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Washington DMV Tests & Practice Permit Tests

This Washington Permit Practice Test
  Questions per test:20
  Question pool:800+
  Type of test:Random multiple-choice



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#1. The Department of Licensing issues a basic driver license for up to:

Your basic driver license is valid for up to six years and will expire on your birthday. You may renew up to one year before your license expires.

Expiration date (RCW 46.20.181) was recently changed from five to six years.


#2. You see this road sign. What should you expect ahead?

Divided highway ahead (divided highway begins). Two-way traffic will be divided by a center strip ahead. Each roadway is one-way. Stay to the right.


#3. After you have made a small turn or lane change, you should:

After you have made a turn or lane change, make sure your turn signal is off. After small turns, the signals may not turn off by themselves. Turn it off if it has not clicked off by itself. If you don’t, other drivers might think you plan to turn again.


#4. Even if you do not see a train coming at a railroad crossing:

Even if you do not see a train coming, never drive around a lowered gate or ignore the flashing lights.


#5. If you drive without wearing a seat belt:

Buckling up correctly is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. Regardless of how brief the drive, always fasten your seat belt and make sure all passengers are correctly using seat belts, child safety restraints, or booster seats.


#6. Merging onto an interstate is safest if you:

Do not try to merge into a gap that is too small. A small gap can quickly become even smaller.

Anytime you want to merge with other traffic, you need a gap of about four seconds. If you move into the middle of a four second gap, both you and the vehicle that is now behind you have a two second following distance. You need a four-second gap whenever you change lanes, enter a roadway, or when your lane merges with another travel lane.

When it is safe, go back to following the three-second-rule.


#7. You are on the main highway when you approach this sign. You should:

Added lane sign. Two roadways come together, but you are not required to merge. An additional lane begins. Watch for traffic in the new lane.


#8. To prepare for emergencies and when another driver makes a mistake, you should always:

You must always share the road with others. The more distance you keep between yourself and everyone else, the more time you have to react in an emergency. This space is like a safety cushion. The more you have, the safer it can be.


#9. You may never stop and leave a vehicle parked and unattended:

Never park on a bridge or overpass.


#10. When a traffic signal turns green, you:

A green traffic light means you can go through the intersection. You must not enter an intersection unless you can get through it without having to stop. Wait until traffic ahead clears so you are not blocking the intersection.


#11. The following practices are dangerous while driving. Which is also against the law?

Using an electronic wireless-communications device to send, read, or write a text message while operating a motor vehicle is against the law. See Driver Guide for some exemptions.


#12. A dashed white line between lanes of traffic means:

A dashed white line between lanes of traffic means that you may cross it to change lanes if it is safe.


#13. You should avoid using your horn:

Avoid blowing your horn at a bicyclist except in an emergency.

There are several other occasions when you should not use your horn. They include:

  • Encouraging someone to drive faster or get out of the way
  • Apprising other drivers of an error
  • Greeting a friend
  • Around blind pedestrians or horses

This question asked when you should NOT use your horn.


#14. Which pavement marking separates traffic traveling in opposite directions?

Yellow lines separate traffic moving in opposite directions.


#15. Which of the following must you obey over the other two?

Directions given by traffic officers take precedence over signs, signals, or pavement markings.


#16. Anti-lock brakes will take effect when:

The ABS system allows you to stop without skidding. Press on the brake pedal as hard as you can and keep pressing on it. Do not let up on the brake pedal.


#17. On a road with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction, left lane should be used for:

Left lane should be used for passing.

On a road with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction, stay in the right lane except to pass. On a road with three or more lanes traveling in the same direction, if there is a lot of entering or exiting traffic, use the center travel lane.


#18. When is it important to use high-beam headlights?

It is important to use high beams on unfamiliar roads, in construction areas, or where there may be people along the side of the road.


#19. You are driving on a rural highway. You see an orange diamond-shaped road sign far ahead. The sign will:

Construction, maintenance, or emergency operations signs are orange with black letters or symbols. They warn you that people are working on or near the roadway.


#20. When a pedestrian enters a crosswalk at an uncontrolled intersection, you should:

Pedestrians and bicyclists must be given the right-of-way at crosswalks and intersections, whether the crosswalk is marked or not. Drivers must yield where necessary to avoid striking pedestrians and bicyclists who are crossing the road.

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The Official Washington Written Knowledge Test
  Questions on real exam:40 questions
  Passing score:80%
  Correct answers to pass:32
  Allotted time to complete test:45 minutes
  Wait time before retest:Varies

Washington State DMV tests

Washington State (WA) – Practice Permit Test

You can double your chances of passing the official WA DOL permit test with this practice test from Driver’s Prep.

Each set of practice questions are easy to use. Every time you start a new practice test, you will get 20 random questions from a database with more than 800 questions. The large pool of possible questions gives you plenty of practice for the official knowledge exam.

