Virginia Permit Practice – The Road Signs
The video shows examples of Virginia road signs that may show up on your official VA knowledge exam. Make sure you can identify all of them.
To get a Virginia learner’s permit or unrestricted driver’s license you must pass a two-part knowledge exam, unless you are already licensed in United States, Canada, Germany, or France.
The first part shows 10 common Virginia road signs and asks about their meanings (and/or what you should do when you see the sign). You must answer all 10 questions correctly before you can move on to the second part about Virginia road rules and safe driving.
About the Virginia Knowledge Test
Today, DMV offers this test on a computer, like the practice tests on this website. There is plenty of time to complete the test, so don’t rush through it. Read everything carefully.
If you fail the knowledge exam, you must wait 15 days before you can retake it. 15 days can seem like an eternity when you really want your permit or driver’s license.
If you are 18 years or older, you have the option to skip the waiting time by paying an additional testing fee.
Why Road Signs are Important
Road signs are important because they guide and help protect you on the road.
Whenever you drive, road signs give valuable information on what to expect ahead and warn you of possible hazards on or near the road. Signs also tell you what you must or must not do. They guide you to your destination, service points, and exits.
Without signs, driving would be a chaotic experience. Without uniform information about hazards and safe speeds, the risk of accidents would be much higher.
Safety on our roads depend on drivers knowing and obeying our road signs. The better you, and everybody else, understands the purpose of our common highway signs, the safer our roads will be.
Road Signs You Must Know
Remember, all road signs you are expected to know are described in the Virginia Driver’s Manual.
Stop: You must come to a complete stop at the sign, stop line, pedestrian crosswalk or curb. Wait for any vehicle or pedestrian to clear the way. At some intersections you’ll find a sign beneath the stop sign that reads “All Way” or “4 Way.” At these intersections all vehicles on all roads leading into the intersection must stop. If you get to the intersection at the same time as other vehicles, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.
Yield: You must slow down as you come to the intersection. Be prepared to stop. Let any vehicles, pedestrians or bicyclists safely pass before you proceed.
Speed Limit: These signs tell you the maximum legal speed that you may drive on the road where the sign is posted when weather conditions are good. During rain, snow and ice, you may receive a ticket for driving too fast for the conditions even if you are driving at or less than the posted speed limit.
Do Not Enter – Wrong Way: These signs mean you cannot drive in that direction. If you drive past these signs you are going in the wrong direction and could get into a head-on crash with vehicles headed your way. Cautiously turn around.
One Way: Traffic flows only in the direction of the arrow.
No Left Turn: Left turns are against the law. In Virginia, U-turns are considered as two left turns and are illegal if this sign is posted.
No Right Turn: Right turns are illegal. Do not make a right turn when you see this sign.
No U-Turn: U-turns are illegal. Do not make a U-turn when you see this sign.
No Turn on Red: You may not turn on the red light. Wait for the signal to turn green.
Do Not Pass: This sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone. You may not pass cars ahead of you in your lane, even if the way is clear.
Left Turn Yield on Green: This sign is used with a traffic signal. It tells you that the traffic turning left at a green light does not have the right-of-way and must yield to traffic coming from the other direction. Stop and look for oncoming traffic, then proceed with caution.
Keep Right: A traffic island, median or barrier is ahead. Keep to the side indicated by the arrow.
Lane Use Control: These signs are used where turns are required or where special turning movements are permitted for specific lanes. Traffic in the lane must turn in the direction of the arrow.
High Occupancy Vehicle: These signs indicate lanes reserved for buses and vehicles with a driver and one or more passengers as specified on the sign.
Disabled Parking: Parking spaces marked with these signs are reserved for people with disabled parking permits.
Roundabout: These signs indicate a circular intersection with an island in the center is ahead. Also called rotaries or traffic circles, these intersections may have one or more lanes. Entering traffic must yield the right-of-way to traffic already in the circle.
Advisory Speed: This sign indicates the maximum safe speed for a highway exit.
Signal Ahead: Traffic signals are ahead. Slow down and be ready to stop.
No Passing Zone: This sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone. You may not pass cars ahead of you in your lane, even if the way is clear.
Merge: Two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction are about to become one. Drivers in both lanes are responsible for merging safely.
Lane Reduction: The right lane ends soon. Drivers in the right lane must merge left when space opens up. Drivers in the left lane should allow other vehicles to merge smoothly.
Divided Highway Begins: The highway ahead is split into two separate roadways by a median or divider and each roadway is one-way. Keep right.
Divided Highway Ends: The highway ahead no longer has a median or divider. Traffic goes in both directions. Keep right.
Slippery When Wet: When pavement is wet, reduce your speed. Do not brake hard or change direction suddenly. Increase the distance between your car and the one ahead of you.
Low Clearance Sign: The overpass ahead has a low clearance. Do not proceed if your vehicle is taller than the height shown on the sign.
Hill: A steep grade is ahead. Check your brakes.
Deer Crossing: Deer cross the roadway in this area. Slow down, be alert and be ready to stop.
Pedestrian Crossing: Watch for people entering a crosswalk or crossing your path. Slow down and be prepared to stop. Signs may display horizontal lines showing the point where a crosswalk exists. A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the crosswalk. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green.)
Bicycle Crossing/Bike Path: Bicycles regularly cross or ride beside traffic in this area. Drive with caution. A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the bike crossing. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green.)
School Zone/School Crossing: Slow down. The speed limit is usually 25 MPH. Watch out for children crossing the street or playing. Be ready to stop. Obey signals from any crossing guards. Signs may display horizontal lines indicating the point where a crosswalk exists. A second sign with an arrow may show the actual location of the crosswalk. (Signs may also be bright yellow-green.)
Open Joints: Slow down. Open joints on bridges or ramps could cause a motorcyclist to lose control of the motorcycle.
Expansion Joints: This sign is used when a joint across lanes creates a bump or is wide enough to cause loss of traction in wet weather.
Crossroad: A four-way intersection is ahead. Be ready to yield the right-of-way.
Side Road: A road joins from the right. Be alert for vehicles entering the roadway you are traveling on.
Y Intersection: You must bear either right or left ahead.
T Intersection: The roadway you are traveling on ends ahead. Signal before turning right or left.
Right Curve - Side Road: The road ahead curves right and a side road joins from the left within the curve. Be alert for vehicles entering the roadway you are traveling on.
Sharp Right Turn: Slow down and be prepared for a sharp right turn in the road ahead.
Sharp Right and Left Turns: Slow down and be prepared for the road ahead to turn sharply right, then left.
Right and Left Curves: The road ahead curves right, then left. Slow down.
Right Curve with Safe Speed Indicator: The road ahead curves right. Slow down to the safe speed limit indicated.
Winding Road: The road ahead winds with a series of turns or curves. On all curves, slow down for better control.
Low Ground Railroad Crossing: A steep slope where the railroad tracks cross the road may cause the bottom of low vehicles to get caught or drag on the tracks.
Railroad Crossing: Warning signs are placed before a railroad crossing. These signs warn you to look, listen, slow down and be prepared to stop for trains.
Music in this video Easy Jam by Kevin MacLeod (Adapted)
Music is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Try the interactive practice tests: