North Carolina DMV Driving Test – Study Guide – Questions & Answers



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More DMV test questions

Or try the road signs test?

12 road sign questions

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More DMV test questions

Or try the road signs test?

12 road sign questions

#1. The Driver's Handbook lists tips to prevent drowsy driving. One of these tips is:

Some tips to prevent drowsy driving:

  • Get a full night of rest before driving.
  • Stop regularly when driving long distances.
  • Try to set a limit of 300-400 miles of driving per day.
  • Avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness.
  • If you are tired and in danger of falling asleep, stop.

#2. If you have been drinking alcohol, what will help you to sober up?

There is no way to sober up quickly. The only thing that sobers up a drinker is time. Coffee, a big meal, fresh air, exercise, or cold showers will not work.


#3. You are preparing to pass another vehicle when the vehicle ahead of you stops at a crosswalk. What should you do?

Never pass another vehicle at intersections or crosswalks where a vehicle has stopped to allow people to cross the street.


#4. The allowable light transmittance for tinted windows on your car is no less than:

The allowable light transmittance for tinted windows is no less than 35 percent. Vehicles with after-factory window tinting will be charged an additional fee of $10.00 as part of the vehicle inspection.


#5. The best way to handle a curve is:

The best way to handle a curve:

  • Slow down before you enter the curve so that you will not need to brake while you are in the curve .
  • Gradually increase your speed to maintain the traction necessary for good control of the vehicle as you round the curve.
  • If you must brake in the curve, apply the brakes gradually until you are sure it is safe to keep continuous pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Begin to turn the vehicle just prior to the point where the road begins to turn.
  • Stay on your side of the road and drive as far to the right as you can.
  • Continue

    #6. You must always stop at a railroad crossing when:

    Never move onto a railroad track unless you are certain you can drive across safely. Be careful not to get trapped on railroad tracks by a line of vehicles backed up on the other side.

    Crossing gates will not trap you, but stopping traffic might. Be sure the traffic ahead of you will not stop and block you in on the tracks.


    #7. Who is exempt from the North Carolina seat belt law?

    A motor vehicle operated by a rural letter carrier of the United States Postal Service while performing duties as a rural letter carrier is exempt from the seat belt law. A driver or passenger frequently stopping is exempt under certain circumstances only.

    Other exemptions include:

    • A driver or occupant of a noncommercial motor vehicle with a medical or physical condition that prevents appropriate restraint by a safety belt or with a professionally certified mental phobia against the wearing of vehicle restraints.
    • Any vehicle registered and licensed as a property-carrying vehicle while being used for agricultural purposes in intrastate commerce.
    • A motor vehicle not required to be equipped with seat safety belts under federal law.
    • Any occupant of a motor home other than the driver and front seat passengers, provided the motor home meets certain requirements.

    #8. In work zones it is very important to:

    It is very important to stay alert in work zones and to be prepared at all times to react safely to unexpected conditions. Equipment and personnel are working very close to the roadway.

    Maintain a steady speed consistent with the traffic flow and posted speed limit.


    #9. A two-way left-turn lane must be used for:

      I. Passing another vehicle
      II. The purpose of merging into traffic

    The two-way left-turn lane must NOT be used for passing another vehicle or for the purpose of merging into traffic.


    #10. When making a left turn, you must:

      I. Yield to oncoming vehicles
      II. Always stop before turning

    A driver who wants to turn left must give the proper signal, yield to oncoming vehicles, and wait until the turn can be made safely.


    #11. A leaky exhaust system in your vehicle is dangerous because it can cause:

    Check your exhaust system often to be sure it is not leaking. A leak in the exhaust system can allow poisonous carbon monoxide gas to enter the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Carbon monoxide poisoning often can be fatal, and even small amounts can cause you to become sleepy or unconscious and lose control of the vehicle.


    #12. Because motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see than cars:

    Mopeds and motorcycles are difficult to see, and can be entirely hidden by your blind spots. Be especially watchful for motorcycles and mopeds while turning or changing lanes at intersections or entering the road from a driveway.

    In many left-turn situations it is even more difficult to see a motorcycle or moped. Look out for motorcycles and mopeds, as well as other vehicles, before you turn, change lanes or proceed to move.


    #13. When are you allowed to drink alcohol while driving?

    DWI laws prohibit drivers from consuming any alcoholic beverage, including beer, while driving.


    #14. After stopping and yielding, you may turn right at a red light unless:

    A steady red circular signal means STOP. Unless there is a sign indicating NO TURN ON RED, a right turn can be made after coming to a complete stop. All vehicles turning right shall yield the right of way to other traffic and pedestrians using the intersection and to pedestrians in reasonably close proximity to the intersection and who are starting to cross in front of the traffic that is required to stop at the red light. Failure to yield to a pedestrian under these circumstances will result in a penalty of not more than $500 and not less than $100.


    #15. When it starts to rain, you should:

    Rain reduces visibility and makes pavement dangerous. You may be able to see only a few feet ahead. Therefore, you should drive more slowly than usual, and you must use your headlights and windshield wipers. Stopping distances on slippery pavement increases from two to 10 times farther than on dry pavement. Slow down and allow yourself at least twice the normal following distance.


    #16. Where are traffic crashes involving motor vehicles most likely to occur?

    Crashes occur most frequently at intersections, and they are considered the most dangerous places on a street or highway. More than one-third of fatal traffic crashes involving motor vehicles occur at intersections.


    #17. Which is true about driving too slowly?

    No person shall operate a vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or to comply with the law.


