District of Columbia DMV Practice Tests for Your GRAD Permit

District of Columbia Driver Knowledge Test

Quick facts for your driver license and permit test in Washington D.C.:

Number of Questions: 25 (standard non-commercial)
30 (GRAD or Learner Permit Knowledge)
Correct answers needed: 20 (standard non-commercial)
24 (GRAD or Learner Permit Knowledge)
Passing score: 80 percent
Time limit: 60 minutes (standard non-commercial)
75 minutes (GRAD or Learner Permit Knowledge)
Earliest retest upon failure: 4 days



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#1. Which of the following would be indicated by a diamond shaped road sign?

Four-sided diamond-shape is exclusively used to warn you of special conditions or hazards ahead. You may have to slow down, so be ready.


#2. This sign added to a stop sign means:

This sign means there are four stop signs at the intersection. Traffic from all directions must stop. The first driver to stop is the first driver to go. Other drivers must wait their turn.


#3. If you drive in a manner that indicates a willful disregard for the safety of people or property, you are guilty of:

A person is guilty of reckless driving if he drives a motor vehicle with a willful disregard for the safety of people or property, or in a manner that indicates a willful disregard for the safety of people or property.


#4. What does this road sign mean?

Steep hill. The sign warns you of hills where special care must be taken. Slow down before you start downhill.


#5. If your vehicle stalls on a flooded roadway, you should:

If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it as soon as possible. Remember, six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling. Two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-up trucks.

Once a vehicle floats off the roadway into deeper water, it may roll and fill with water, trapping the driver and passengers inside.


#6. With a valid class D driver's license, you may drive:

With a Class D driver license you may operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) less than 26,001 pounds for non-commercial use, mopeds and 15 passenger vans seating up to fifteen (15) passengers.


#7. With a learner's permit it is against the law to drive a motor vehicle:

You cannot drive alone. You must be accompanied by and under the instruction of a driver who is 21 years or older, has a valid full driver license, and is seated next to you in the passenger front seat.


#8. What should you do when you see this sign?

Keep right. A divided highway or traffic island where traffic must keep right is ahead. Stay on the right side of the divider.


#9. A HAWK signal light will show a circular green signal:

High Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) is a signal beacon designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy streets. When the signal is black you may proceed cautiously. When a pedestrian activates the signal, it will flash yellow, which means you must slow down and be ready to stop. The light will then turn solid yellow to tell the driver to stop if possible. Then the signal will turn to a solid red, indicating the driver must stop and remain stopped. Finally, the signal will flash red, telling you to stop and yield to pedestrians.


#10. When there is an oncoming car to your left and a child on a bicycle to your right on a two-way road, you should:

Instead of driving between the vehicle and the child, take one danger at a time. The smart driver quickly sizes up the situation, realizes that there are several different things he or she might do and decides to do the thing that involves the least risk.

Remember, if you are unable to safely pass, reduce your speed, follow the bicycle, and wait for a safe opportunity to pass.

Avoid the use of your horn.


#11. The driver in front of you signals (left arm extended, with elbow bent upward, at about a 90-degree angle):

Right turn – left arm extended, with elbow bent upward, at about a 90-degree angle.


#12. You should check your rearview mirrors:

To keep aware of what is going on behind you, check your rear-view mirror periodically.

Remember, keep shifting your eyes from one area of the roadway to another, near and far left and right. Avoid staring straight ahead.


#13. When turning left from a two-way street onto a one-way street, you should complete the turn in:

When making a left turn into a one-way street, get into the left lane well ahead of the turn. Turn sharply into the left lane.

Remember to turn from the lane that is closest to the direction of travel and turn into the lane closest to the lane from which the turn is initiated.


#14. When you see this sign, you can reduce the risk of hitting a deer or other type animal on the road, if you are especially alert:

Deer crossing. The animal pictured on the sign is common in this area. Watch for this species crossing the road particularly during twilight and night-time hours.


#15. Under the Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers (GRAD) no accidents or moving violations are allowed during:

Remedial Driver Improvement applies to all drivers under age 18. Driver will be referred if involved in one moving violation or involvement in an accident to which the driver contributed. DOT may impose additional driving restrictions or impose a suspension. Must begin 6-month or 12-month accident- and violation-free driving period again to qualify for next licensing level.


