry traffic in one direction at certain times and in the opposite direction at other times. These lanes are usually marked by double-dashed yellow lines.


#24. Turn on your headlights when:

Iowa law requires you to use your headlights from sunset to sunrise or whenever visibility is 500 feet or less.

It is a good idea to turn on headlights whenever the windshield wipers are in use.


#25. You may be ruled a habitual offender if you within a two-year period are convicted of:

You may be ruled a habitual offender if you are convicted of three or more certain violations in a six-year period. Another way you may be considered a habitual offender is if you are convicted of six or more moving violations within two years. If the six moving violations include speeding, the speeds must be at least 15 mph over the legal speed limit.

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Facts about the Iowa MVD Knowledge Examination

MVD Knowledge Test for Permit and Driver’s License
  Number of questions on the permit exam:35
  Passing score:80 percent
  Correct answers to pass:28
  Allotted time to complete test:No limit (but must start 30 minutes before closing)
  Wait time before retest:1 day [761-604.20]

Practice Tests for Your Iowa Instruction Permit and Driver’s License

Studying for your driver’s license or instruction permit just got a lot easier with more sample questions and answers based on the official driver’s manual and real examinations from the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). With these practice tests you can pass the Iowa knowledge exam the first time.

Each practice test has 25 random questions from a large bank of verified questions and answers. After each test question, you will get instant feedback including a short explanation if your answer is incorrect. This will help you learn the Iowa rules of the road a lot faster.

Remember, don’t try to just memorize questions and answers. You will be a lot better off if you also understand why an answer is correct or not. Check information in the driver’s manual when you aren’t sure about the facts.

Read more: Risky Study Tactics .

Iowa driver's manual

1   Start by Getting the Driver’s Manual

You will not pass the test without a good overview of the contents in the official Driver’s Manual.

Start by getting the latest version of the manual. You can get it online or from any MVD service center.

Read it a couple of times over a period of a few days or 1 – 2 weeks, depending on how much you already know.

2   Use Practice Tests Wisely

When you’ve read the manual, you should use these practice tests to check your progress and see if you are ready for the real examination or not.

But use the practice tests wisely.

Besides from giving you an idea of the questions asked on the real examination, they are a learning tool. They should not be used as a cheat sheet instead of reading the manual.

Questions will challenge your understanding of Iowa traffic laws and the highway signs that regulate, warn, and direct traffic.

On the real knowledge exam you must reach a passing score of 80%, but on practice tests you should always aim for 100%. You will probably miss questions about details that seem unimportant for safe driving or miss questions because you didn’t read them carefully enough. Those are common mistakes on the real examination as well.

Remember, everything in the manual is there for a reason. Questions may be drawn from all parts of the manual.

3   Active Learning

Active learning can take many forms, but are generally centered around writing, talking, problem solving, or reflecting.

Studies show that the more you engage in an active learning process, the faster you will learn and the better your new knowledge will stick.

Think beyond the knowledge test and focus on understanding how you can be a safe driver. Discuss traffic rules with friends and family, make your own quizzes, etc. Give yourself plenty of time to learn. It will pay off.

3   Testing Strategy

Your best strategy for taking the real is examination is to be fully rested. Don’t try to cram as much as possible the night before the test.

If you take your test at a MVD location, arrive there in good time for your scheduled appointment.

If you take the test at home, steer away from all distractions. Turn off your phone and make sure you have plenty of time to finish the test without rushing through questions.

After reading a question, try to answer it on your own before you look at the choices. Then read the possible choices and look for the correct one.

Always make sure that your answer choice makes sense.

Permit Test - Touch Screen

Who Must Pass the Iowa Written Knowledge Test?

You must take the MVD knowledge test:

  As a first-time applicant

If you haven’t had a learner’s permit or full driver’s license before, you must pass all tests.

Applicants under 18 years will follow Iowa’s graduated driver’s license (GDL) program. The program includes three steps that allow for increased driving privilege as the driver accumulates.
more skill and demonstrates responsible driving practices.

  If you hold a foreign driver’s license

If you move to Iowa and hold a foreign license, you must transfer to an Iowa license. If you hold a license from a country other than Germany or Canada, you must pass all tests.

  If you hold an out-of-state driver’s license that has expired

Holders of an out-out-state license are normally exempt from taking the knowledge test, but if the license is invalid or has expired for more than one year you must pass the full examination as a first-time applicant.

  If you want to replace a revoke license

If the state revoked your license, you must apply for a new one. This includes passing all tests again.

The same applies if your license was revoked by another state.

To apply for a new Iowa license, you must wait until the revocation period has passed.