    #18. When a school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop if the bus:

    Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: When school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop.


    #19. On open roads with no other traffic, you should use:

    Use your high beam headlights on the open road or dark city streets unless you are approaching or following another vehicle.

    Dim your lights when necessary. Do not use high beams in fog, heavy rain, or snow.


    #20. Under the point system, you may lose your license if you:

    If you accumulate as many as 12 points within a three-year period, your license may be suspended. The accumulation of eight points within three years following the reinstatement of your license can result in a second suspension.


    #21. You should expect to be in a trucker's blind spot if you:

      I. Move well ahead of the truck
      II. Follow more than 200 feet behind the truck

    Don’t lingering in the blind spots. NO-ZONES into which a car can disappear from view are up to 20 feet in front of the cab, on either side of the tractor-trailer, particularly alongside the cab, and up to 200 feet in the rear.


    #22. When asked by an officer at a traffic stop, a driver must:

      I. Provide information about their health
      II. Identify themselves

    Under State law, you are required to identify yourself and provide your drivers license and registration for the vehicle. After establishing identification, you may choose whether or not to verbally respond to additional questions.


    #23. If a driver is backing from a driveway onto the street ahead, you should:

    If you are driving and notice that a vehicle ahead of you is pulling out from a parallel parking space or driveway, slow down and be prepared to stop.


    #24. When you drive at night, you should know that:

    Night driving is more dangerous than daytime driving because:

    • You cannot see as well.
    • There are more impaired drivers on the road.
    • Drivers tend to be tired and less alert.
    • A driver can be blinded by the headlights of oncoming vehicles.
    • Dirty windshields and poor lights can cause problems for some drivers.

    #25. What should you do when following a motorcycle on gravel roads?

    Never crowd the motorcycle or moped. A cyclist traveling ahead of you could lose control when materials such as sand, gravel, wet leaves, or water are on the pavement. Be aware of conditions that may cause a motorcyclist to fall.

    See result

    The North Carolina DMV Written Road Rules Test

    Key numbers for your NC DMV Written Test, part II:

      Test questions:25
      Passing score:80%
      Correct answers:20
      Time limit:No
      Earliest retest if you fail:1 day

    North Carolina DMV Two-Part Examination

    To be eligible for your first North Carolina Learner’s Permit or Driver’s License, you must pass a two-part driver’s knowledge test.

    The first part is a 12-question road signs identification test. You must identify at least 9 signs based on color, shapes, symbols, or messages.

    The second part is a multiple-choice test with questions about North Carolina traffic laws, common road rules, and defensive driving strategies.

    To pass the examination, you must reach a passing score of 80% on each test. Scores cannot be combined.

    Part I: Road Signs Test

    On this part, you will be asked to identify 12 road signs (or just shapes and colors of road signs). Signs on this test are described in North Carolina Driver Handbook. Focus on the two road sign charts in the manual, but don’t forget to read the part about general use of shapes and colors.

    You can practice for your North Carolina road signs test here .

    Part II: Road Rules Test

    The main part of your driver’s examination has 25 multiple-choice questions about all road rules that are described in the handbook, including specific NC traffic laws.

    To pass this part of your exam, you must have a copy of the Driver Handbook. Get the most recently update to make sure you have the latest additions and changes to North Carolina laws. We recommend that you get a hard copy from NC DMV, but if you are comfortable with reading on a screen, you can also download a free handbook version online .

    You cannot miss more than 5 questions on this part of your exam.

    Is the North Carolina Written Test Difficult?

    The road sign part of the exam is considered to be easy, while the second part is a bit harder. Unofficial numbers suggest that one-third of applicants fail the exam the first time.

    Moderate - DMV Test difficulty grading by licenseroute

    What Happens if I Fail the North Carolina Written Test?

    When available, you can take the test again the next day. In most cases, people pass the exam on their second attempt. Just make sure you feel comfortable with the questions you got the first time. By learning from your mistakes, you improve your chances of passing.

    Tests are random, so you will not get the same questions the next time.

    There is no fee for taking the test again.

    Is There a Time Limit?

    There is no time limit, and you are given at least 30 minutes to finish the two tests. In our experience, most test takers finish within 15-20 minutes.

    If you have studied the handbook and taken enough practice test, most questions should be familiar to you and answering them will be easy. Your main key to success is to carefully read both questions, statements, and/or choices before you pick your answer.

    Young students who fail their exam often blame themselves for not being more careful when answering the questions.

    Is the Test Available in Other Languages?

    The North Carolina DMV written test is available in nine different languages.


    If you don’t speak any of these languages, you may be offered an oral test with a translator. Always contact your DMV office ahead of your test to get more information.

    How Can the Practice Test Help Me Pass the Written Exam?

    Most experts agree that taken practice tests before an exam really helps. The benefits are:

      Getting familiar with test format
      Being active during the study phase
      Getting facts presented with different wordings

    You should, however, use practice tests wisely. A common mistake is to try to use them as a cheat sheet and just memorizing answers.

    Understanding why some answer alternatives are wrong can be just as important as understanding the correct answers.

    How Often Should I Take this Practice Test?

    There is no limit on how many times you can take this practice test. The question pool has more than 500 questions, many addressing the same subjects but with different approaches.

    With many random questions, you can feel comfortable that you will cover all the important facts that you must know for your examination.

    If you can achieve a full score on a handful of practice tests, you are probably ready for the real driver’s examination.

    Don’t Forget to Also Study the Road Signs Test

    North Carolina Road Signs Test - Background photo by Ingo Joseph

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