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2021 Wisconsin DMV Test & Permit Practice Tests

This Wisconsin Permit Practice Test
  Questions per test: 25
  Question pool: 500+
  Type of test: Random multiple-choice



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#1. Of all traffic collisions in which someone is killed, alcohol is involved in approximately:

About 40 percent of the traffic crashes in which someone was killed involved alcohol. If you drink alcohol, even a little, your chances of being in a crash are much greater than if you did not drink any alcohol.


#2. Before you make a turn in front of a motorcycle with its turn signal flashing, you should:

Never assume another driver will share space with you or give you space. For example, do not turn just because an approaching vehicle has a turn signal on. The driver may plan to turn after they pass your vehicle, or they may have forgotten to turn off the signal after a prior turn. This is particularly true of motorcycles, as their signals often do not cancel by themselves. Wait until the other driver actually starts to turn and then go if it is safe to do so.


#3. Which is true about giving your horn a sharp blast?

If there is danger, do not be afraid to sound a sharp blast on your horn. Do this:

  • When a child or older person is about to walk, run, or ride into the street
  • When another vehicle is in danger of hitting you
  • When you have lost control of your vehicle and are moving towards someone

#4. A shared center lane for turning can be used:

Shared center lanes are reserved for making left turns (or U-turns when they are permitted) by vehicles traveling in either direction. These lanes are marked on each side by solid yellow and dashed yellow lines. Be sure you enter the lane only if it is safe to do so. This lane is not a regular traffic lane or a passing lane. If a two-way left turn lane has been provided, do not make a left turn from any other lane.


#5. If you have a tire blowout while driving, you should:

If a tire suddenly goes flat, you should tightly hold the steering wheel and keep the vehicle going straight. Gradually slow down. Take your foot off the gas pedal but do not apply the brakes until the vehicle has almost stopped. Then, move slowly and safely off the road. Do not stop on the road if at all possible.


#6. Before getting out of your parked car on the traffic side of a street, you should:

Get out of the vehicle on the curb side if you can. If you have to use the street side, check traffic before you open the door. Shut the door as soon as you can after getting out.


#7. What does this sign mean?

Crossroad (Intersection). A road crosses the main highway ahead (four-way intersection). Be alert for cross traffic entering the roadway.


#8. Which is the best advice if you encounter an aggressive driver on the road?

Make a difference in keeping the roads safe for everyone. Act responsibly! Impatience, frustration, and anger are some of the most dangerous drugs on the highway. You cannot control traffic, only your reaction to it. Be courteous, even if the other driver is not. Do not take traffic problems personally. Do not tailgate. Do not block the passing lane. Do not make obscene gestures. Keep your cool.


#9. A white or red square road sign usually indicates:

Vertical signs, including square signs, are generally used for regulatory signs. They give instructions or tell you the rules of the road. Some warning signs may also have this shape.

In the horizontal position, the signs generally give directions or information.


#10. For normal driving, you should grip the steering wheel by:

Both hands should be on the steering wheel, except when making necessary adjustments to the driving controls. To help avoid injury if your vehicle’s airbag goes off, it is best to hold the steering wheel with your right hand at 3:00 and your left hand at 9:00. Never drive with your hands at the top of the steering wheel.


#11. With a Class D instruction permit you may drive alone:

You may not drive alone.

You may drive only when you are accompanied by a person with two years driving experience who holds a valid regular (not probationary or occupational) license and who sits in the front passenger seat and is one of the following:

  • A qualified instructor 19 years or older.
  • A parent, guardian, or spouse 19 years or older
  • A person 21 years or older.

#12. When are you most at risk of drowsy driving?

You are most at risk when you are sleep deprived, driving long distances without rest breaks or taking medicine that increases sleepiness.


#13. If your car gets hit from the side and you are not wearing a seat belt, your body will move in what direction?

When a vehicle is struck from the side, it will move sideways. Everything in the vehicle that is not fastened down, including the passengers, will slide toward the point of crash, not away from it.


#14. Which is true about following another vehicle too closely?