Moving to Iowa

Remember, when you move to Iowa and wish to drive, you must apply for an Iowa license.

If you have an out-of-state license valid for the same driving privilege you are applying for in Iowa, the knowledge and driving tests are usually waived.

You are considered an Iowa resident for purposes of driver licensing if you have:

  • Registered to vote in this state.
  • Enrolled your children in public school.
  • Accepted a permanent job in the state.
  • Lived in Iowa continuously for 30 days.

You do not need an Iowa driver’s license if you are:

  • Driving a military motor vehicle while on duty with the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Driving farm equipment between the home farm and any nearby (not more than two miles) farmland or farm operation.
  • A student or visitor and have a current license from your home state or country.

The Purpose of the Written Test

The official knowledge exam will determine how well you know and understand highway signs and Iowa traffic laws.

Iowa DOT offers computer-based tests for both permits and driver’s licenses. A traditional written test on paper may still be available in some locations.

While the number of questions on Iowa tests may vary, the test for a new learner’s permit has 35 questions. 20 questions address traffic laws and safe driving techniques. Remaining 15 questions are about signs, signals, and markings.

Our practice tests mix questions, corresponding to a 25-question test. There may be fewer questions about road signs than on the official permit exam – but all road signs from the driver’s manual are covered in our tests. It is similar to the practice test you will find on MVD’s website, but with more questions.

Don’t waste time - Pass the Iowa MVD on your first try

Take the Written Knowledge Test at Home

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, minors up to 18 years can take the knowledge test for an Iowa learner permit in the comfort of their own home.

This is what you need:

    You need to be at least 14 years old and under 18 years.

    An internet connection and a computer (not a phone or tablet).

    An application submitted by a parent.

A parent must complete and submit the Application to Proctor Knowledge Exam form. The parent must also administer the test and make sure you follow the rules.

Once the application is approved an email will be sent with instructions for taking and administering the test. It takes about 7-14 days before you get the email.

An email will also be sent with the test results and instructions after the test is completed.

The option to take the knowledge test at home is not available if you are 18 years or older.

Knowledge Test at MVD

If you are 18 years or older, you must make an appointment and take the test at a service center. Make an appointment .

Remember that you can do business at any available location, not just the one nearest you.

Iowa First-Time Instruction Permit Requirements

This is a short summary of the requirements for first step in the Iowa GDL program:

    You must be at least 14 years old to apply for an Instruction Permit.
    The permit requires written approval of parent/legal guardian.
    You must pass vision screening and a knowledge test.

Iowa First-Time Instruction Permit Restrictions

This is a short summary of the permit restrictions and the requirements for the next step in the Iowa GDL program:

    You must hold the permit for a minimum of 12 months.
    All driving must be supervised.
    Number of passengers limited to the number of seat belts in the vehicle. All passengers must be buckled up.
    You must log 20 hours of supervised driving, of which two hours must be between sunset and sunrise.
    You must complete an approved driver education course. The course must include thirty hours of classroom training and six hours laboratory.
    You must drive accident- and violation-free for six consecutive months immediately before applying for an intermediate license.

Remember, under no circumstances can you practice driving alone. You must always be accompanied by a supervising driver. The driver must sit in a front seat beside you.

You can drive with a parent or legal guardian, any family member over 21 years, a licensed driver education teacher, or any licensed driver who is at least 25 years old and has a written permission of your parent or legal guardian.

When you practice driving you must always have your instruction permit with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

You must correctly answer at least 28 of 35 questions (80%) to pass the Iowa MVD permit examination.

The Iowa instruction permit is available when you are 14 years old.

If you fail the Iowa permit knowledge test, you must wait at least one day before you can take the test again.

Iowa MVD has a online testing program you can take from home if you are under 18 years. If you are 18 years or older, you must visit a MVD office to take your knowledge test.

The difficulty level on Iowa knowledge test for a permit is rated moderate. It is estimated that one-third of all first-time test takers fail the exam.

If you don't practice driving with a parent or legal guardian, a family member over 21 years, or a licensed driver education teacher, the supervising driver must be at least 25 years old. The driver must be licensed and have a written permission from a parent/legal guardian to supervise you.

Under the Iowa Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program, you must log at least 20 hours of supervised driving while you hold the instruction permit. A minimum of two hours must be between sunset and sunrise.

COVID-19 Alerts

COVID-19 Alerts from Iowa MVD

You can take your knowledge test at home if you are under 18 years. If you are older, you must take the test at a service center.

You must wear a face mask during visits to the service centers. A health screening may also be necessary.

Read more .

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