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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. You should always fasten your seat belts and make sure all passengers are using seat belts or child restraints:

You should always check and adjust your seat and mirrors before you start to drive. You should have clear vision in all directions, all controls should be within reach, and at least one-third of the steering wheel should be between your hands. Head restraints should be adjusted so the head restraint contacts the back of your head.

Always fasten your seat belt and make sure all passengers are correctly using seat belts, child safety restraints, or booster seats. Also remember to lock the doors. Locking reduces the risk of doors opening during a sudden swerve, braking, or crash.


#2. What is the best advice to a driver who has been drinking several alcoholic drinks?

There are ways of dealing with social drinking situations. Arrange to go with two or more persons and agree that one of you will not drink alcohol. You can take turns being a designated driver, use public transportation, or use a cab.


#3. You are driving at high speed when your accelerator pedal sticks. What should you do?

When your gas pedal sticks, and the motor keeps going faster and faster:

  • Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Quickly shift to neutral.
  • Slow down, then pull off the road when safe to do so.
  • Turn off the engine.

Never turn your vehicle’s ignition to the lock position while it is still in motion. This will cause the steering to lock if you try to turn the steering wheel, and you will lose control of your vehicle.


#4. A traffic light with a green arrow means:

A green arrow means you can safely turn in the direction of the arrow. There should be no oncoming or crossing traffic while the arrow is green. This is known as a protected turn. You must yield to vehicles already in the intersection and stop for pedestrians if they are in, or within, one lane of your half of the roadway.


#5. When driving on a slippery surface such as snow or ice, you should:

Reduce speed and allow extra space between your car and the car ahead. Do not brake or turn suddenly.

On packed snow you should cut your speed in half. On ice you must slow to a crawl.

Use snow tires or chains when the road has snow on it and any time it is required on posted signs.

As you drive, watch for shady spots, bridges and overpasses since these places freeze first and dry out last. Do not brake or turn suddenly. Use a low gear when going down steep hills.


#6. If you find yourself on a roadway marked with a yellow line on the right edge and a white line to your left:

If you ever find yourself with yellow to your right and white to your left, you are going the wrong way.

Remember, solid yellow lines are used on the left of the roadway edge of divided streets or roadways. When driving, a yellow line should always be to your left.


#7. When you park and leave your car, you must:

Drivers are responsible for making sure that their vehicle is not a hazard when it is parked. Always set your parking brake when you park. Leave the vehicle in gear if it has a manual transmission or in park if it has an automatic transmission.


#8. This sign (a steady yellow X) means:

A green arrow means you can use the lane beneath it, a red X means you cannot. A flashing yellow X means the lane is only for turning. A steady yellow X means that the use of the lane is changing, and you should move out of it as soon as it is safe to do so.


#9. To back your vehicle safely:

  • Check behind your vehicle before you get in. Children or small objects cannot be seen from the driver’s seat.
  • Place your right arm on the back of the seat and turn around so that you can look directly through the rear window. Do not depend on your rearview or side mirrors as you cannot see directly behind your vehicle.
  • Back slowly – your vehicle is much harder to steer while you are backing.
  • Whenever possible, use a person outside the vehicle to help you back.

#10. You drink alcohol at a dinner. How many drinks does it generally take to affect your driving ability?

If you drink alcohol, do not drive. Even one drink of alcohol can affect your driving. With two or more drinks in your bloodstream you are impaired and could be arrested.


#11. Which is true about motorcycles?

Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than cars. They are easily hidden in a car’s blind spot. It may be hard to judge the distance to motorcycles, or to tell how fast they are moving. Be alert to their presence and be extra cautious.


#12. If you want to pass a large truck on a multi-lane highway, it is advisable to pass:

Pass quickly on the left. If you pass on the right, the other driver may have difficulty seeing you and might suddenly change lanes in front of you. When passing another vehicle, get through the other driver’s blind spot as quickly as you can. The longer you stay there, the longer you are in danger of that vehicle turning into you. Be sure to allow for an increased safety zone when returning to your lane of travel.


#13. 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.


#14. You approach an intersection. Where should you stop if there is a stop sign, but no stop line or crosswalk?

Stop at intersections at the marked stop line. If there is no line, then stop at the crosswalk. If there is no crosswalk, then stop at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where you have a view of approaching traffic.


#15. If you meet an aggressive driver on the road:

When you see other drivers around you acting or reacting in anger, distance yourself from the situation, physically and mentally. Don’t make eye contact. Body movements and gestures can provoke an angry response from another driver. Slow down, move over, or do whatever you safely can, to put yourself out of danger.


#16. A two-way left turn lane should be used for:

Two-way left turn lanes are shared center lanes marked on each side by a solid yellow and dashed yellow lines. They are reserved for vehicles making left turns in either direction from or into the roadway (or U turns when they are permitted). These lanes cannot be used for passing and cannot be used for travel further than 300 feet.


#17. What is the meaning of this sign?

Winding Road. There are several curves ahead. Slow down and drive carefully.


#18. On a narrow street, there are oncoming vehicles on your left and parked vehicles on your right. What should you do?

Split the difference between two hazards. For example, steer a middle course between oncoming and parked vehicles. However, if one is more dangerous than the other, leave a little more space on the dangerous side. If the oncoming vehicle is a tractor-trailer, leave a little more room on the side that the truck will pass.


#19. What road signs have an upside-down triangle shape?

The yield sign is a downward pointing triangle. It is red and white with red letters.


#20. If your car starts to hydroplane or skid, what is the most likely cause?

Skids are caused by drivers traveling too fast for conditions. They happen when the tires can no longer grip the road. Any road that is safe under normal conditions can be dangerous when it is wet or has snow or ice on it. High speeds, under normal conditions, also increase the possibility of a skid if you turn or stop suddenly.

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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 got 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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