#16. When driving inside a roundabout, it is wrong to:

Do not change lanes in the roundabout. Vehicles exit the roundabout by making a simple right turn onto the desired street or highway. If you are in an inside lane, watch out for traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout, especially those vehicles intending to leave at the next exit.

This question asked what you should not do.


#17. A large truck is turning right onto a street with two lanes in each direction. The truck:

Pay close attention to truck turn signals.

Truck drivers must make wide right or left turns. Sometimes, space from other lanes is used to clear corners. They cannot see cars squeezed in between them and the curb. To avoid an accident, do not pass until the turning action is complete.


#18. A holder of provisional license can drive with one passenger who is 21 years or older, licensed, and sitting in the front seat. Any other passenger must be:

You can drive with one (1) passenger that is the holder of a valid full driver license who is 21 years of age or older, occupying the front passenger seat next to you and is wearing a seat belt, and any other passenger who is your sibling, child, or parent.


#19. When should you use your horn?

You may use your horn when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation. Sound your horn only to warn a pedestrian or the driver of another vehicle of your presence and to avoid accidents.

The horn is not intended to take the place of brakes.

Do not use your horn to alert a bicyclist of your approach in a non-emergency situation. A loud horn can cause a bicyclist to lose control.

Do not use your horn at a blind pedestrian or around horses.


#20. If gates rise at a railroad crossing, but the red light is still flashing, you should:

If the gates are down, stay in place and do not cross the tracks until the gates are raised and the lights stop flashing.


#21. Which factor is most likely to affect blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels?

Factors affecting blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels include:

  • How quickly you drink
  • Body weight
  • Alcohol concentration
  • Medications

BAC does not depend on what kind of alcoholic beverage you drink, how physically fit you are, or how well you can hold your liquor. Food in the stomach causes alcohol to be absorbed more slowly, slowing down the rate and the amount of intoxication. The kind of food is not a primary factor.


#22. Anti-lock brakes are most effective when you:

To make anti-lock brakes work correctly, or work at all, you should apply constant, firm pressure to the pedal. During an emergency stop, brake rapidly and push the brake pedal all the way to the floor.


#23. When using an extinguisher to put out a car fire:

When using the extinguisher, stay as far away from the fire as possible. Aim at the source or base of the fire, not up in the flames. Position yourself upwind. Let the wind carry the contents of the extinguisher to the fire rather than carrying the flames to you.


#24. What does this sign mean?

Workers ahead. This sign warns that There are workers in or near the roadway ahead.


#25. To prevent skidding on slippery surfaces, you should:

Reduce your speed and increase your following distance. Avoid abrupt changes in speed or direction. Slow down well in advance of the stopping point.


#26. If there is a double solid yellow line in the center of a roadway, crossing the solid yellow line is:

Two solid yellow lines mean no passing. You may cross a solid yellow line to turn into a driveway if it safe to do so.


#27. When driving with a learner's permit you must be accompanied by and under the instruction of a driver who is:

You cannot drive alone. You must be accompanied by and under the instruction of a driver who is 21 years or older, has a valid full driver license, and is seated next to you in the passenger front seat.


#28. To avoid the risk air bags pose to young children, you should:

Children age 12 and under should ride buckled up in a rear seat in a child safety seat or seat belt appropriate for their age and size.


#29. You can park and leave your car:

You can park 20 feet (more than 10 feet) from a fire hydrant.

Never park your vehicle on a sidewalk or on a crosswalk.


#30. Which of the following freeze first when wet?

In winter weather, every stretch of the road may be different depending upon sun, shade, the amount of salting being done and other conditions. Ramps and bridges freeze first before highways and roads. They also dry out last

See result

What is the Difference Between the Two D.C. Tests?

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in District of Columbia will give you one of two different tests.

The basic questions about rules of the road, common road signs, traffic signals, and safe driving are the same on each test. The test for graduated license (GRAD) or learner permit has additional question addressing driving restrictions during the graduated licensing phase, rules that apply to teenagers, and common traffic mistakes made by new drivers, including speeding and impaired driving.

