Driver's Prep - Free DMV tests

North Carolina FREE DMV Test & Permit Practice

This North Carolina DMV Practice Test
  Questions on each test: 25
  Question pool: 500+
  Type of test: Random multiple-choice



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North Carolina Road Sign Test

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Take another road rules test!

Or try the road sign quiz!

North Carolina Road Sign Test

#1. At a flashing red signal, you must:

  I. Come to a full stop
  II. Yield to approaching traffic and pedestrians

The flashing red signal has the same meaning as the stop sign: stop and do not proceed to move until you can enter the intersection without interfering with approaching traffic.


#2. This flag person signals you to:

Flag persons are often provided in highway and street work zones to stop, slow or guide traffic safely through the area. This person signals that you may proceed slowly.

Remember, motorists are responsible for knowing how to read and react to these directions.


#3. When can you drive at the posted speed limit?

The basic speed law means that you may not drive at a speed that is unreasonable or unwise given the existing conditions.

Conditions often change as you drive. You will drive through different areas such as open country, residential communities, and school zones. Watch for changing conditions and adjust your speed accordingly.


#4. Passing is always unsafe and usually illegal:

  I. Near shopping centers
  II. Wherever there is a double-solid yellow line

Places where passing is always unsafe and usually illegal:

  • At intersections in cities and towns or at railroad crossings.
  • At marked intersections in rural areas.
  • On any curve or hill where the driver cannot see at least 500 feet ahead.
  • Wherever there is a solid yellow line in the driver’s lane.
  • Wherever there is a double-solid yellow line.
  • At intersections or crosswalks where a vehicle has stopped to allow people to cross the street.
  • Wherever the driver cannot see that the road is clear of traffic far enough ahead to pass safely.

#5. If your vehicle is equipped with air bags, you should:

The force of an air bag can hurt those who are too close to it. An airbag needs about 10 inches of space to inflate. Driver and front passenger seats should be moved as far back as practical, particularly for shorter-statured people.


#6. At this uncontrolled intersection, vehicle A is turning left. Vehicles B and C are going straight. Vehicle A must:

Vehicle C goes first.

Vehicle A must yield to both B and C.

Vehicle B must yield to vehicle C.

In intersections without traffic signs or signals, the right-of-way rules state:

  • The vehicle already in the intersection has the right of way ahead of any vehicle that has not yet entered.
  • When two or more vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way.
  • A vehicle with the right-of-way may move straight ahead or, if legal and after signaling, turn right or left

#7. When driving on packed snow, you should:

It is recommended that you reduce speed by more than half for packed snow and slow to a crawl on ice. Use chains if necessary for better traction, but do not forget that even chains and snow tires can slide on ice and packed snow.


#8. An underage person who attempts to purchase alcohol will face a license revocation for:

The law requires a one-year driver license revocation upon conviction for any underage person who attempts to purchase or purchases an alcoholic beverage.


#9. What can you do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

A leak in the exhaust system can allow poisonous carbon monoxide gas to enter the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

Prevention includes tight exhaust system (check it regularly) and adequate fresh air circulation.


#10. When can you drive around a lowered gate at a railroad crossing?

Many crossings have flashing red lights or flashing red lights with gates. If the warning signal activates, you must stop before the gates lower across your side of the road.

It is unlawful to move through a railroad crossing when the gates are lowered.


#11. When driving at night, you should make sure that you can stop:

Night driving is more dangerous than daytime driving because you cannot see as well. Never drive at a speed at which you cannot stop within the distance you can see on the road ahead.


#12. Which of the following is true about tractor-trailers?

Because of its large size, a tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling at a slower speed than it is.

A substantial number of car-truck collisions take place at intersections because the driver of the car does not realize how close the truck is or how quickly it is approaching.

Never underestimate the size and speed of an approaching tractor-trailer.


#13. An emergency vehicle using flashing lights approaches you from the opposite direction. You may continue driving:

All vehicles, regardless of direction of travel, must yield right of way to an approaching emergency vehicle. This does not apply to vehicles traveling in the opposite direction of the emergency vehicle when traveling on a four-lane limited-access highway with a center median.


#14. If you approach a stopped school bus with flashing red lights on this roadway, you must:

Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: When school bus stops for passengers, all traffic from both directions must stop.


#15. All motor vehicles registered in North Carolina must be inspected:

All motor vehicles registered in North Carolina must be inspected annually. DMV License and Theft Bureau oversees the vehicle inspection process.

The objective of vehicle inspections is to ensure vehicles registered in North Carolina registered vehicles are maintained properly.


