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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. In which situation are you allowed to overtake a stopped school bus?

Remember, under special circumstances, an officer may be directing the flow of traffic. If so, obey the officer’s signals instead of the normal traffic signals or signs.

In Iowa, you may not overtake a school bus when amber warning lights are flashing.


#2. A three-point turn should only be used:

This is the most difficult and dangerous way to turn around. Use it only when the road or street is too narrow to make a U-turn and you cannot go around the block.


#3. Left turns on a red light are:

Traffic facing a steady circular red signal must come to a complete stop at the stop line or before entering the intersection.

The driver must remain stopped until allowed to proceed by another indication. The only exception is to make a permitted turn on red.

A driver may turn right on red at the intersection of two-way streets or may turn left on red from a one-way street to another one-way street. These turns may be made after yielding to all other traffic and pedestrians, and if no signs are posted to prohibit them.


#4. After passing this sign you reach an intersection without signs or signals. You must:

T-Intersection Ahead. The road you are on does not go straight ahead. Prepare to turn right or left.


#5. What can you expect if you have radial tires on the front and non-radial snow tires on the back?

Radial tires and non-radial tires do not mix. The risk of a skid is greater if you have radials on the front and non-radial snow tires on the back. If your front tires are radials, your snow tires should also be radials.


#6. What is the first thing you should do when your car starts to skid?

If you begin to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, and turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid.


#7. Proof of liability insurance is needed whenever you drive:

Drivers of vehicles registered in Iowa must carry with them an insurance card verifying liability coverage is currently in force. Failure to do so could result in fines and possible impoundment of the vehicle.


#8. What does this sign mean?

Reduction of lanes. Right lane ends. Merge left.

Two lanes of traffic will soon become one lane of traffic. Right-lane traffic must yield when merging.


#9. You have a green light at an intersection and a blind pedestrian is preparing to cross. Who must be given the right-of-way?

If you approach a person walking with a white cane or a white cane tipped with red, you must stop and take whatever action is necessary to prevent injury to that person. The same applies to a person being led by a guide dog which is wearing a harness and walking by or in front of the person.


#10. The areas around a large truck where other vehicles disappear into blind spots are often called no-zones. These areas include:

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 and where accidents are most likely to occur.


#11. What do the pavement markings at this intersection tell you?

Special arrow markings may be present at intersections to show which lanes must be used when turning or proceeding straight.

If your lane is marked with both a curved and straight arrow, you may either turn or go straight. If you are in a lane marked with a curved arrow and the word ONLY, you must turn in the direction of the arrow.


#12. If your vehicle breaks down on a highway, you should always:

If at all possible, get your vehicle off the road away from traffic. Turn on your emergency flashers to show you are having trouble. Never stand in the roadway.


#13. How many hours of supervised driving must an applicant log while holding an instruction permit?

You must log 20 hours of supervised driving, minimum of two hours must be between sunset and sunrise.


#14. If you need to brake in a hurry, what determines how far your car will go before you can bring the car to a complete stop?

The process of stopping your car has three main components: perception, reaction, and braking. This is usually referred to as stopping distance. The first two components can be affected by human factors such as tiredness, alcohol, fatigue, and concentration levels. The last component depends on factors such as: vehicle weight and size, tires, brakes, road, and weather conditions.


#15. To see vehicles in your blind spots you must look:

You must glance over your shoulder to be sure no one is in the blind spot.


#16. When overtaking another vehicle on a two-lane road, you must:

Signal properly to show you intend to change lanes. Signal early enough to allow other drivers to know your intentions.


#17. What is true about signaling?

Always signal to other drivers when you plan to turn left, right, slow down, or stop. Signals may be given by hand-and-arm positions or by using the vehicle’s signal lights


#18. When driving on a clear night with a steady stream of oncoming traffic, you should use:

Dimming headlights when meeting or following other vehicles is required by law, as well as being a sensible driving practice. Do not drive with high beams in heavy traffic.


#19. The force of a head-on crash at 25 mph is the same as diving off a:

Even at 25 mph, the force of a head-on crash is the same as pedaling a bicycle full speed into a brick wall or diving off a three-story building onto the sidewalk.


#20. When you park on a hill headed downhill and there is no curb, you should turn your front wheels:

Headed downhill with no curb, turn the wheels to the right or side of the road, so the car will roll away from the center of the road if the brakes fail.

Remember, when you park on a hill, the general rule is to turn your wheels sharply towards the side of the road or curb. This way, if your vehicle starts to roll downhill, it will roll away from traffic. However, when headed uphill at a curb, you should turn the front wheels in the opposite direction, away from the curb and towards the road. Then, let your vehicle roll backwards until the back of your front wheel touches the curb. The curb will stop your car from rolling into traffic.


#21. You should stop before railroad tracks and not cross them if:

It is important to note that you should not enter a railroad crossing until the vehicle ahead has moved far enough ahead that you can clear the tracks. Never stop your vehicle on the railroad tracks.


#22. A lane marked with this sign can be used by:

High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes are reserved for carpools and vehicles with more than one person in them. Signs say how many people must be in the vehicle as well as the days and hours to which it applies. This sign says the lane is reserved for buses and vehicles with at least four people (more than three) in the vehicle.


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

Keep Right. The road ahead is divided. Stay on the right side of the island or barrier.


#24. Signs with a fluorescent yellow-green color mark:

Fluorescent yellow-green is used for high emphasis warning of school, pedestrian, and bicycling activity.


#25. Penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are:

Driving while intoxicated of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs are subject to the same penalties.

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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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