On either test, you need a passing score of 80 percent.

Practice Tests for the GRAD Test

This practice test has 30 questions, just like the GRAD test.

If you want to skip questions related to the GRAD Program, you can take the 25-question test here: Practice Tests for Your D.C. Driver License

What You Should Know about the D.C. Knowledge Test

The test can be taken in many languages, including:

  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Thai
  • Vietnamese

Audio assisted tests are also available for those who need assistance with reading.

If you fail the test, you must wait three full days before you can take it again on the fourth day. Use this time to study the manual and take more practice tests.

The District of Columbia DMV knowledge test is timed, but the allotted time is generous, and it is not likely that you will need more than 15 minutes to complete the examination.

Questions on the knowledge test are based on the information in the D.C. Driver Manual. You should always get a copy of the manual from a service center or download a PDF-version online . You are less likely to pass the test if you skip the manual.

Practice tests are just a supplement to manual. To increase you chances of passing the test the first time you should study the manual and use these practice tests to verify your knowledge.

The Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers (GRAD) Program

District of Columbia DMV has introduced the GRAD program to help novice drivers under 21 years to safely gain driving experience before getting their full driving privileges.

If you are 21 years or older, the GRAD program does not apply to you. You can apply for a permit and after passing the necessary tests, you may practice driving with a supervising driver. You do not need to log your driving practice or wait a specific period before applying for a full license.

District of Columbia Learner Permit

You must be at least 16 years to apply for a GRAD learner’s permit in D.C.

You must also bring documents that prove you are eligible for a DC DMV learner permit. These documents include proof of:

    Identity and date of birth
    Your Social Security number
    Current District of Columbia residency
    Parental approval (if under 18 years)

Before District of Columbia DMV issues the permit, you must pass a vision test and the 30-question GRAD knowledge test.

After passing the knowledge test, a clerk will take a photo for your DC DMV REAL ID learner permit. The photo must be a full-frontal digital photo that will show either the ears, or up to the hairline without showing the hair.

You will also pay the fee for your permit.

The first proof of your new permit is just a temporary permit on paper. This temporary permit is valid for 45 days, but you will receive the real learner’s permit in the mail after just a few days.

Practice Driving with a Permit

With your the learner’s permit in your hand you can start practice driving.

You must be accompanied by and under the instruction of a driver who is 21 years or older, has a valid full driver license, and is seated next to you in the passenger front seat. Under no circumstances can you drive alone.

You must always carry the permit with you when you are behind the wheel. You must also make sure that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.

The learner permit also comes with these restrictions:

    No passengers other than the supervising driver
    No cell phone use
    Night curfew between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
    No driving for compensation
    You and the supervising driver must always wear seat belts

The learner permit is valid for two years and is non-renewable. If you are not a U.S. citizen, the permit can be valid for a shorter period, depending on your legal status.

If you let your permit expire without applying for a license, you must start over with a new application and take all tests again.

Provisional Driver License

A provisional driver license is the second step in the GRAD program.

To get a provisional driver license you must:

    Be at least 16 years, 6 months old
    Have held a valid learner permit for at least 6 months
    Have no pointable moving violations
    Completed 40 hours of driving experience with a supervising driver
    Pass the road skills test

The provisional license is valid for one year and is renewable.

Provisional Driver License – Restrictions

With the provisional license you can drive alone, but there are several restrictions placed on your license.

  Passenger restriction

You can only drive with one (1) passenger that is the holder of a valid full driver license who is 21 years of age or older, occupying the passenger front seat next to you and is wearing a seat belt, and any other passenger who is your sibling, child, or parent. You cannot drive, as an example, with friends under 21 years.

  Night curfew

Driving is restricted to:

  • September – June: Monday – Thursday, 6:01 a.m. – 10:59 p.m., Friday – Sunday, 6:01 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
  • July and August: Everyday, 6:01 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

You can only drive during the night curfew if you are driving to or from work, a school-sponsored activity, religious or an athletic event, or related training session in which you are a participant, sponsored by the District of Columbia, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility, or if accompanied by the holder of a valid driver license who is 21 year or older.

  No driving for compensation, unless you are 18 years or older

  You and passengers must always wear seat belts

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