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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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North Carolina Road Sign Test

#1. Drivers of tractor-trailers have serious blind spots in which a car can disappear from view:

Many motorists falsely assume that truckers can see the road better because they sit twice as high as the driver of a car. However, truckers still have serious blind spots or NO-ZONES into which a car can disappear from view – up to 20 feet in front of the cab, on either side of the tractor-trailer, particularly alongside the cab, and up to 200 feet in the rear.

Tractor-trailers are not designed to be as maneuverable as cars.


#2. 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.


#3. When entering an interstate highway from the acceleration lane, how fast should you go?

Adjust your speed in the acceleration lane until you reach the same speed as highway traffic. Stay within posted speed limits.


#4. Where should you stop if there is a stop sign at an intersection, but no stop line or crosswalk?

When a stop sign, traffic light, flashing light or other traffic-control device requires a vehicle to stop at an intersection, the driver must stop at the appropriately marked stop line. If there is no stop line or marked crosswalk, the driver must stop before entering the intersection where he or she has a view of the intersecting street.


#5. If a school bus with flashing red lights has stopped on the opposite side of a four-lane roadway WITH a center turning lane, you:

When a school bus displays its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights to receive or discharge passengers, you must stop and not attempt to pass the school bus until the mechanical stop signal is withdrawn, the flashing red lights are turned off and the bus has started to move. On a roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane, only traffic following the bus must stop.


#6. When an approaching vehicle does not dim its headlights at night:

When an approaching vehicle does not dim its headlights, you can remind the driver by blinking your high beams once. If the driver still does not dim the lights, make sure you keep your lights on low beam. Stay on the right side of the road. Do not look directly at oncoming headlights. Instead, look down the right edge of your lane.


#7. The best seat for a child is a safety seat that is:

  I. Installed in the front seat
  II. Used every time the child rides in a car

The best seat for your child is a safety seat that is used every time the child rides in a car. Safety seats must be specially designed for the child and have been crash-tested. They must also be properly installed. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the safety seat.


#8. When can you drive faster than the posted speed limit?

Never drive faster than the posted speed limit or at a speed that is unreasonable or unwise given the existing conditions.


#9. You must always stop at a railroad crossing when:

Never move onto a railroad track unless you are certain you can drive across safely. Be careful not to get trapped on railroad tracks by a line of vehicles backed up on the other side.

Crossing gates will not trap you, but stopping traffic might. Be sure the traffic ahead of you will not stop and block you in on the tracks.


#10. Which is true about the use of a horn?

  I. If a passing vehicle blows the horn, you must help the driver to pass
  II. A horn should always be used when passing a horse-drawn vehicle

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.

#11. When a traffic officer is directing you to drive against a red light, you should:

Under special circumstances, an officer may be directing the flow of traffic. If so, obey the officer’s hand signals instead of the normal traffic signals or signs. In connection with fires and accidents, you must also obey instructions from firefighters. Near schools, you must also obey instructions from school crossing guards.


#12. As a safe driving practice, you should try to check your rear-view mirrors every:

Use the rear-view and side-view mirrors frequently to reduce the chance of your vehicle being hit from the rear.

Remember, what you see is important for defensive driving. About every 10 seconds, you should check the mirrors to see if any vehicle is following too closely.


#13. This road sign indicates that:

The handicap parking sign indicates that a space is reserved for persons who qualify for and display a handicap license plate or a dashboard placard.


#14. If there is a speed limit posted in a work zone, you must obey the speed limit:

It is unlawful to drive a motor vehicle greater than the speed limit that is set and posted while driving in a work zone. There is a penalty for speeding in a work zone if a sign is posted at the beginning of the work zone listing the penalty. This penalty is in addition to any other penalties for the speeding conviction.


#15. What happens if you accumulate seven points on your driving record?

If you are convicted of certain motor vehicle violations in North Carolina, driver license points are placed against your driving record. If you accumulate seven points, you may be assigned to a driver improvement clinic. Upon satisfactory completion of the clinic, three points are deducted from your driving record.


#16. When passing a motorcycle, you should:

Motorcycles are entitled to the full width of their lane. To pass a motorcycle, you must change lanes and pass in the same manner as you would for a larger motor vehicle. Always give the motorcyclist the same right of way consideration as you would for the driver of any other vehicle.


#17. You should never back your car:

Never back a vehicle in any travel lane. It is illegal and unsafe to do so. If a turn or exit is missed, do not back up, instead proceed to a safe turn around area.


#18. What happens when a driver license is restored after a driver's first DWI conviction?

A blood alcohol concentration restriction will be required when a license is restored following a revocation for DWI or when a Limited Driving Privilege is issued following a DWI conviction.


#19. You are driving on a highway when it starts to rain. You should:

Rain reduces visibility and makes pavement dangerous. You may be able to see only a few feet ahead. Therefore, you should drive more slowly than usual, and you must use your headlights and windshield wipers. Stopping distances on slippery pavement increases from two to 10 times farther than on dry pavement. Slow down and allow yourself at least twice the normal following distance.


#20. Which of the following results from drinking alcohol?

Alcohol slows brain functions so that you cannot respond to situations, make decisions, or react quickly. It reduces your ability to judge how fast you are moving or your distance from other cars, people, or objects. It makes it harder to do more than one thing. While you concentrate on steering, you could miss seeing traffic lights, cars entering from side streets or pedestrians.


#21. The road edge on the right side is marked by a:

Solid 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.


#22. When you enter a roundabout, you must:

  I. Activate your turn signals
  II. Yield to vehicles in the roundabout

An entire traffic circle is an intersection. Vehicles already in the circle have the right of way.


#23. Which can be warning signs of drowsy driving?

  I. Missing road signs
  II. Drifting between lanes

Some warning signs of drowsy driving 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.

#24. Which are often the first to freeze as the temperature drops?

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


#25. Which light indicates that you can make an unprotected turn?

A flashing yellow arrow means that left turns are allowed, but first you must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. You must carefully determine that there is an adequate gap in the oncoming traffic and ensure that there are no pedestrians in your path before making your turn.

This is known as an unprotected turn.

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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, but 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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