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Resources for Your North Carolina Driver's License and Permit Test

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North Carolina DMV Written Test

Who Must Take the Written Test?

- For an original NC learner's permit or driver license of any type, you need to pass the written knowledge test.

- New North Carolina residents who are replacing an out-of-state or out-of-country license to a North Carolina driver's license must also complete the written knowledge exam.

- Passing the knowledge test is also required for anyone who lets the driver's license expire for more than one year.

North Carolina DMV Written Tests

The North Carolina DMV written test has two parts. On the road sign recognition test you must identify the traffic signs by color and shape and explain what each sign means. The second part covers North Carolina traffic laws and safe driving practices.

How many questions are on the North Carolina DMV test? The test has 25 questions. To pass, you must successfully answer 20 of the 25 questions, which means a passing score of 80%.

Knowledge tests can be taken in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Spanish. Manuals in these languages should be available from your local DMV office as well.

For those who have difficulty reading, oral tests are available upon request. Make sure you contact your local DMV office in advance.

Are You Ready for Your Drivers Permit Test?

Be Well Prepared

Make sure you get the latest version of the North Carolina Driver's Handbook from ND DMV. All permit practice tests at and questions on your NC knowledge test are drawn from the material in this handbook. Make sure you get familiar with all areas covered in the handbook. You need to know the facts for the knowledge exam and to be a safe licensed driver. Pay special attention to facts that are bolded or highlighted in the handbook.

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

Applicants who start less than a week before the knowledge test and spend less than 10 hours practicing have a failure rate of more than 50%.

Practice permit tests help you get familiar with the type of questions asked and will boost your confidence. A permit practice test has 25 questions. You must correctly answer 20 questions to pass (80%). This is the same passing score as the real knowledge test. You should, however, aim for a score of 92% 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! Our DMV test questions may be repeated with several different alternatives and different wording. Remember, questions on each practice test and on the real test are randomly drawn from a large pool of questions. Don't count on covering every single question on the practice tests, even if you take a handful tests every day. There are just too many questions in the database.

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 on the practice test, make sure you evaluate all choices carefully.


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