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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. When two vehicles from different directions arrive at the same time at an intersection where there are no signs or signals, which one should be given the right-of-way?

When two cars enter an open intersection (without traffic control signs or signals) at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.


#2. This sign tells you:

This is a regulatory No U-turn sign. It means that you are not allowed to make a U-turn.


#3. What does this sign mean?

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


#4. What does a sign with this shape mean?

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.


#5. Driving a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes allows you to:

If you have ABS, you can turn your vehicle while braking without skidding. This is helpful if you must turn and stop or slow down.


#6. On multi-lane roads with wide outside lanes, you should allow the following clearance between your vehicle and a bicyclist:

On multi-lane roads with wide outside lanes, allow at least three to four feet between your vehicle and the bicyclist for clearance.


#7. What is the only medically proven method to remove alcohol or other drug combinations from your system?

Only time will get it out of your system. Cold showers, fresh air, vitamins, black coffee, and exercise will do nothing to sober you up. Once in the body, alcohol must be chemically broken down and oxidized by the liver. This is a slow process.


#8. If you lose control of the steering wheel, you should:

If you suddenly lose steering control, ease up on the accelerator. If your vehicle continues to stay in your lane on the roadway, wait until it slows down, and then gently apply brakes to avoid changing direction. If your vehicle starts off the road or toward a pedestrian or another vehicle, apply brakes quickly, using maximum pressure.


#9. When parking close to a stop sign you must keep what distance?

The distance you must keep from a stop sign is more than 10 feet.

Parking is not allowed within ten feet upon the approach to any flashing beacon, stop or yield sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway.


#10. If your vehicle breaks down on a highway:

Here are some guidelines if you are having vehicle trouble and have to stop.

  • If at all possible, get your vehicle off the road away from traffic.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers to show you are having trouble.
  • If you cannot get your vehicle off the roadway, try to stop where other drivers have a clear view of your vehicle. Do not stop just over a hill or just around a curve.
  • Try to warn other road users that your vehicle is there. Place emergency flares behind the vehicle. This allows other drivers to change lanes if necessary.

#11. Road signs with a yellow background indicate:

Yellow is used for general warning and advisory of unexpected roadway conditions.


#12. You are driving on a one-way street. You may turn left onto another one-way street only if:

You may turn left into a left-moving, one-way street if there is no sign to prohibit the turn.

Remember, do not turn against traffic.


#13. An instruction permit does not allow you to drive:

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.


#14. Always look carefully for motorcycles before you turn at an intersection because:

Remember there are other road users such as motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians that are harder to see than cars and trucks.


#15. Under the point system for habitual offenders, how many points will be assessed for manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle?

Manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle will result in six points.


#16. What does this sign mean?

Pedestrian crossing. Watch out for people who might walk or run in front of your vehicle.


#17. A red arrow signal on a traffic light means:

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


#18. When approaching another vehicle from behind at night, at what distance are you required to dim your headlights?

You must switch to low-beam headlights within 1,000 feet of an oncoming vehicle. You must also use your low-beam headlights when you are within 400 feet of the car you are following.


#19. When it is raining, you should be most careful when turning or stopping:

During the first few minutes of a rainstorm, the oil on the surface of the roadway forms a slick film on the rainwater. You should be most careful when turning and stopping during the first half hour of rain.


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

Adjust your speed to traffic conditions. Proceed with caution. Obey all instructions provided by signs, traffic signals and flaggers. Do not follow other vehicles too closely. Always expect the unexpected.


#21. What do the light gray areas in the picture mark?

Turn your head before changing lanes because your mirrors have blind spots. These blind spots can hide a motorcyclist or a bicyclist. Do not drive in another driver’s blind spot.


#22. Driving around a lowered gate at a railroad crossing is:

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


#23. Children must ride rear-facing until they reach both:

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.


#24. You want to overtake the vehicle ahead of you. Which pavement marking tells you that you are allowed to pass?

A normal broken yellow line tells you that passing with care is allowed.

Remember, broken lines are permissive in character. Solid lines are restrictive in character.


#25. When may you drive at the maximum speed indicated by a speed limit sign?

The speed you can drive your vehicle depends on the posted speed limit, the road conditions, and the weather. The posted speed limit is the fastest speed you can legally drive under ideal driving conditions.

By law, you must drive at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other conditions. This is known as the basic speed rule.

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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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