Illinois Written Test for Your Permit – Road Rules & Traffic Laws


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#1. If you are involved in a traffic crash and someone is injured, your first course of action should be:

Help any injured person if necessary or requested. First, protect the person from traffic, then cover the injured person for comfort and to avoid shock. Do not move an injured person unless absolutely necessary. Do not attempt to give first aid unless you have been trained in it. Call 911 immediately.


#2. If a traffic light shows both a red light and a green arrow:

A green light or green arrow means you may go after yielding the right of way to any pedestrians and vehicles in the intersection or crosswalk.

When a green arrow is pointed upward you may go straight ahead only. When the arrow is pointed to the right you may turn to the right. When the arrow is pointed to the left you may turn to the left.

If in the proper lane, proceed in the direction of the arrow whether the green arrow is displayed alone or in combination with another signal and the roadway is clear.


#3. All the following is true about motorcyclists, except:

Because of their size and vulnerability in a crash, it is important for a driver to pay special attention to motorcycles. The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the most common cause of motorcycle crashes. Due to their small size, motorcycles may be difficult to see and motorists tend to underestimate their speed. A driver should expect to see motorcycles in traffic at any time, not just in the spring and summer. Drivers involved in crashes often report not seeing the motorcycle or seeing it too late to avoid a collision.


#4. Why is it important to allow a longer following distance when following motorcycles on wet or icy roads?

A driver should allow a greater following distance when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver in an emergency. Motorcycles react differently to traffic, weather and road conditions than cars. Riders may respond in ways a vehicle driver does not expect. Wet or icy roads impair a motorcyclist’s ability to brake and maneuver. Wind gusts, both natural and those created by large passing vehicles, can move a motorcycle across an entire lane if the rider is not prepared. Potholes or railroad tracks often require motorcyclists to change positions within their lane. Gravel roads decrease traction and may cause a rider to slow down or brake where a car would not.


#5. True or false? When entering a highway construction area, a driver should discontinue wireless/cellphone use.

Don’t use your cellphone in work zones. Illinois law requires motorists to discontinue wireless/cellphone use (unless using a hands-free device that may include the use of a single-sided headset).


#6. Alcohol only affects a person's driving if they are above the level of illegal intoxication.

Alcohol affects a person’s driving even if they are below the level of illegal intoxication. Drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases the chances of causing a crash.


#7. License plate light is required equipment and must show:

Vehicles must have a white light making the license plate readable from 50 feet away and must be on when headlights are on.


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

To turn left from a one-way street, begin the turn from the left lane.

Do not turn from another lane, unless signs or lane markings indicate two or more turning lanes.


#9. Always turn your front wheels away from the curb when you are parked on a grade and facing:

Headed uphill, turn your front wheels away from the curb (toward the travel lane) and let your vehicle roll back a few inches. The curb will stop the car from rolling anywhere.


#10. When driving in fog, you should:

If you must drive in fog, reduce your speed. Turn off the cruise control if in use and increase your following distance. Drive with your headlights set on dim (low beams), or use fog lights. Never overdrive your headlights.


#11. What is the best thing to do if you start to feel drowsy while driving?

Never drive if you are sleepy. Fatigue or inattentiveness affects your ability to safely operate your vehicle. Pull over to drink coffee, exercise or nap.

Remember, playing loud music may be illegal. Using any sound system (radio, tape player or disc player) at a volume that can be heard 75 feet or more from a vehicle being driven on a highway is not allowed.


#12. You are following a school bus and there is a railroad crossing ahead. You must slow down and be prepared to stop because the bus:

Be prepared to stop for vehicles that must stop at crossings, such as school buses, motor vehicles carrying passengers for hire or vehicles transporting explosives or hazardous materials.


#13. You have pulled out to pass another vehicle. There is an oncoming vehicle ahead. By law, you must be able to pass and return to your proper lane before the oncoming vehicle comes within:

You must return to the right side of the road before coming within 200 feet of any vehicle coming from the opposite direction.


#14. What is true about a center left turn lane?

You may only drive a short distance in the center left turn lane. This lane is not a regular traffic lane or a passing lane. You must use it when you turn left or start a permitted U-turn. You may drive across a center left turn lane.


#15. If you have been pulled over by the police and are issued a ticket requiring a signature, you should:

If you are issued a ticket requiring a signature, sign it. Signing a ticket is not an admission of guilt – only an acknowledgment of receiving the ticket.


#16. Are you allowed to drive faster than the speed limit when overtaking another vehicle?

You may NOT exceed the speed limit when passing. Obey all regulatory and warning signs.


#17. Your cell phone rings while you are driving. Which of the following is the best thing to do?

Illinois law prohibits the use of handheld cellphones, texting or using other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free devices or Bluetooth technology is allowed for persons age 19 and older.

The only time Illinois drivers can use a handheld cellphone is:

  • To report an emergency situation.
  • While parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
  • While stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park.