#16. You should remember that any time you are not feeling well:

You should remember that any time you are not feeling well, your driving is likely to be different. You may be less alert and less responsive than normal.


#17. Where is it illegal to park a vehicle?

  I. On a crosswalk
  II. On a sidewalk

Parking is not allowed on a crosswalk, sidewalk or bridge. The distance you must keep to a fire hydrant is 15 feet.


#18. When should you use your horn?

The horn must be used as a reasonable warning device. You should not use the horn unnecessarily or unreasonably.

The law requires drivers to use the horn whenever a pedestrian may be affected by a turn, stop, or start from a parked position.

When passing another vehicle, blow the horn to signal the driver ahead. The horn signal places the driver of the vehicle you are passing under a legal obligation to help you pass. (Handbook, chapter 4)

Do not use your horn:

  • Close to bicyclists, unless to avoid an accident.
  • When passing a horse-drawn vehicle or horseback rider.

#19. When making a right turn you must:

For right turns, stay close to the right edge of the road, so that another vehicle cannot move between your vehicle and the curb.

All vehicles turning right shall yield the right of way to other traffic and pedestrians using the intersection and to pedestrians in reasonably close proximity to the intersection and who are starting to cross in front of the traffic that is required to stop at the red light.


#20. You should always increase your following distance when:

  I. Following bicycles or motorcycles
  II. Following drivers who cannot see you

There are situations where you need more space in front of your vehicle. To be safe, you should increase your following distance on slippery roads, when following motorcycles, when you have a heavy load or are pulling a trailer, when following emergency vehicle or large vehicles, and when approaching railroad crossings.


#21. You should always be especially alert for motorcycles because:

  I. Their size makes them difficult to see
  II. They always have the right-of-way

Mopeds and motorcycles are difficult to see, and can be entirely hidden by your blind spots. Be especially watchful for motorcycles and mopeds while turning or changing lanes at intersections or entering the road from a driveway.

In many left-turn situations it is even more difficult to see a motorcycle or moped. Look out for motorcycles and mopeds, as well as other vehicles, before you turn, change lanes or proceed to move.


#22. Single, solid, yellow lines are used:

  I. For guiding traffic traveling in the same direction
  II. As left-edge lines on divided highways

Single, solid, yellow lines are used as left-edge lines on divided highways. If you see the reverse, you are traveling in the wrong direction.


#23. If your vehicle starts to skid or hydroplane, you should:

  I. Slow down gradually
  II. Turn the steering wheel sharply to keep control

Take your foot off the accelerator. Slow down gradually. Do not apply the brakes. Turn the front wheels only enough to keep them pointed in the direction of the skid and the direction you want to go. Be prepared for a secondary skid in the opposite direction.


#24. If you cannot remember the last few miles driven, you should know that:

Drowsy driving could happen to anyone. Some warning signs include:

  • You cannot remember the last few miles driven.
  • You hit a rumble strip or drift from your lane.
  • You yawn repeatedly.
  • You have difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open.

If you are tired and in danger of falling asleep, you cannot predict when a mini sleep may occur. If you become tired while driving, stop!


#25. The amount of alcohol in the blood is referred to as:

The amount of alcohol in the blood is referred to as BAC (Blood Alcohol Content or Blood Alcohol Concentration).

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North Carolina DMV Written Knowledge Test
  Number of questions on exam: 25 questions
  Passing score: 80 percent
  Correct answers to pass: 20
  Allotted time to complete test: No limit
  Wait time before retest: 1 day

North Carolina Practice Tests

This practice test focuses on North Carolina road rules, traffic laws, and safe driving. It has 25 questions and matches the second part of your written knowledge examination for a permit or full driver’s license.

When you apply for a North Carolina driver license or learner’s permit, you must pass an examination with two tests.

  A road sign identification test.
  A written knowledge test about rules and laws.

The first, known as the roads signs test, will check your understanding of common regulatory and warning signs. You must identify 12 signs by color and shape and provide an explanation of each. You can practice for the road sign identification test here: NC Road Sign Practice Test

North Carolina Road Sign Test

The second part of your examination is the tricky one. It has 25 questions about rules and laws with a passing score of 80% (20 correct answers).

The Question Format

The purpose of this practice test is to help you verify your knowledge and level of readiness for the exam. But it also helps you understand what kind of questions you are likely to see on the test and the question format use.

Like all DMV tests in United States, it is a multiple-choice test, mainly with four alternatives.

Nowadays, only one alternative is correct.

Look at these two questions:

Question 1: Which of the following statements about horns and sirens is/are correct?

  • A. Every licensed motor vehicle must have a horn.
  • B. Only law enforcement and emergency vehicles may have sirens.
  • C. Both A and B.
  • D. Neither A nor B.