Rear-end crashes are very common. They are caused by drivers following too closely (tailgating) to be able to stop before hitting the vehicle ahead when it suddenly slows or stops.


#15. When are you allowed to drive faster than a maximum speed limit?

You must comply with speed limits. It is illegal to exceed the posted speed limit.


#16. Which vehicle must yield at an intersection where there are no signs or signals?

At an intersection where there are no signs or traffic lights, you must yield to vehicles coming from the right.


#17. The posted speed limit on a road is 55 mph. When there is packed snow on this road:

When the road is slippery, the tires do not grip as well as on a dry road. On a wet road you should reduce your speed about 10 mph. On packed snow you should cut your speed in half. On ice, you must slow to a crawl. It is very dangerous to drive on ice.


#18. You should stop before railroad tracks and not cross them if:

When you cross railroad tracks, make sure you can cross without having to stop on the tracks. Never start to cross if there is not room for your vehicle on the far side and if you will have to stop on the tracks.


#19. If a minimum posted speed limit is too fast for you, you should:

If the minimum posted speed limit is too fast for you, you should use another road.


#20. During what time of day are wildlife, such as deer, usually most active?

Deer are most active in the dusk to dawn hours, so you should be especially alert while driving during those times. Scan the sides of the road to watch for the reflection of your vehicle headlights in the eyes of deer.


#21. After stopping, left turns on a red light are:

A steady red traffic light means come to a full stop.

You must wait until the traffic light turns green and there is no crossing traffic before you may go.

If it is safe to do so, you can turn right on red if there is no sign prohibiting it.

You can also turn left on red if you are turning from a one-way to a one-way street. Remember to stop first, then watch for, and yield to, pedestrians crossing in front of your vehicle.


#22. What is the minimum distance you must stop from a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing?

You must stop a minimum of 20 feet from a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing.


#23. This sign means:

Stop signs are always octagonal (8-sided). A stop sign means that you must bring your vehicle to a complete halt at the marked stop line. If there is no marked stop line, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. If there is no crosswalk, stop at a point nearest the intersecting roadway where you have a clear view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection.


#24. Which lane is closed for traffic going in your direction?

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.


#25. To pass another vehicle safely at a speed of 55 mph, you need at least the following opening in oncoming traffic and sight-distance:

At a speed of 55 mph, you need about 10 seconds to pass. That means you need a 10-second gap in oncoming traffic and sight distance to pass. You must judge whether you will have enough space to pass safely.

At 55 mph you will travel over 800 feet in 10 seconds, so will an oncoming vehicle. That means you need over 1,600 feet or about one-third of a mile to pass safely. It is hard to judge the speed of oncoming vehicles at this distance.

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The Official Wisconsin Written Knowledge Test
  Questions on real exam: 50 questions
  Passing score: 80 percent
  Correct answers to pass: 40
  Allotted time to complete test: 45 minutes
  Wait time before retest: 1 day (5 attempts)

Free Wisconsin Practice Test

This Wisconsin preparation test for your driver license or learner’s permit has 25 random questions from a large database. After each question, you will get instant feedback that tells you if your answer is correct or not. There is also a short explanation about rules and the best answer if you miss a question.

Remember that the real knowledge examination has 50 random multiple-choice questions, which means you should take more than one practice test to cover everything that may show up on your final test.

Answers to test questions are always found in the Wisconsin Motorists’ Handbook. You can get a copy at any DMV office, your driving school, driver’s education course, or download it from DMV’s website .

The handbook is a necessary read to understand everything you need to learn for the examination. Many rules and practices will already be familiar to you, others may be new. The practice test will help you discover what you need to focus on.

Wisconsin Motorist's Handbook

True Understanding of Rules and Laws

Remember, both the real test and the practice tests have questions from a very large question bank. You shouldn’t try to memorize answers, since questions and answers can appear in different shapes and be worded differently. A true understanding of rules and safe driving practices is much a safer way to succeed on the knowledge. True understanding of rules and laws also helps you become a responsible and safe driver.

