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. Parking on a curve in a no passing zone:

Parking is not allowed on a curve or the brow of a hill were solid lines indicating a no passing zone appears on the surface of the road.


#2. What does this sign mean?

Reverse turn. The road ahead turns sharply right, then left.

The reverse turn sign is used to mark a road with two turns in opposite directions.


#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. A road sign with yellow background indicates:

Yellow is used for general warning and advisory of what to expect ahead.


#5. Which car or cars are best positioned for a right turn on this one-way street?

A right turn should be from the right lane into the right lane of the roadway entered.


#6. What is the no-zone in terms of driving?

No-zone is a highway safety term that describes areas on the side, front, and rear of large trucks where passenger vehicles disappear from view and where accidents are most likely to occur.


#7. During the first step of parallel parking you should signal, and then stop:

Put on your turn signal to warn other drivers that you intend to park. Pull up until you are even with the car in front of your parking space (back bumpers should be about even). There should be about two or three feet between you and the car beside you.


#8. When being passed by another vehicle, you must:

If you are driving the vehicle being overtaken, give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle. Do not increase your speed until the passing is completed.


#9. Know signs by their shapes. The octagon (eight-sided) shape is used for:

This shape indicates stop. Stop and give the right-of-way to pedestrians and all cross traffic before moving forward.


#10. If you are traveling on a road with solid white lines between lanes of traffic, you should:

Solid white lines are between lanes of traffic that indicate you should stay in your lane unless a special situation requires you to change lanes.


#11. You have a green light at an intersection and a blind pedestrian is preparing to cross. Who must yield?

Drivers should be especially alert for and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are deaf or have physical disabilities that require the use of canes, crutches, walkers, guide dogs/service animals, wheelchairs, or motorized scooters.

You must come to a complete stop when a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk is on your half of the roadway or approaching so closely from the other half as to be in danger.


#12. Which of the following is the best method to improve safety when driving at night?

It is wise to slow down a little at night.

At night, you do not see as far, as soon, or as much and everything has a different appearance. Keep your speed low enough to be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead.


#13. A solid green signal light means:

A steady green traffic light means go. Proceed with caution after you have checked first to see that other vehicles have cleared the intersection. Do not enter the intersection if you will block traffic.

When it is safe to proceed, you may enter the intersection to go straight ahead or turn unless a sign or additional signal prohibits the turn. You must yield to pedestrians and vehicles already in the intersection.


#14. What does this sign mean?

No Left Turn.

You cannot make a left turn at this intersection.

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


#15. During Sunday-Thursday, and except for July and August, a driver with a provisional license is normally not allowed to drive between:

102.14: A person holding a provisional permit shall not operate a motor vehicle between 11:00 p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday until 6:00 a.m. on the following day during any month except July or August, and from 12:01 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. during July and August and on any Saturday or Sunday the rest of the year.

You can operate a motor vehicle during GRAD restricted hours under certain circumstances (for complete information, please refer to your manual).


#16. When a school bus with flashing red lights is stopped on the other side of a two-lane roadway with a center turning lane, you must:

When a school vehicle is stopping or has stopped on the roadway, and is operating the alternating flashing red lights, all vehicles must stop at least 20 feet from the front or rear of the school vehicle. No one can proceed until the alternating flashing red lights have been turned off.

Drivers on the other side of a divided highway are not required to stop.


#17. When driving on slick roads, 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.


#18. Why should you not use your high beam headlights when driving in fog?

Turn on your low beam lights when you encounter fog, dust, heavy rain, or snow. Do not use your high beam because the light will be reflected into your eyes.


#19. Unless otherwise posted, what is the speed limit on District of Columbia city streets?

Speed limit on District of Columbia city streets is 25 mph.


#20. If you violate any GRAD program restrictions during the learner's permit phase:

During your learner permit stage, if 8 points or more have been assessed against you or you have violated any GRAD program restrictions, you will be subject to a ninety (90) days suspension of your learner permit and payment of a reinstatement fee.


#21. 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.


#22. Points on your driving record will be automatically removed:

Points will stay active on your driving record for two years. Points are automatically removed from your record after two years.


#23. Studies show that alcohol-impaired driving accounts for:

Studies show alcohol-impaired driving accounts for about one-third of all traffic-related deaths, and drugs are involved in about 18% of traffic-related deaths.


#24. To avoid last minute moves, you should:

Concentration is essential for safe driving. Driving is a full-time job. You should be constantly aware of the road and the other vehicles around you.

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


#25. If you run off the pavement, you should:

If you run off the road, do not panic. Take your foot off the accelerator. Brake carefully or not at all. Grip the steering wheel tightly. Do not try to get back on the roadway until you have the vehicle completely under control. Speed should be 15 mph or less. Look for traffic behind you and beside you. Then turn the wheels sharply toward the roadway.


#26. When you see this sign:

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.

Note: Some versions of the manual have incorrectly shown this sign together with the text for a side road sign.


#27. With a provisional license you can a motor vehicle for compensation:

You may not operate a motor vehicle for compensation if under the age of 18


#28. Who does the Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers (GRAD) Program affect?

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.


#29. A condition known as highway hypnosis is often brought on by:

Highway hypnosis is a condition of drowsiness or unawareness brought on by monotony, the sound of the wind, the tires on the pavement, and the steady hum of the engine. Always stop driving if you feel drowsy.


#30. If you strike an unattended vehicle and are unable to find the owner, you must:

If an unattended vehicle or other property is damaged, an attempt must be made to locate the owner. If the owner cannot be located, a written notice giving the identifying information must be left in or on the damaged vehicle or property in a conspicuous and secure place.

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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