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



You got a passing score. Do you want to try this test again?

More DMV test questions

Or try the road signs test?

12 road sign questions

Sorry, this is not a passing score. Do you want to try this test again?

More DMV test questions

Or try the road signs test?

12 road sign questions

#1. To avoid glare from high-beam headlights of an approaching car:

Reduce speed and watch the road as far ahead as possible, looking slightly to the right so you will not be looking directly into the headlights of oncoming traffic. Use the edge of the road as a guide. Keep your lights on low beam.


#2. If you are underage and convicted of purchasing alcohol, your driver's license:

The law requires a one-year driver license revocation upon conviction for any underage person who attempts to purchase or purchases an alcoholic beverage.


#3. This hand signal means:

Right turn – left arm extended, with elbow bent upward, at about a 90-degree angle.


#4. As a driver, you should buckle-up:

Whatever your reason for not wearing safety belts, it is usually not reasonable and may violate the state law. Air bags are supplemental protection devices.

Exemptions to the seat belt law are listed in the Driver’s Handbook.


#5. Passing on the right of another vehicle is allowed:

  I. When driving in a lane set aside for right turns
  II. If you use the shoulder

Passing on the right is against the law except in areas where it is specifically permitted. Exceptions where passing on the right is allowed:

  • On highways having at least two lanes traveling in each direction.
  • On one-way streets where all lanes of traffic move in the same direction.
  • When passing a vehicle that is in the left-turn lane.
  • When driving in a lane set aside for right turns.

#6. After this combination of signals is shown:

Some traffic signals have a combination of protected turn arrow signals and unprotected circular signals based on traffic demand. At these intersections, both through traffic and turning traffic are controlled by circular signals if no arrow signal is displayed.

When arrow and circular signals are both displayed, turning traffic is controlled by the arrow signals and through traffic is controlled by the circular signals.


#7. What is the only effective way to remove alcohol from the body?

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.


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

  I. Turn off your headlights
  II. Drive close to the right edge

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. Stay in the center of your lane.


#9. If you feel angry, excited, or upset, you should:

  I. Drive 10-15 mph slower than the speed limit
  II. Calm down before getting behind the wheel

Emotions can have a great effect on safe driving. You may not be able to drive well if you are overly worried, excited, afraid, or depressed. If you are angry or excited, give yourself time to calm down before driving.


#10. If a yellow center line is solid on your side of the road, it means:

If the solid yellow line is on your side of the road, do not pass. Pass only if there is a broken line on your side.


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

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.


#12. When you see a truck preparing for a right turn ahead, you should:

Stay behind trucks making right turns. Trucks often make wide right turns. Never try to pass on the right-hand side or you might get squeezed between the truck and the side of the road.


#13. When driving at night in heavy traffic, you should use:

Low beams should be used in heavy traffic or when there are oncoming vehicles.

Remember, you must always dim your lights to low beams when you are approaching or following another vehicle.


#14. If you have a tire blowout while driving, you should:

  I. Brake hard and quickly move the vehicle completely off the road
  II. Keep the vehicle straight on your side of the road until your vehicle has slowed

If a blowout occurs, hold the steering wheel tightly and try to keep the vehicle straight on your side of the road. Reduce speed by lifting your foot from the accelerator. Do not apply the brakes until the engine has slowed the vehicle enough to allow you to maintain control of the vehicle. Find a safe place to move the vehicle completely off the road.


#15. When parking close to a fire hydrant you must keep what distance?

Parking is not allowed within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.


#16. Which is true about carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that has no smell, taste or color but is poisonous. 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. For this reason, it is suggested that you keep a window open about one inch while traveling.


#17. Where in particular should you look out for motorcyclists and bicyclists?

When a bicycle lane or bike path travels on or adjacent to the roadway, please pay special attention to bicyclists as you approach and move through an intersection. Motorcycles and bicycles are especially hard to see during a turn.

The potential exists for a crash between the bicyclist who is moving straight ahead through the intersection and the motorist who is turning right.


#18. If a school bus with flashing red lights has stopped on your side of an undivided highway with four lanes, you must:

When a school bus displays its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights to receive or discharge passengers, the driver of any other vehicle approaching the school bus must stop and not attempt to pass the school bus until the mechanical stop signal is withdrawn, the flashing red lights are turned off and the bus has started to move.

When school bus stops on a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation or a center turning lane, only traffic following the bus must stop.


#19. 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.

#20. When two vehicles arrive at an uncontrolled intersection at the same time, which vehicle must be given the right-of-way?

In intersections without traffic signs or signals, the right-of-way rules state:

  • The vehicle already in the intersection has the right of way ahead of any vehicle that has not yet entered.
  • When two or more vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way.
  • A vehicle with the right-of-way may move straight ahead or, if legal and after signaling, turn right or left

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

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.


#22. 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.


#23. When are you most likely to be assigned to a Driver Improvement Clinic?

If you are convicted of certain motor vehicle violations in North Carolina, driver license points are placed against your driving record. If you accumulate seven points, you may be assigned to a driver improvement clinic. Upon satisfactory completion of the clinic, three points are deducted from your driving record.


#24. When following a large truck that blocks your view ahead, you should:

You should increase your following distance when following large vehicles that block your view ahead. The extra space allows you to see around the vehicle.


#25. A white cloth tied to a radio antenna or a door handle indicates:

Turn on the emergency flashers and parking lights. If you need help, tie a white cloth to the left door handle or the radio aerial and raise the hood of the vehicle. Stand off the road and away from the vehicle.

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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