It is also a good idea to start studying a few weeks before the test and not try to cram a few nights before the big day.

  Read more: Risky Study Tactics

Study tactics - late night cramming - Copyright: paulschlemmer

Wisconsin Passing Score is 80%

The passing score in Wisconsin is 80 percent. On the real exam, which has 50 questions, you must get at least 40 questions right. Once you have reached your passing score, the test will end.

When you study for your exam, you should aim higher. Try to get a full score (25 correct answers) on a handful of tests. It will give you a good margin on the real test.

Go back to the handbook when you don’t fully understand the correct answers.

Allotted Time for the Wisconsin Written Test

There is an allotted time of 45 minutes for your test but don’t let that scare you. 50 questions and 45 minutes may seem a lot, but most applicants finish in 20 minutes. If you time yourself on a practice test, you will probably find that you finish 25 questions in 5 minutes.

With the right preparations you will have no trouble passing.

What Happens if You Fail the Test?

The failure rate on the Wisconsin knowledge test is between 25 and 30 percent, which means that one out of four first-time test takers fails the exam.

Main reasons for failing are lack of preparations (about half of all applicants who failed did not prepare with practice tests) and poor reading comprehension.

If you fail the test, you can normally try again the next day, but remember that you will not get the same test on your next attempt. Test questions will be different. Read everything with care.

You’ve got five chances to pass the exam within one year.

Who Must Pass the Wisconsin Knowledge Test?

The following must pass the Wisconsin written knowledge test:

  • First-time applicants getting their initial instruction permit.
  • New Wisconsin residents with a license from a foreign country other than Canada and Germany.
  • New Wisconsin residents with an out-of-state license expired more than eight years.
  • Drivers wanting to add a new class and/or endorsement to their existing driver license.
  • Drivers with a Wisconsin license expired more than eight years.

New Wisconsin residents with a valid license from another state can replace their license and get a Wisconsin license without passing the knowledge or skills tests.

The Purpose of the Wisconsin Knowledge Exam

The purpose of the knowledge test is to determine your knowledge of Wisconsin traffic laws and safe driving, including knowledge of the following:

What is on the test
Rules of the road
Highway signs
Vehicle equipment requirements
Driving techniques
Fuel efficient operation of motor vehicles
Effects of alcohol or controlled substance use in connection with driving
The need for anatomical gifts
The need for vehicle control near sight-impaired pedestrians

What You Should Know about the Test

DMV Tests are normally given on a walk-in basis, even if appointments are highly encouraged to limit the number of customers in the lobby.

All tests are offered on a computerized system with touch screens. After each question, you will now if you answered it correctly or not.

If you have trouble reading, the test can be offered with an audio option. Make you sure you ask about it before you start your exam. Examiners will lend you a headset.

If you fail the knowledge test, you cannot take it again until the next day. If you fail five times within a year, you must get special permission before you can take the test again. In such a situation, you will need to show what you have done to improve your ability to succeed on your next attempt.

Class D (regular license) knowledge and signs tests are available in the following languages:

American Sign Language


Wisconsin Graduated Driver License Program

The Graduated Driver License (GDL) program in Wisconsin is designed to help young drivers to gain driving experience and develop their skills over time and in lower-risk environments.

The program applies to all new drives under 18 years.

It contains the three steps, from the first instruction permit to a full, unrestricted driver license.

License Minimum age Hold
Instruction Permit 15½ 6 months
Probationary License 16 Until first renewal
Class D License 19

Your First Instruction Permit

You can apply for your first Wisconsin instruction permit when you are 15 years and 6 months old or older.

Where Can I get My Instruction Permit?

You should start online with the interactive Driver License Guide to learn what you need to bring your DMV office.

In most cases, you can pre-fill the required application online and submit the for electronically.

Make sure you have all the necessary documents before you schedule an appointment.

If approved, and after you have paid the fee and passed a vision screening, DMV will let you take the knowledge test.

Requirements for Applicants under 18 Years

If you are under 18 years, the GDL rules apply. You must be enrolled in, or have completed, a driver education class.

