Who Must Take the Test?
First-time applicants must pass all applicable tests, including the written knowledge exam.
If you apply for a Virginia license and hold a valid driver's license from another U. S. state, the knowledge exam is usually waived. The same applies if you are 19 or older and hold a valid license from Canada, Germany, France, or the Republic of Korea.
Applicants with a license from any country other than Canada, Germany, France, or the Republic of Korea and who are 19 years or older, may convert their license to a Virginia license after successfully passing all tests.
After a revocation of your Virginia driving privilege, your license may be restored if you re-apply for a driver's license. This means that you must pass all applicable tests again, including the written knowledge exam.
Virginia Two-Part Knowledge Exam
The Virginia knowledge exam consists of two parts: a road sign test and a general knowledge test.
The road sign test consist of 10 questions, and you must correctly answer all 10 questions before you can continue with part two.
Part two will test your general knowledge about traffic laws and safe driving practices. You must correctly answer at least 80% to successfully pass the exam.
All exam questions are taken from information in the Virginia Driver's Manual.
Failing the Knowledge Exam
The exam may be taken only once per business day.
If you fail the exam and you are less than 18 years, you must wait a full 15 days before you can retake the exam. If you are 18 or older, you may re-take the exam earlier (next business day), but must pay an additional fee.
If you fail the knowledge exam three times, you must complete the applicable knowledge component of a driver education course before you can take the test a fourth time. The course must be part of driver education at a driver training school approved by DMV or the Department of Education. Driver improvement courses don't meet this requirement.
The exam is available in English and Spanish.
If necessary, you may request to have the exam translated.
An audio version of the exam is also available.
Applicants with special needs or who require special help should let a DMV staff member know.
When testing, you cannot:
- Get help while taking the exam.
- Help another person taking the exam.
- Try to get test questions or answers before the exam.
- Give another person exam questions or answers.
- Use a cell phone during the exam.
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 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.