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Resources for Your District of Columbia Driver's License and Permit Test

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District of Columbia Knowledge Exam

Who Must Take the Test?

All new drivers are required to pass the knowledge test.

Foreign Nationals with a valid out-of-country or out-of-state driver license will also be required to take and pass the knowledge examination.

If your DC driver license has been expired for more than 90 days, you will be required to take and pass the knowledge examination. If your license has been expired for more than 180 days, you will also be required to take and pass the road test.

If your driver license has been revoked, you must pass the knowledge test before your license can be reinstated.

District of Columbia Knowledge Test

The driver knowledge examination tests your knowledge of traffic laws, road signs, and driving safety rules. It will show whether you are prepared to operate a vehicle in accordance with DC law.

You must be able to read and explain all highway signs! The knowledge test consists of several local and highway signs and the DMV examiner will check to see if attention to the signs is paid during the driving test.


The driver license knowledge examination can be taken at any DMV service center. The exam is offered on a walk-in basis. It is available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean and Vietnamese.

Audio assisted tests are also available for those who need assistance with reading.

Number of Questions

The official examination is offered on a computer and consists of 25 questions. The passing score consist of at least 20 correct answers (80%).

If you are between the ages of 16 - 20 years old, the test will consist of 30 questions and you must correctly answer 24 questions (80%).

All questions are based on the information in the driving manual.

If you fail the official knowledge test, you will not be allowed to re-test until 72 hours after the fail test.If you fail your knowledge test six (6) consecutive times, you will not be allowed to retest until one year from the first failed test date. There will be a fee charged each time you take the knowledge test.

Are You Ready for Your Drivers Permit Test?


Read the state Driver's Manual or Handbook. All real permit test questions are based on the material in this manual. Get familiar with all areas and learn the laws and rules presented. Pay special attention to facts that are bolded or highlighted.

Give yourself plenty of time. Start preparing at least two weeks before the real test.

Take several of our driver permit practice tests to make sure you are ready for the real examination.

Our Practice Tests

Our permit and license practice tests contain 25 questions. You must correctly answer 20 questions to pass (80%). This is a common passing score in most states. You should, however, aim for a score of 90% or more on a permit practice test.

Read Carefully

Read all questions and answers carefully. You will see many DMV test answers, but do NOT focus on memorizing exact phrases - focus on understanding! The practice permit test questions may be repeated with several different alternatives and different wording. Real DMV permit test questions are created the same way.

All questions are multiple-choice or true/false. Only one alternative is correct and acceptable. If you see All of the above, None of the above, or similar as one alternative, make sure you evaluate all alternatives carefully.


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