You must also be enrolled in a school program or high school equivalency program, have graduated from high school or been granted a declaration of high school graduation equivalency, or be enrolled in a home-based private education program and cannot be identified as habitually truant.

An adult sponsor, usually your parent or legal guardian, must approve your application.

Restrictions on the Instruction Permit

Under no circumstances can you practice driving on your own while you hold an instruction permit.

You must always be accompanied by a supervising driver who occupies the seat beside you. The supervising driver must have a valid regular (non-probationary) driver license and have at least two years of driving experience.

The supervising driver must be at least 21 years old unless the driver is a qualified driving instructor, a parent, guardian, or spouse, for which a minimum age of 19 years apply.

When you drive with a parent, guardian, or spouse, members of you immediate family may occupy rear seats.

If you are supervised a person other than a parent, guardian, or spouse, no other passengers are allowed. The licensed person accompanying you must also have written authorization from your parent or legal guardian to supervise you.

When driving during darkness, you must be accompanied by a qualified driving instructor or a licensed person who is at least 25 years and have no less than two years of licensed driving experience.

When you hold an instruction permit, all cell phone use (hands-free and handheld) while driving is prohibited, except to report an emergency.

How Long is the Instruction Permit Valid?

A Wisconsin instruction permit is valid for 12 months. It can be renewed once for another 12 months.

You need proof of enrollment or completion of a driver education course to renew your instruction permit.

Wisconsin probitionary license

When Can I Get a Probationary Driver License?

You must hold an instruction permit for at least six months before to applying for your probationary license (minimum age: 16).

Your driving record must be clear of any violations in the six months prior to applying for the probationary license.

You must also have practiced driving for a least 30 hours (10 during darkness) which must be certified a parent, guardian, or adult sponsor.

An approved driver-education training course must be completed.

When these requirements are fulfilled, you must pass the driving skills test.

What are the Restrictions on a Probationary Driver License?

GDL restrictions apply only for the first nine months, as long as you drive violation free.

  Night Curfew

There is a night curfew between midnight and 5 a.m.

During the night curfew, you can drive alone only if you must drive between your home and school or work.

If you drive anywhere else during the curfew, you must be accompanied by a supervising driver.

  Passenger Restriction

In addition to any number of immediate family members, you can only carry:

  • One person who holds a valid, regular license with at least two years of licensed driving experience and who is:
    • a qualified instructor or spouse 19 or older, or
    • a person 21 or older
  • One other person

  Cell Phone Restriction

Cell phone use (hands-free and handheld) while driving is prohibited, except to report an emergency.


Driver License FAQ

You may apply for a Wisconsin instruction permit when you are 15 years and 6 months old or older.

You will get your permit at a DMV customer service center. Pre-fill an application online and gathered all necessary documents. Then schedule an appointment with a service center. If approved, you will get your permit after passing a vision screening and a knowledge test.

A Wisconsin instruction permit is valid for 12 months. It can be renewed once for another 12 months.

You must always drive under supervision of a licensed driver.

If you drive together with an authorized instructor, parent, legal guardian, or spouse, the supervising driver must be a least 19 years.

If you drive together with another adult, the supervising driver must be at least 21 years.

If you drive at night (during darkness), the supervising driver must be at least 25 years.

The supervising driver must always have a valid regular (non-probationary) driver license and have at least two years of driving experience.

You can only carry passengers that are immediate family, and only when driving under supervision of an authorized instructor, parent, legal guardian, or spouse.

Cell phone use while driving is prohibited, except to report an emergency.

In Wisconsin, handheld or hands-free cell phone use while driving is against the law for drivers with a probationary license or instruction permit, except to report an emergency.

You must hold an instruction permit for at least six months before to applying for your probationary license. Your driving record must be clean of any violations during the six months prior to applying.

Night curfew between midnight and 5 a.m. unless driving directly from/to home and work or school.

If you drive anywhere else you must drive accompanied by a supervising driver.

Passenger restrictions: only one non-family member that is not a supervising driver.

No cell phone use.

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