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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. On which side should you pass a vertical panel like this?

Slanting stripes on a panel or barricade tell you on which side to pass.

Stripes sloping downward to the left means the driver should bear to the left. Stripes sloping downward to the right means the driver should bear to the right.


#2. A traffic signal showing a steady yellow light means:

A steady yellow light means caution. Do not enter the intersection if you can stop safely. If you cannot stop safely, proceed through the intersection with caution.


#3. A road sign with a round shape means:

A circular sign is used to warn that there is a railroad crossing ahead.


#4. If you are involved in a collision you must always:

If you are in an accident, you are required to stop as close to the accident scene as possible without blocking traffic.

Do not move the injured unless absolutely necessary. Do not stand or walk in traffic lanes. You could be struck by another vehicle.


#5. If your car starts to skid, you should:

If your vehicle begins to hydroplane or skid, stay calm. Do not use your brakes unless you are in danger of hitting something. Take your foot off the accelerator and turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid.


#6. Which pavement marking separates lanes with traffic going in the same direction?

White lines divide lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. Solid white lines are also used to mark the right edge of the road.


#7. When is a good time to adjust your rearview and side mirrors?

You should always check your seat and mirrors before you start to drive. Make any adjustments to the seat and mirrors before you drive off.

You should be able to see out the back window with the rearview mirror and to the sides with the side mirrors. A good adjustment for the side mirrors is to set them so that when you lean forward slightly, you can see just the side of your vehicle.


#8. Which is true about the right of way at a 4-way stop?

At four-way stops, the first vehicle to stop should move forward first. If two vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left yields to the driver on the right.


#9. What is a suitable restraint system for a child weighing less than 20 pounds?

Infants should ride rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they have reached at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds.


#10. You approach this road sign. What should you expect ahead?

Divided highway ahead (divided highway begins).

The highway ahead is divided into two one-way roadways. Keep to the right.


#11. Which of the following can increase your stopping distance?

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.


#12. A blind spot is the area of the road:

Blind spots are areas near the left and right rear corners of your vehicle that you cannot see in your mirrors. Before you move sideways, turn your head to make sure these areas are clear. Do not drive in someone else’s blind spot.


#13. What does this sign mean?

Merging Traffic sign. You are coming to a point where another traffic lane joins the one you are on. Watch for other traffic and be ready to yield the right-of-way when necessary.


#14. Compared to pavement, your stopping distance on loose gravel is:

Stopping or turning on loose gravel is more difficult compared to pavement because tire traction is reduced.

When driving on gravel, you must slow down. It will take you much longer to stop and it is much easier to skid when turning.


#15. When you see a motorcycle's turn signal flashing:

Often turn signals do not automatically shut off on a motorcycle and riders occasionally forget to cancel them after a turn is completed. Make sure you know what the rider is going to do before you move into the path of the motorcycle.


#16. The main reason why drinking alcohol and then driving is so dangerous is that it affects your:

Alcohol affects those areas of your brain that control judgment and skill. This is one reason why drinking alcohol is so dangerous – it affects your judgment. Good judgment is important to driving, but in this case, judgment helps you to know when to stop drinking.


#17. This red and white sign means:

A square sign with a white horizontal line inside a red circle means you cannot enter. You will see this sign at roadway openings you are not to enter and when traffic is one way against you. You will see them at exit ramps, in crossovers on divided roadways, and at numerous locations on one-way roads.


#18. When can you legally park your car in front of a private driveway?

Parking is not allowed in front of a public or private driveway.


#19. Passing another vehicle is illegal:

It is illegal to pass when you are:

  • Coming to the top of a hill.
  • Going around a curve when your view along the highway is obstructed (700 feet).
  • Within 100 feet of a narrow bridge, viaduct, or tunnel when posted.
  • Within 100 feet of an intersection or railroad crossing.

#20. Which road signs have the shape of an upside-down triangle?

The upside-down triangle shape is exclusively used for yield signs. Slow down and, if necessary, stop to give the right of way to vehicles and pedestrians.


#21. To obtain a driver's license you will be considered an Iowa resident if you:

You will be considered an Iowa resident for the purposes of driver’s licensing and vehicle registration if any one of the following apply:

  • You have registered to vote in this state.
  • You have enrolled your children in public school.
  • You have accepted a permanent job in the state.
  • You have resided continuously in Iowa for 30 days.

#22. What is true about signaling?

Signal as early as you can. Try and signal at least three seconds before you make your move. You must signal at least 100 feet before a turn if the speed limit is 45 mph or less. If the speed limit is faster than 45 mph, you must signal at least 300 feet before you turn.


#23. At a railroad crossing, trains must be given the right-of-way:

You are legally required to yield the right of way to trains. Slow down, look and listen for a train, and stop if a train approach. Remember, trains cannot stop quickly.


#24. Driving at night with parking lights instead of headlights is:

Whenever lights are necessary, use your headlights, not your parking lights. Parking lights are for parked cars only.


#25. When turning left from a two-way street onto a one-way street, you should complete the turn in:

Turn from the lane that is closest to the direction you want to go and turn into the lane closest to the one you came from. Compare illustrations in Driver’s Manual.

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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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