After each question, you will get instant feedback that tells you if your answer is correct or not. Should you make a mistake, there is also an explanation to help you understand the correct answer. Use this explanation to learn more and, when needed, read more about the topic in the Driver Guide.

Start by Getting the Washington State Driver Guide

Get the Washington State Driver Guide - Cover photo

When you prepare for the real knowledge test, you should always start by getting the latest version of the Washington State Driver Guide . The guide is updated on a regular basis, so make sure you have the latest version.

The Driver Guide helps you get a clear picture of what you must learn for the examination.

After studying the guide, use these practice tests to check your progress and if you are ready for the real driver’s exam or not.

The passing score in Washington is 80 percent. On the real examination, this means you must answer 32 out of 40 questions correctly.

Each of our practice tests is limited to 20 question to speed up the process, but when you have taken 10-15 practice tests, you have also covered all the important items and the most likely questions on the exam.

You should aim for a 100% score on the practice tests. It gives you a good margin on the real exam.

Remember, every practice question counts. The more comfortable you are with all questions and answers, the more likely you are to pass the examination.

You should focus on true learning, instead of just memorizing answers, because investing in knowledge always pays off.

The more you know, the stronger you stand. Invest in your future today, you won’t regret it.

Young woman studying - Photo Credit: CollegeDegrees360

Read more: How to Ace the DMV Test

When Must I Pass a Knowledge Exam?

  If you haven’t been licensed before

All first-time applicants must pass all tests, including the Washington written knowledge test.

  If you let your WA license expire for more than six years.

If your Washington license expired more than six years ago, you must apply for a new license and pass all tests.

  If you hold an expired license from another state.

If have an out-of-state license that has expired, the normal test waiver does not apply, and you must pass the knowledge test before you can get a Washington license.

  If you hold a license from a foreign country

If you hold an out-of-country license you are usually required to pass all examinations. The state will, however, waive the knowledge and drive test if you hold a valid driver’s license from British Columbia, Germany, South Korea, or Taiwan.

Test Waivers

When moving to Washington, the knowledge test can be waived if you hold a valid out-of-state license. If you are under 18, you must show us proof that you have completed a driver-training course meeting Washington standard.

When renewing your license, the knowledge test and the driving test are waived unless the department determines that you are not qualified to hold a driver’s license.

The Department of Licensing can ask you to take both the knowledge and driving test again if they find it necessary. Chances of a necessary re-test increase with poor driving records and/or age.

What You Need to Know about the Washington Written Test

The knowledge exam is sometimes called the written test. It is the same test.

The purpose of the test is to verify that you understand road signs, traffic signals, pavement markings, Washington traffic laws, and common safe-driving practices.

The test is based on information found in the Washington Driver Guide. All questions on the test are drawn from this driver’s manual.

Make sure you read the guide. Relying solely on taking practice tests is not a good idea.

Read more: Are Taking Practice Tests Enough?

Need help to pass the Washington Driver License Test? Photo credit: Marcos Calvo Mesa

You can take the test at all driver licensing offices. You will be offered the test on a computerized test station unless you have notified DOL about special needs.

The knowledge exam is a multiple-choice test with 40 questions. If you miss more than 8 questions on the exam, you may have to wait before you can retest.

Remember, before you can take the exam, you must apply online or at a WA driver license office.

You can also take the test at authorized driving school and participating high schools.

Should you fail the knowledge examination, there is no official wait time before you can make another attempt. Examiners at a driver licensing office are, however, less likely to let you have another go at the test the same day. Expect a waiting time of at least two – three days, depending on location and how many questions you missed.

With third-party test providers, like a driving school, you may be able to take the test twice in one single day, even if they recommend you to wait at least 24 hours.

Each attempt to pass the test usually comes with a new fee of $35 (some third-party testers may waive the re-test fee).

The Department does not offer the test from the comfort of your home, regardless of age.


The computerized knowledge test in Washington state is available in these languages:



What is on the Washington Permit Test

The Department expanded the test from 25 to 40 questions a few years back. The new 40-question test focuses more on distracted driving and the distraction of cellphones. Both texting and the use of a handheld phone while driving is against the law in Washington State.

You should be aware that drivers with an intermediate license or instruction permit cannot use any wireless device while driving, not even a hands-free phone.

On the test, you should also expect questions about impaired driving, including how the use of marijuana affects your ability to drive safely.

Is the Washington Permit Test Hard?

Washington state does not release failures on the knowledge test, but the test is generally considered to be one of the toughest in United States.

Failing the test can be expensive since you must pay the testing fee again.

Photo credits:

  Struggling woman – CollegeDegrees360
  Young man with Help sign – Marcos Calvo Mesa

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