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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Take another NC practice test!

Or try the road sign quiz!

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. How do you check your blind spots while driving?

Turn your head briefly. Mirrors should be adjusted before you start driving and will always have blind spots. These blind spots can hide a motorcyclist or a bicyclist. Do not drive in another driver’s blind spot.


#2. When driving in a fog, you should:

Slow down. Use your low beam headlights, not your high beams. Keep a consistent distance between you and the car in front of you. If you are involved in a collision, get your car off the road as quickly as possible.


#3. Where do frost and ice usually form quicker and are retained longer?

As you drive, watch for shady spots, bridges and overpasses since these places are often the first to freeze as the temperature drops.


#4. Whenever you drive, you should adjust your speed based on:

  I. Model year of your vehicle
  II. Traffic conditions

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. To be a safe driver, you must often drive slower than the posted limit, but you must not drive faster.

Remember, never drive at a speed that is unreasonable or unwise given the existing conditions.


#5. Which is true about child passenger restraint systems?

  I. They must meet the federal safety standards
  II. They are not as safe as a parent holding the child in their arms

Every driver transporting one or more passengers younger than 16 years of age must make sure that each passenger under age 16 is properly secured in a child passenger restraint system or a seat belt which meets the federal safety standards.


#6. Before any license suspension or revocation can be cleared, you must:

  I. Pay a restoration and/or service fee
  II. Complete a driver improvement clinic

North Carolina law requires that a restoration fee of $65 be paid to the DMV before a suspension or revocation can be cleared. (This fee is not required if the license was taken for medical or health reasons following a medical evaluation.) A $130 restoration fee is required when the revocation results from a DWI conviction.

Also, a service fee of $50 is required upon restoration of a revoked or suspended driver license unless the license was surrendered to the court or mailed to the DMV before the effective date of the suspension or revocation.


#7. If a school bus with flashing red lights has stopped on your side of an undivided highway with four lanes, you must:

When a school bus displays its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights to receive or discharge passengers, the driver of any other vehicle approaching the school bus must stop and not attempt to pass the school bus until the mechanical stop signal is withdrawn, the flashing red lights are turned off and the bus has started to move.

When school bus stops on a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation or a center turning lane, only traffic following the bus must stop.


#8. Parking a vehicle is never allowed:

  I. On a crosswalk
  II. On a bridge

Never park your car on a crosswalk, sidewalk or bridge/


#9. Roads are likely to be especially slick:

Roads are more dangerous just after rain has begun to fall, especially if it has not rained for a while. For the first 10 to 15 minutes, rain combines with oil from asphalt and vehicles, and with dirt, dust, and rubber to create a slick surface. You should drive with extreme caution.


#10. You are driving in the left-hand lane when you approach this sign. What should you do?

Lane drop. Left lane ends, merge right.


#11. Which is true about large trucks?

  I. They take longer to stop than a car traveling at the same speed
  II. They cannot gain speed as quickly as cars

Heavy trucks cannot gain speed as quickly as cars and they take longer to stop.


#12. An anti-lock brake system (ABS) mainly provides drivers with the ability to:

Anti-lock brakes, or ABS, can help improve vehicle stability (avoiding spinouts), steer ability (directing the vehicle where the driver wants it to go) and stopping capability (distance needed to stop the vehicle).

One misconception concerning the effectiveness of the ABS is that it will stop a vehicle in a much shorter distance than regular brakes. This is only partially true.


#13. Why should you pay special attention to bicyclists as you approach an intersection?

  I. Bicyclists are not required to obey stop signs or traffic signals
  II. They are especially hard to see during a turn

When a bicycle lane or bike path travels on or adjacent to the roadway, please pay special attention to bicyclists as you approach and move through an intersection. Motorcycles and bicycles are especially hard to see during a turn.

The potential exists for a crash between the bicyclist who is moving straight ahead through the intersection and the motorist who is turning right.


#14. A traffic signal showing a steady red light means:

A steady red circular signal means STOP. Unless there is a sign indicating NO TURN ON RED, a right turn can be made after coming to a complete stop. 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. Failure to yield to a pedestrian under these circumstances will result in a penalty of not more than $500 and not less than $100.


#15. Which causes many rear-end crashes in work zones?

  I. Drivers obeying posted speed limits
  II. Drivers driving slower than the surrounding traffic

Driving slower than the surrounding traffic is a major cause of rear-end crashes in work zones. In the work zone, driving areas may be confined, and there may be no maneuvering space or escape route for vehicles that unexpectedly approach a slow-moving vehicle ahead.


#16. When traveling long distances, you should:

When traveling long distances, plan ahead, know your route and be alert to the driving conditions. Your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle may save your life as well as the lives of others.


#17. What should you do to avoid glare from high-beam headlights of an approaching car at night?

Reduce speed and use the edge of the road as a guide. Keep your lights on low beam.


#18. 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.


#19. All the following practices can be dangerous while driving. Which is also specifically prohibited by law?

In North Carolina, it is unlawful to use a cell phone for email or text messages while operating a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area.


#20. When an emergency vehicle with flashing lights approaches from the opposite direction on an undivided highway, you must:

Police cars, ambulances, fire engines and rescue vehicles with flashing lights and sirens always have the right of way. Follow these guidelines when approaching or being approached by an emergency vehicle:

  • As the emergency vehicle approaches (from ahead or behind), drive to the right-hand curb or edge of the road and stop completely.
  • Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed, or until directed to move by a traffic officer.

Remember, the law requires you to: immediately drive to a position as near as possible and parallel to the right-hand edge or curb, clear of any intersection. Never stop in an intersection.


#21. After a train has passed at a railroad crossing with more than one track, you should:

  I. Move forward as soon as the train passes
  II. Wait until you have a clear view of all tracks

Do not proceed to move immediately after the train has passed – there may be another train moving in the opposite direction from or following the first train.


#22. Your ability to judge how fast you are moving or your distance from others:

  I. Is improved if you drive faster
  II. Is reduced after drinking alcohol

Alcohol reduces your ability to judge how fast you are moving or your distance from other cars, people, or objects.


#23. The driver ahead signals:

Left turn – left arm extended horizontally out of open window.


#24. You must use extra caution when approaching a pedestrian using a white cane because:

A white cane is used by many people who are blind or visually impaired, both as a mobility tool and as a courtesy to others.


#25. Traffic lanes going in the same direction are separated by:

White lines are used as right edge lines on roadways and to delineate the separation of traffic flow in the same direction

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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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