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

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. A blue and white sign at a railroad crossing indicates:

The purpose of the Railroad Emergency Notification System sign is to provide the public with critical emergency contact information at every highway-rail grade crossing. The information contained on the ENS sign enables the public to reach the railroad responsible for the crossing and to identify the specific crossing in the event of an emergency.


#2. When you drive through a work zone, you should:

  I. Stay alert and be prepared for the unexpected
  II. Keep a steady and safe speed

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.


#3. After consuming alcohol, a driver is more likely to:

Alcohol gives you false confidence. You may take greater risks because you think your driving is better than it really is.


#4. Which is true about motorcyclists?

  I. Motorcyclists are easier to see in traffic
  II. Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists

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.


#5. Your car breaks down on the highway at night. What should you do?

  I. Stand to the rear of the vehicle to warn others
  II. Let all passengers remain in the vehicle

Move the vehicle completely onto the shoulder of the road. Turn on the parking lights or emergency flashers. Never leave your headlights on when you park at night, they can blind the drivers of oncoming vehicles. Do not stand in front or to the rear of the vehicle. Do not allow passengers to remain in the vehicle.


#6. If your vehicle starts to skid or hydroplane, you should:

  I. Slow down gradually
  II. Turn the steering wheel sharply to keep control

Take your foot off the accelerator. Slow down gradually. Do not apply the brakes. Turn the front wheels only enough to keep them pointed in the direction of the skid and the direction you want to go. Be prepared for a secondary skid in the opposite direction.


#7. When can you pass a stopped school bus?

  I. When traffic officer signals you to proceed
  II. When red lights are flashing but no children are present

Remember, under special circumstances, an officer may be directing the flow of traffic. If so, obey the officer’s signals instead of the normal traffic signals or signs.


#8. What does a traffic signal showing a steady yellow arrow mean?

A yellow arrow indicates that the protected green arrow signal is about to turn to a regular circular green signal, circular red signal or red arrow signal.


#9. When a traffic officer is directing you to drive against a red light, you should:

Under special circumstances, an officer may be directing the flow of traffic. If so, obey the officer’s hand signals instead of the normal traffic signals or signs. In connection with fires and accidents, you must also obey instructions from firefighters. Near schools, you must also obey instructions from school crossing guards.


#10. Red road reflectors on the pavement mark:

White and yellow pavement markers are reflective devices used in the pavement to improve the visibility of marking lines at night when the road is wet. Red markers indicate wrong-way movements for motorists.

If you are going the wrong way at night, the road reflectors will shine red in your headlights.


#11. When following large trucks:

When following large trucks, your vision may be blocked. Your ability to see and to plan ahead will be improved if you fall back to increase your following distance.

If you are following too close, be aware that the truck driver may not be able to see you in the mirrors.

Falling back is a good idea to both see and be seen.


#12. It is dangerous to leave a small child in a motor vehicle on a hot day:

It is dangerous and deadly to leave children in a vehicle. During the spring and summer months, after sitting in the sun, with even a slightly opened window, the temperature can rise rapidly inside a parked vehicle. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise approximately 40-50 degrees higher than the outside temperature.


#13. Drivers lingering on the sides and in the rear of a tractor-trailer:

Motorists lingering in the NO-ZONES hamper the trucker’s ability to take evasive action to avoid a dangerous situation.


#14. When can you transport an opened bottle of alcohol in the passenger area of your car?

  I. If it is under a seat where nobody sits
  II. If you are 21 years or older

An open container of any alcoholic beverage is prohibited in the passenger area of any motor vehicle located on the highway – even if the vehicle is parked. Passenger area of a motor vehicle means the area designed to seat the driver and passengers and any area within the reach of a seated driver or passenger, including the glove compartment. In the case of a station wagon, hatchback or similar vehicle, the area behind the last upright back seat is not considered part of the passenger area.


#15. When your driving privilege is reinstated after a suspension by the point system:

When your driving privilege is reinstated, all previous driver license points are canceled. This does not pertain to insurance points.


#16. When driving on ice, you should:

It is recommended that you reduce speed by more than half for packed snow and slow to a crawl on ice. Use chains if necessary for better traction, but do not forget that even chains and snow tires can slide on ice and packed snow.


#17. A person riding a bicycle on public streets and highways:

  I. Has the same rights and responsibilities as a motorist
  II. Is never allowed to occupy the center of a lane

Because bicycles are vehicles, bicyclists must obey the same traffic laws as other drivers. Like drivers, bicyclists must ride on the right side of the road, stop for stop signs and red lights, and give signals.


#18. Car passengers must wear seat belts, unless they are:

A child under age 8 and weighing less than 80 pounds must be properly secured in a weight appropriate child passenger restraint system.


#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. 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.


#21. You must not park in a parking space marked with this sign unless:

The handicap parking sign indicates that a space is reserved for persons who qualify for and display a handicap license plate or a dashboard placard.


#22. When you wish to pass another vehicle on a two-lane road, you must:

  I. Use the horn to signal the driver ahead
  II. Be sure you have plenty of room to pass

Look ahead and behind to determine when it is safe to pass. If it is safe to pass, signal to alert the drivers ahead and behind you of your intention so they can plan their moves accordingly. Give a left-turn signal so the driver behind you will know that you are about to pull out and pass. Blow the horn to signal the driver ahead.


#23. All the following practices can be dangerous while driving. Which is also specifically prohibited by law?

In North Carolina, it is unlawful to use a cell phone for email or text messages while operating a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area.


#24. Tires with low air pressure:

Tires without enough air wear out more quickly and increase the likelihood of a blowout. Tires that are under inflated also have less grip on the road surface, increasing your chance of hydroplaning. For safe driving and fuel economy, tires should have the right amount of air.


#25. At a traffic circle, you must always:

  I. Yield to pedestrians crossing the roadway
  II. Activate your turn signals before you enter the circle

When approaching a traffic circle, slow down. Traffic laws concerning right-of-way still apply. You must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and to other traffic that is already in the traffic circle.

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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