#18. If your car starts to skid, you should ease off the gas and:

If you skid, slow down gradually, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction and then straighten your vehicle.


#19. You are following a large vehicle. It approaches an intersection and signals left but moves out to the right. What is the best thing to do?

Pay close attention to turn signals, and give large vehicles plenty of room to maneuver and make turns. Large vehicles make wide right turns and sometimes leave an open space to the right just before the turn.

If a large vehicle appears to be turning in one direction, it may actually be turning in the other but first swinging wide.


#20. When you drive defensively, you:

Defensive driving means that you should reduce the risk of driving by planning ahead for the unexpected. Always be prepared to react to another driver. Do not expect the other driver to do what you think he/she should do. Do not assume you know what he/she is going to do. If you cannot avoid a crash, remain calm and try to choose the least dangerous situation. For example, running into a ditch is less dangerous than a head-on collision.

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Illinois Written Test Specifics

Key numbers for your official Illinois Written Test:

Number of Questions: Part I (Traffic signs): 15
Part II (Traffic laws): 20
Total: 35
Correct answers needed: 28
Passing score: 80 percent
Time limit: No limit
Earliest retest upon failure: 1 day

The Test has Two Parts

The Illinois written knowledge examination consists of two parts.

The first part has 15 questions asking about common traffic signs described in “Rules of the Road”.

The second part has 20 multiple-choice or true-false questions about Illinois traffic laws and safe driving techniques.

This practice test addresses the second part of the written examination.

How hard is the Illinois Permit Test?

The failure rate on the Maryland permit test is about 10%, which means that only one out of 10 fails the test the first time.

Test difficulty is graded very easy, which doesn’t mean that should not do your best to prepare for the examination.

Very easy - DMV Test difficulty grading by licenseroute

How to Study for the Illinois Written Test

1   Download the manual Rules of the Road .

“Rules of the road” describes all rules and traffic laws you must learn to pass your written knowledge examination. All answers to test questions are found in this manual.

You can get your copy from any service center or download a PDF-version online.

The booklet is written with the knowledge examination in mind. The language is simplified and does not cover all laws or explain every possible situation that you may face while driving on Illinois highways. It is intended as a tool for new drivers to help them learn the essential driving rules and help them pass the knowledge test.

Everything in the manual is there for a reason and you should expect questions to be drawn from all parts of the manual.

2   Use practice tests as a supplement to the manual.

These practice tests are a supplement to the manual. They don’t replace the manual.

It may be tempting to skip reading the manual and try to learn all rules from the practice tests only.

Even if practice tests and cheat sheets cover all important items on the written examination, test questions and answers don’t always put facts in a context. By reading the manual you will get a better understanding of safety rules and why you should use them.

This practice test and the signs identification test are randomized, which means that questions are drawn from a larger bank of test questions. Every time you take the test it will be slightly different and show you new questions.

Don’t forget to take both the sign identification test and the rules test when you prepare for your exam.

  Six Reasons to Use DMV Practice Tests at LicenseRoute

3   Give it time.

Whenever you learn something new, your brain needs time to absorb all the new information.

The more you spread out your study sessions over time, the better the information will stick for the exam and for your future driving.

You should also try to be active when studying for your permit test.

By quizzing yourself or have someone else ask questions, you can answer with your own words which improves learning. It is also an advantage to engage in discussions about traffic laws. Again, you will be able to put your own words to important facts about driving

Here are some common subjects you may want to discuss in a classroom or with family and friends:

    What are some major contributory factors to accidents?
    Why do teen drivers have a higher accident rate?
    What does the right of way mean?
    What is distracted driving?

What You Should Know about the Test

  You are allowed three attempts to pass.

Within one year from the date you paid the application fee you have three attempts to pass the knowledge test. A new application fee is required for additional attempts.

  Don’t try to cheat.

An examiner will give you a warning if you bring papers or books to the testing area. They will also interfere if you pick up your cell phone while taking the exam. Taking photos of test questions is considered cheating.

If you are found cheating, the test is marked as a failure and you will be prohibited from retaking it for 30 days.

Taking the test for another person is a criminal offense punishable by a fine and a mandatory minimum seven days in jail.

  There is no time limit.

The test is not timed, and the average test taker finishes in about 15 minutes. It still gives you plenty of time to read every question twice.

Test takers who fail the test often argues that they didn’t read a question all the way through and picked the wrong answer by mistake.

It is a good idea to carefully read every question and all choices. Don’t be overconfident and pick the first answer that looks right. Check to make sure your answer makes sense.

  Aim for a passing score on both parts of the test.

New drivers usually fails on the second part of the test. Use practice tests until you can comfortably reach a full score on both parts.

  It may not be over just because you passed.

You must take a knowledge test every 8 years to renew your license, unless you have a clean driving record with no traffic convictions.

Bookmark these tests and you can return to them when it is time to take the exam again.

  Illinois Sign Identification Test

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