Iowa Driver License Test and Permit Practice – Unlimited

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#1. 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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#2. If you plan to turn after an intersection, you should:

Be careful that you do not signal too early. If there are streets, driveways, intersections, or entrances between you and where you want to turn, wait until you have reached that point before signaling. For example: If you intend to turn into a driveway just after an intersection, wait until you pass the intersection before signaling.

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#3. When driving in work zones it is dangerous to tailgate another vehicle.

In work zones, you must adjust your speed to the traffic conditions and watch for workers and moving equipment. You must not follow other vehicles too closely. Rear-end collisions are common in work zones. Obey all instructions provided by signs, traffic signals and flaggers.

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#4. On two-lane roads with traffic moving in both directions, it is illegal to pass on the left side:

It is illegal to pass when you are:

  • Coming to the top of a hill.
  • Going around a curve when your view along the highway is obstructed (700 feet).
  • Within 100 feet of a narrow bridge, viaduct, or tunnel when posted.
  • Within 100 feet of an intersection or railroad crossing.
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#5. A driver who has been drinking alcoholic beverages will usually:

Alcohol is a depressant that affects your vision, reaction time, coordination, and judgment. Alcohol also often makes you feel more confident. This can cause you to take chances while driving that you normally would not take. This is a dangerous combination that often leads to serious motor vehicle accidents and tragic deaths.

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#6. This is the shape and color of a:

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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#7. Which will help reduce the risk of neck injury in a collision?

Head restraints are designed to prevent whip lash if you are hit from behind. They should be adjusted so the head restraint contacts the back of your head.

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#8. When you change lanes, you should:

Blind spots are areas near the left and right rear corners of your vehicle that you cannot see in your mirrors. Before you move sideways, turn your head to make sure these areas are clear. Do not drive in someone else’s blind spot.

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

Four-sided diamond-shaped signs warn you of existing or possible hazards on roadways or adjacent areas.

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#10. On a hot summer day, the temperature inside a car can reach well above 120 degrees in as little as:

In as little as 10 minutes the temperature inside a car can reach well above 120 degrees depending on the temperature outside, the humidity, and how far windows are rolled down.

Never leave children unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle.

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#11. If it feels like your tires have lost traction with the surface of the road you should:

Hydroplaning means reduced traction, not much braking ability, and little steering ability. Perfect conditions for your car to skid. To gain traction, take your foot off the accelerator and slow down gradually.

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

Turn from the lane that is closest to the direction you want to go and turn into the lane closest to the one you came from. Compare illustrations in Driver’s Manual.

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#13. You need to drive more slowly at night because:

You should drive a little slower at night because it is easy to over drive your headlights. That means the distance you can see is shorter than the distance in which you can stop.

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#14. Parking on the roadside of another parked vehicle (double parking):

Parking on the roadway side of another parked vehicle (double parking) is not allowed.

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#15. When you see this sign:

Merging Traffic sign. You are coming to a point where another traffic lane joins the one you are on. Watch for other traffic and be ready to yield the right-of-way when necessary.

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#16. When an emergency vehicle using flashing lights approaches you from the opposite direction on a four-lane limited-access highway with a center median, you should:

If you are on a street or highway separated by a median strip and the emergency vehicle is on the other side, you do not have to stop. Proceed as normal but be extra alert.

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#17. The minimum vision requirements for all classes of license, with or without glasses or contact lenses, are:

Vision is so important that Iowa requires that you pass a vision screening before you get a driver’s license or permit, or when you renew your license. This screening is to make sure you have at least 20/40 vision in at least one eye, with or without corrective lenses.

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#18. What should you do when you approach a railroad crossing marked only with a Crossbuck sign?

Crossbuck signs have been put at many public railroad crossings. This sign means look both ways, listen for and yield to trains.

A number sign under the crossbuck indicates there is more than one set of tracks.

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#19. You should avoid using your horn:

Use your horn whenever it will help prevent an accident.

There are several occasions when you should not use your horn. They include:

  • To encourage someone to drive faster or get out of the way.
  • To scold another driver for an error.
  • To greet a friend.
  • Around pedestrians who are blind.
  • At bicyclists.
  • Around horses.

This question asked when you should not use your horn.

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#20. A flashing red light at an intersection means:

A flashing red signal light means stop. Treat it the same as a stop sign.

After stopping, you may proceed when it is safe. Observe the right-of-way rules.

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#21. A muffler cutout on a car is:

Cut-outs, bypasses, or similar devices are not allowed.

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#22. State law states that large trucks always have the right-of-way on Iowa roads.

The law states who must yield the right-of-way. It does not give anyone the right-of-way.

Right-of-way is something to be given, not taken.

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#23. You reach an intersection in a lane marked with a left-turn arrow and the word ONLY. Can you drive straight ahead?

Special arrow markings may be present at intersections to show which lanes must be used when turning or proceeding straight.

If your lane is marked with both a curved and straight arrow, you may either turn or go straight. If you are in a lane marked with a curved arrow and the word ONLY, you must turn in the direction of the arrow.

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#24. What is a 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.

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#25. Which lane should you use for a left turn?

A green arrow means you can use the lane beneath it.

A red X means you may not.

A flashing yellow X means the lane is only for turning.

A steady yellow X means that the use of the lane is changing, and you should move out of it as soon as it is safe to do so.

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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

License Minimum age Required 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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