Question 2: Which of the following statements about horns and sirens is/are correct?
I. Every licensed motor vehicle must have a horn.
II. Only law enforcement and emergency vehicles may have sirens.

  • A. I only
  • B. II only
  • C. Both I and II.
  • D. Neither I nor II.

Perhaps you don’t spot the difference right away, but in the old example (Question 1) C. Both A and B. is a correct and the best choice. But only the last choice (D) is incorrect. In other words, a poor test question and unfortunately still common in other states.

In the new version of the test (Question 2), you must evaluate two statements. Again, both can be correct, like in this case. But the choices are different. You need to decide if each statement is correct or not. You have one choice that says that only the first statement is correct, one that says that only the second one is correct, and one that says that both are correct or incorrect.

Not two answers can be correct in this version of the question.

Expect at least a handful of questions in this format on your test.

We help you pass your DMV exam

How to Study for the Test

Always start by getting the latest version of the Driver Handbook. Get it from your nearest DMV office or download from .

Use the handbook to learn all the facts for your driver examination. Everything on your test is drawn from this handbook.

Be prepared for questions about laws and what will happen if you break the law, especially the consequences for Driving While Impaired (DWI). North Carolina DMV also places emphasis on how to safely share the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles.

You are unlikely to pass the test without a good understanding of the contents of the handbook.

The handbook should also be read by the person who will be your supervising driver, like a parent, to reinforce safe and defensive driving techniques when you practice driving later on.

Use the practice test as a supplement to the handbook, not instead of it. Practice tests work best if you use them together with the handbook.

Remember, every question on North Carolina DMV test is drawn from the official North Carolina Driver Handbook issued by North Carolina DMV. If you want to prepare for the examination, you should always read the handbook.

Read more: Drivers Prep Help You Ace your Learners Permit Test .

Study - How to pass the DMV test

How Long Should You Study for the DMV Test?

A general recommendation is to start studying at least two weeks ahead of the examination.

Don’t try to read everything at once. The more you spread your study session, the better your long-term recollection of facts. After all, you want this knowledge to stick. Not knowing some basic traffic rules can have serious consequences when you hit the road.

While last-minute cramming can help you pass a test, you won’t remember the material for long.

Let’s say it will take you about 20 hours to learn everything you need to know. With 20 hours it is better to study 2 hours every second day over three weeks than to study 20 hours during the last couple of days.

Mixing is also a great study tactic. Spend time reading the handbook, taking practice tests, and talk about driving rules. If you are taking a driving class, engage in the discussions and be active. If not, find someone you can discuss traffic rules with. It will help you more than you think.

What You Must Know about the North Carolina DMV Test

It is a closed book test. You cannot use books, papers, or electronic devices when taking the test.

North Carolina DMV does not offer online tests from home; you must take your knowledge examination at a DMV office. Appointments are currently mandatory.

The passing score on the North Carolina DMV rules test is 80%. You must correctly answer 20 of the 25 questions.

If you fail your first attempt, you can take the test again the next business day, if there are available appointments. There is no fee for re-testing.

The test has no time limit, which means that you have plenty of time to carefully read all questions and answers. Pace yourself to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

The test is available in some additional languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. If you have trouble understanding English, you should let someone help you to make sure you can get a test in a language you understand.

If you have difficulty reading, DMV may offer an oral test. Make sure you contact your local DMV office in advance.

Who Must Pass the North Carolina DMV Written Test?

  First-time Applicants

For an original NC learner’s permit or driver license of any type, all first-time applicants must pass a written knowledge test.

  Drivers who let their license expire more than one year.

  Drivers who had their license revoked.

If your license was revoked, you must wait until the revocation period has ended before you can re-apply for a North Carolina driver’s license. You must pass all tests again before DMV issues a new license.

  Drivers with a foreign driver’s license.

Drivers who move to North Carolina and hold a license from a country other than United States or Canada, must pass the knowledge test as part of the application process.

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles

Is the North Carolina DMV Written Test Hard?

North Carolina DMV does not record or release failure rates on the knowledge test. It is only suggested that the more than one third fail the written exam, making the difficulty level on the exam “moderate”.

Most applicants, however, pass the road sign identification test, which is generally considered easy.

Study and Learn More

COVID 19 Alert

N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles office

In North Carolina, you must make an appointment for services that need to be completed in a driver license office: Make an appointment!

It is also possible to take the Motorcycle Skills Tests at limited office locations – but NOT the road skills tests for a passenger vehicle.


  1. This helped a lot. thank you for sharing.

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