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Resources for Your Iowa Driver's License and Permit Test

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Iowa Written Knowledge Test

Who Must Take the Iowa Knowledge Test?

  • You must take the knowledge test if you have not had a learner's permit or full driver's license before.
  • You must also take the test when required to obtain an Iowa license and your out-of-state license is invalid or expired (over one year).
  • Applicants with an out-of-country license are usually required to take all tests.
  • Tests are also required when your license has been revoked and you apply for a new license.

When moving to Iowa 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.

Iowa Knowledge Test

The purpose of the Iowa knowledge exam is to verify 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 the tests may vary, the test 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.

Are You Ready for Your Drivers Permit Test?

How to Prepare for the Iowa Permit Test

Start by getting the latest version of the Iowa Driver's Manual. Since all questions on your permit test are based on the material in this manual, you should get familiar with all areas in the manual. Pay special attention to facts that are highlighted or emphasized.

Do not rush through this important preparation. Start studying two or three weeks before the real test. The more time you give yourself - the better.

When you feel comfortable with the contents of the manual, take several permit practice tests to make sure you are ready for the real examination.

Permit Practice Tests at Driver's Prep

Each test for an Iowa driver's license or learner's permit has 25 questions. If you answer at least 20 questions correctly, you reach the state's passing score (80%). To be sure you will pass the real knowledge test, you should aim for a score of 92% or more. This leaves little room for errors and you will most likely pass with ease.

Read All Questions and Choices Carefully

This is where most applicants make their mistakes. Take your time and read all questions and choices carefully. When practicing, don't focus on memorizing exact phrases and click on anything that looks familiar. Stop and read! Our driver permit questions may be repeated with several different alternatives and different wording.

All questions are multiple-choice or true/false. Only one choice is correct and the best answer.


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