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



Congratulations! This is a passing score. Do you want to try again?

New test – new questions

This is not a passing score. Do you want to try again?

New test – new questions

#1. When backing up or reversing your car:

Turn your head and look back out the rear window. Do not depend on your rearview or side mirrors since you cannot see directly behind your vehicle. Back slowly.

Make sure the way behind you is clear before you start backing. Watch for children walking, running, or playing on toy cars or tricycles. Do not interfere with other traffic.


#2. The program that gradually phases in driving privileges for new teen drivers is known as:

If you are under the age of 21, you must operate under the Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers (GRAD) Program. The GRAD program permits novice drivers (16-21 years of age) to safely gain driving experience before obtaining full driving privileges.


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

Arrow panels are used both during the day and at night to give advance warning and directional information to tell drivers where it is necessary to move into another lane to the right or left.


#4. When approaching a sharp curve, you should:

Always slow down before you enter the curve, so you do not have to brake in the curve. Braking in a curve can cause the vehicle to skid.

Be more concerned about curves in wet weather, even more cautious on snow and most cautious on ice. On a curve posted for 35 miles per hour in good weather, a safe speed may be only 20 miles per hour in wet weather and only 5 miles per hour or less on ice or snow.


#5. 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.


#6. This sign tells you:

Winding road. The road ahead is winding with a series of curves or turns. Adjust your speed.


#7. Which of the following would be indicated by circular road sign?

A circular sign is used only to warn that there is a railroad crossing ahead.


#8. A flashing red traffic light tells you to:

A flashing red signal light means stop.

You must come to a complete stop, yield to all other traffic and to pedestrians. Proceed when the way is clear.


#9. 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.


#10. 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.


#11. Adult passengers in a car must always wear safety belts:

The District of Columbia law requires that the driver and all passengers wear seat belts in passenger cars, trucks, tractors, multi-purpose vehicles or passenger buses. A person may not operate any of these vehicles unless the operator and each occupant is wearing a seat belt.


#12. If your car starts to skid, you should:

Do not panic and do not brake. Take your foot off the gas pedal. Steer in the direction of the skid. If your rear wheels start going to the right, turn your front wheels to the right. Once your car regains traction, straighten out your wheels.


#13. This sign tells you:

No Right Turn. You cannot make a right turn at this intersection.

Remember that a red circle with a slash means no. The sign shows you what is not allowed.


#14. When entering an interstate or other limited access highway you should avoid:

The entrance ramp gets you going in the desired direction and the acceleration lane gives you the opportunity to get up to the speed of the traffic. Do not drive to the end of the acceleration lane and stop. This will not leave you enough room to get up to the speed of traffic. Also, drivers behind you will not expect you to stop.

This question asked what you should not do.


#15. How is your driving record affected if you drive for a full calendar year without obtaining pointable moving violations?

If you maintain a valid DC driver license for a full calendar year without obtaining pointable moving violations, you may be eligible to receive a Good Point on your driving record.


#16. With a provisional license you can drive during GRAD restricted hours if:

You can operate a motor vehicle during GRAD restricted hours 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 for the minor, or if accompanied by the holder of a valid driver license who is 21 years of age or older, wearing a seat belt, and occupying the passenger seat beside you.


#17. When you approach a railroad crossing without warning signals, stop signs or crossing gates:

You must yield to train traffic. Trains cannot stop quickly. Trains are always moving much faster than they appear from a distance so drivers should never try to beat one.


#18. You must obey signals and directions from school crossing guards:

You must always obey their directions.


#19. If your vehicle has an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and you need to stop quickly:

With ABS you should press down hard on the brake pedal, hold it, and steer the vehicle in the direction that you want it to go.

Do not pump the brakes. Removing steady pressure from the brake pedal or pumping the brakes will disengage or turn off the system.


#20. It is illegal to park a vehicle if a traffic light is within:

Do not stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, within 25 feet in front of any flashing signal, stop sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway.


#21. When driving at night you must:

Never overdrive your headlights. Keep your speed low enough to be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead.


#22. When can you cross yellow center lines to pass another vehicle?

Keep to the right of a yellow center line. A normal broken yellow line tells you that passing with care is allowed.


#23. If you are stopped behind a truck on an uphill grade:

If you are stopped behind a truck on an upgrade, leave space in front of you in case the truck drifts back slightly when it starts to move.

Also, keep to the left in your lane so the driver can see you behind the truck.


#24. At an intersection where there are no signs or signals, a driver should always yield the right-of-way to:

The first vehicle to stop should move forward first. When two cars enter an open intersection (without traffic control signs or signals) at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.


#25. What does this sign mean?

Sharp turn. There is a sharp turn to the left in the road ahead.

The turn is too sharp to take at the regular highway speed. An advisory speed sign may be attached.


#26. During the provisional license stage, the license will be automatically suspended if the following number of points have been assessed against the driver:

Like any other driver, the license will be automatically suspended if the point total reaches 10.


#27. With a learner's permit a driver is only allowed to drive between the hours of:

With a learner’s permit permissive hours are between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.


#28. What does this sign mean?

This is a yield sign.

You will see no other sign of this shape on the highway. Slow down as you approach a yield sign. Look to the left and the right. Yield to pedestrians and vehicles. You must yield the right-of-way to any vehicle or pedestrian. Once you have yielded to vehicles or pedestrians, you may not proceed until you can do so safely.


#29. What does the general speed restriction mean?

District of Columbia traffic laws provide both a general speed restriction and specific speed limits. You must obey both.

The general speed restriction, or the basic speed law, means that you may not drive on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable under the existing conditions, considering the actual and potential hazards.


#30. A learner's permit is valid for:

The learner permit is valid for one year. If you are in the GRAD Program and your learner permit expires before you can move to the provisional license stage, you must renew your learner permit within 90 days after expiration to avoid taking the knowledge test again.

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

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments