Iowa Driver License Test and Permit Practice – Unlimited

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#1. You see a school bus with flashing amber (yellow) lights at the top. What is the bus driver doing?

Flashing amber lights at the top are a pre-warning that the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children.

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#2. Anti-lock brakes reduce the chances of a skid occurring particularly when:

The ABS system allows you to stop without skidding. Press on the brake pedal as hard as you can and keep pressing on it. Do not let up on the brake pedal.

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#3. Which of the following must you obey over the other two?

Traffic controls include traffic signals, traffic signs and pavement markings. Traffic control also can be provided by law enforcement, highway personnel or school crossing guards. You must obey directions from these persons.

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#4. When entering a public road from a private drive, you must:

You must always stop when entering a public road from a private drive.

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#5. You should always pay special attention to motorcycles because:

Remember there are other road users such as motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians that are harder to see than cars and trucks.

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#6. When a traffic signal is showing a steady green arrow, you:

When the green arrow is shown in a left-turn signal, it means drivers can proceed with the left turn. Oncoming traffic must stop. This is known as a protected turn.

Remember, the green arrow does not mean that all other traffic is stopped by a red light.

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#7. In which situation may you use a cell phone for sending a quick text message?

Before using a handheld electronic communication device to write, send, or read a text message, the vehicle must be brought to a complete stop off the traveled portion of the roadway.

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#8. What does this sign mean?

Slippery when wet. In wet weather, drive slowly. Do not speed up or brake quickly. Make sharp turns at a slow speed.

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#9. You should always increase your following distance when:

Allow extra space when following large vehicles that may not be able to see you when you are directly behind them. You should also increase your following distance when following bicycles or motorcycles. You need extra room in case the rider loses control of the bicycle or motorcycle. On wet or slippery roads, you need more distance to stop your vehicle.

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#10. When turning right, you must:

Signal as early as you can. Try and signal at least three seconds before you make your move. You must signal at least 100 feet before a turn if the speed limit is 45 mph or less. If the speed limit is faster than 45 mph, you must signal at least 300 feet before you turn. Yield to all pedestrians and crossing bicyclists.

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#11. Before a driver under 18 years can qualify for a full license, the driver must hold an intermediate license for at least:

The intermediate license must be held for a minimum of 12 months.

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#12. If you cannot get in the clear on the other side of a railroad crossing, you should:

It is important to note that you should not enter a railroad crossing until the vehicle ahead has moved far enough ahead that you can clear the tracks. Never stop your vehicle on the railroad tracks.

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#13. What does this sign mean?

Left Turn Only.

Lane control signs mark where you can go and where you can turn. The signs are along the road or hanging over the road. Sometimes arrows may also be painted on the road.

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#14. The best way to keep your car from hydroplaning (tires riding on top of water) is to:

To reduce the possibility of hydroplaning, you should slow down during rainstorms, when roads are slushy, or when there is standing water. Keep tires properly inflated. Replace tires when tread wear indicators are visible.

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#15. When driving during foggy weather, a driver should turn on the vehicle's high-beam headlights to increase the field of vision.

Remember, you should not use your high-beam headlights in fog. The water droplets in the fog reflect your headlights right back at you. Keep your headlights on low beam to reduce glare.

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#16. Which is the most important driving technique when driving on slippery roads?

Slow down at the first sign of rain, snow, or sleet. These all make the roadway slippery. Increase your following distance. You should be most careful when turning and stopping during the first half hour of rain

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#17. If you are going to stop or slow down at a place where another driver does not expect it:

Your brake lights let people know that you are slowing down. Always slow down as early as it is safe to do so. If you are going to stop or slow down at a place where another driver does not expect it, tap your brake pedal three or four times quickly to let those behind you know you are about to slow down.

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#18. You may be ruled a habitual offender if you within a two-year period are convicted of:

You may be ruled a habitual offender if you are convicted of three or more certain violations in a six-year period. Another way you may be considered a habitual offender is if you are convicted of six or more moving violations within two years. If the six moving violations include speeding, the speeds must be at least 15 mph over the legal speed limit.

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#19. When entering a limited access highway:

You must yield the right-of-way to traffic on the highway. Vehicles on the interstate have the right of way, but courteous drivers will permit you to move into the interstate traffic.

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#20. When you park on a hill headed uphill and there is a curb, you should turn your front wheels:

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.

Remember, when you park on a hill, the general rule is to turn your wheels sharply towards the side of the road or curb. This way, if your vehicle starts to roll downhill, it will roll away from traffic. However, when headed uphill at a curb, you should turn the front wheels in the opposite direction, away from the curb and towards the road.

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#21. 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.

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#22. What does this sign mean?

Divided highway ahead (divided highway begins).

The highway ahead is divided into two one-way roadways. Keep to the right.

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#23. Driving under the influence of a drug that impairs your ability to drive safely is:

It is illegal to drive when you are affected to the extent that you cannot drive safely.

With an alcohol content of .08 percent you are guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). No other proof is needed. The law also prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle with any amount of a controlled substance present. You can also be convicted of OWI based on a peace officer’s observations regarding your mental ability, judgment, emotions, and control of bodily actions or motions.

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#24. On a road with lanes separated by white lines:

White lines mark traffic lanes going in the one (same) direction.

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#25. A guide or information sign helping you to get off a highway at the correct exit has the following color:

Green and white signs give information about directions and distances. Guide signs on expressways show you which lanes to use to get where you want to go.

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The Iowa MVD Knowledge Examination

Quick facts about the Iowa MVD written test for the Instruction Permit or adult Driver’s License:

  Number of Questions:35
  Correct answers needed:28
  Passing score:80 percent
  Time limit:N/A
  Earliest retest upon failure:1 day

Understand the Practice Test

This practice test will provide you with random questions from real Iowa examinations and questions based on the information in the official driver’s manual.

With questions from a large bank of exam questions you can expect each practice test to be slightly different until you have covered all the important items in the manual.

The practice test is created to give you a general understanding of the principles of safe and lawful operation of a motor vehicle in Iowa. However, it is NOT intended to serve as a cheat sheet with precise answers to be memorized for the knowledge examination.

Think of the practice test as a learning tool and a complement to the driver’s manual.

  More study tips .

How Many Questions are on the Iowa MVD Test?

The knowledge test for an Iowa instruction permit has 35 question. You need 28 correct answers to pass. That is a passing score of 80%.

The test is a closed-book test given on a computer with a touch screen. You cannot bring books, papers, or any other material into the testing area. All use of cell phones, tablets, and other wireless devices is prohibited.

The test is available in a few other languages in select branches. If you don’t speak English, call ahead to verify that the test is available in your language. For hours and locations, please visit Iowadot.gov.

Get Ready for Your Iowa MVD Written Examination

You will not pass the written examination without a good understanding of traffic laws described in the driver’s manual. Start by getting a copy from a MVD service center, driving school, or online .

Read through the manual. Everything you must know to pass the test is found in this manual and questions can be drawn from all chapters.

Practice Makes Perfect

Research says that test takers who use practice tests before the examination stands a much better chance of passing the first time.

Used wisely, you will also learn facts much faster than just by reading the manual.

Practice tests also give you a good idea of the kind of questions MVD will ask on the test.

When you easily reach a score of 100% on the practice tests, you are probably ready for the real examination.

Who Must Pass the Iowa Written Knowledge Test?

You must take the MVD knowledge test, when you:

  Apply for a permit or driver’s license and haven’t been licensed before.
  Move to Iowa and hold a foreign license from another country than Canada or Germany.
  Move to Iowa and hold an out-of-state license that is invalid or expired more than one year.
  Had your driver’s license revoked by Iowa or another state.

Holders of an out-out-state license are normally exempt from taking the knowledge test, but if the license is invalid or has expired for more than one year you must pass the full examination as a first-time applicant. The same applies if you had your driver’s license revoked in this or another state. With a revoked license, you must apply for a new one. This includes passing all tests again.



Where Can I take the Iowa Knowledge Exam?

  If you are under 18 years, you can now take the knowledge test from the comfort of your own home. You don’t need to visit a branch office for just the test.

This is what you need:

  Be 14 years and under 18 years.
  Have a reliable internet connection and a desktop or laptop (not a cell phone or tablet).
  Approval and application submitted by a parent or legal guardian.

A parent or legal guardian must complete and submit the Application to Proctor Knowledge Exam form. The same parent/legal guardian must also administer the test and make sure you follow the rules.

Once the application is approved an email will be sent with instructions for taking and administering the test. It takes up to two weeks before the application is approved and until you get the email. Use this time to study the manual and take practice tests.

After you have completed the home test, you will get an email with test results and further instructions. You will need to visit a service center to be issued your permit.

An email will also be sent with the test results and instructions after the test is completed.

  Students enrolled with a participating school or agency can take the knowledge test in school or at an approved agency.

  If you are 18 years or older or cannot take an online test from home, in school, or at a test participating agency, you must make an appointment and visit a MVD service center.

Schedule an appointment

What Happens if I fail the Iowa knowledge examination?

You must wait at least one day before you can take the test again.

Should you fail the written knowledge exam at the service center, you must schedule a new appointment.

Who Needs an Iowa License?

Anyone who operates a motor vehicle or motorcycle or moped on public streets and roads in Iowa is required to have a license. For purposes of driver licensing you are considered an Iowa resident f if you have:

  • registered to vote in this state;
  • enrolled your children in public school;
  • accepted a permanent job in the state; or
  • lived in Iowa continuously for 30 days.

You do not need an Iowa driver’s license if you:

  • are driving a military motor vehicle while on duty with the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • are driving farm equipment between the home farm and any nearby (not more than two miles) farmland or farm operation; or
  • are a student or visitor and have a current license from your home state or country.

What is the Iowa Graduated Driver Licensing System?

The purpose of the Iowa Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system is to gradually let drivers under 18 years accumulate driving skills and demonstrate responsible driving practices.

The program includes different steps that allow for increased driving privileges over time. The three different steps are: the instruction permit, the intermediate driver license, and the full driver license.

You can apply for your first instruction permit when you are 14 years old.

The Iowa Instruction Permit

You must be at least 14 years old and have approval from a parent or legal guardian if you are under 18 years before MVD issues the permit. You must pass a vision screening the written knowledge test.

When you have your permit, you can practice driving with a supervising adult. Supervised drivers include a parent, guardian, custodian, an immediate family member at least 21 years of age, a driver education instructor, or a person at least 25 years with written permission from your parent, guardian, or custodian.

During the permit phase, you must log at least 20 (2 at night) hours of parental/guardian certified driving hours.

Before you can move on to the next step, the intermediate license, you must hold the permit for a minimum of 12 months.

You must also complete an approved driver education course. The course must include thirty hours of classroom training and six hours laboratory. Driver education is required for all license applicants under 18 years.

Immediately before applying for an intermediate license, you must also have driven accident- and violation-free for six consecutive months.



The Iowa Intermediate License

When turning 16, you can apply for the intermediate driver’s license. You must have held a permit for at least 12 months, have completed driver education, and have passed the appropriate vision screening, knowledge test, and a road skills test.

With an intermediate driver license, you cannot drive between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless you are supervised by an adult driver (see above).

For the first six months, you cannot drive with more than one unrelated passenger under 18 years, unless approved by a parent or guardian.

During this phase, you must also accumulate an additional 10 (2 at night) hours of parental/guardian supervised driving.

Iowa Driver License Test

Summary of Age and Test Requirements

LicenseMinimum ageRequired tests
Class C – Operator (most common license) 16 Knowledge, vision, road skills
Class C Instruction Permit 14 Knowledge, vision
Class C – Minor’s School License 14.5 Knowledge, vision, road skills
Class C – Minor’s Restricted License 16 Knowledge, vision, road skills
Class D – Chauffeur 18 See CDL Manual
Class D – Chauffeur’s Instruction Permit 18 Knowledge, vision
Upgrade from operator license to chauffer or commercial license 18 Knowledge, vision, road skills

Frequently asked Questions

The knowledge test for an Iowa instruction permit has a passing score of 80%.  You need to correctly answer 28 of 35 questions.

The three different steps are: the instruction permit, the intermediate driver license, and the full driver license. You can apply for your first instruction permit when you are 14 years old.

The purpose of the Iowa Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system is to gradually let drivers under 18 years accumulate driving skills and demonstrate responsible driving practices.

You must be at least 14 years old to apply for your first Iowa instruction permit.

Yes, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic applicants under 18 years can take the knowledge test online from their home. The application for a home test must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian.

The tests are based on the same questions, but each test is random and will be different each time you take the test.

When you have passed all tests and MVD has issued the permit, you can practice driving with a supervising adult. Supervised drivers include a parent, guardian, custodian, an immediate family member at least 21 years of age, a driver education instructor, or a person at least 25 years with written permission from your parent, guardian, or custodian.

No. A holder of an Iowa instruction permit can only drive with a parent, guardian, custodian, an immediate family member at least 21 years of age, a driver education instructor, or a person at least 25 years with written permission from your parent, guardian, or custodian.

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