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What To Know Before, During, and After Your NC DMV Written Driver's Test

A driver’s license or a learner’s permit is a must-have for anyone who wants to get behind a wheel in North Carolina (NC).

North Carolinians and people who moved to NC from another country or state are required by the NC Department of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV) to pass a driver’s license examination, a written driver’s test, and a vision screening.

If you’re about to take your NC DMV permit test, it’s important that you equip yourself with the necessary information about the test. This includes what to do or get before taking the NC DMV permit test, what you should memorize and master, and what marks you should get in order to pass.

There’s no need to worry, though. A lot of people have taken the exam before you and passed, and if you take it seriously by preparing and practicing, passing your NC DMV permit test shouldn’t be a problem.

To help you, here are some important things to keep in mind which could help in preparing for your DMV test.


Before the Test: Do you need to take a driver’s ed course?

Requirements, in order to take the NC DMV driving test, vary from person to person depending on their age. Enrollment in a driver’s education course or driver’s ed is a must for people younger than eighteen (18) years old. If you are older than eighteen (18), then driver’s ed is no longer a requirement. This means you can take the NC DMV test without presenting a certification that you attended driver’s ed.


Before the Test: Is your body and eyesight in good condition?

NC DMV Permit Test In order to take the NC DMV driving test, you should also ensure that your vision and your health pass the required standard. The NC DMV requires a vision screening examination and would also require you to be in a good mental and physical health condition.

In order to qualify for a driver’s license or a learner’s permit, hopeful applicants must be able to pass a vision screening test. This is to ensure that their eyesight level is good enough to drive a motor vehicle in NC. If you need to wear glasses or corrective lenses in completing the NC driving exam, you should remember that wearing them will have to be required every time you drive in the future. Driving without the proper corrective lenses if you need them is a violation equal to driving with no license.

Just as important is the requirement that you be in good physical and mental health to be allowed to drive in NC. You will have to be certified by a physician as such in order to be allowed to seek a driver’s license or a learner’s permit. Otherwise, you will either be prevented from getting approval or you will have to settle for a restricted driver’s license which allows you to drive only under certain conditions.


Before the test: What do you need to study?

There are different written tests required for different permits. A limited learner’s permit requires the applicant to pass the written NC DMV permit test and a traffic signs examination. An original license, on the other hand, requires passing a similar written exam, as well as a test about regulatory signs and a separate one on traffic signals.

In any case, the NC DMV permit test’s written examination covers present traffic laws, safe driving practices, and identifying the meaning of regulations and warning signs. These are covered by the Driver’s Handbook available on the NC DMV website.

Some questions that you will definitely encounter include: when a driver’s license is required; what are the consequences of refusing a chemical test; what happens to a driver’s record if it acquires seven (7) or more traffic points; when is a driver’s license revoked or suspended; among others.

You may also be asked about recent statistics which would have been covered in the driver’s ed course, or can also be read in the Driver’s Handbook like what traffic violation causes the most traffic deaths; what percentage of road-related fatalities are caused by DUIs; and how common deaths related to pedestrians are.

You will definitely have to know specific to the state of NC, including rules which may be different in other states like speeding limits or the threshold for alcohol levels. Safe driving practices are definitely covered by the exam. You will also have to identify signs and signals common in NC and what to do when faced with them. The traffic and regulatory signs exams will require you to name the traffic signs by their shape and color.


During the test: How much do you need to pass?

The written part of the NC DMV permit test consists of 25 questions. In order to pass the written portion of the exam, you must get 20 of the 25 questions correct which is equivalent to 80%.

It may sound difficult, but really it is a matter of practice. Practice tests are available online and the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook will help you cover all the questions you need to answer correctly to get your learner’s permit or your driver’s license.


After the test: Be prepared for the next stages of getting your license

Remember that passing the written portion of the exam is only one of the things you need to do to secure your permission to drive. After the NC DMV permit test, you would have to pass a driving test through a road demonstration.

Again, this requirement would vary depending on your age. You must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or at least sixteen (16) years of age but have enrolled in the NC DMV’s Graduated Licensing (GDL) Program. After securing your health and vision requirements and passing the test, be sure to make an appointment to finally complete the requirements needed for your permit or license. Remember that you may only take your driving exam between eight (8) a.m. and five (5) p.m., from Monday to Friday. You may also check with your local NC DMV licensing station to see whether they also offer tests during Saturdays.


Final Words

People can be overwhelmed by written tests because there is little to no room for mistakes. Especially when you have a bad history with written examinations, you may find it hard to gather confidence and soothe your nerves when you’re already sitting in the examination room.

That is why it is important to practice, practice, and practice. Doing things repeatedly can train your body to react and respond to unwelcome situations. Just as important, take care of everything you need to take care of before taking the test so your mind will not wander off when you’re actually taking it.

Treat it like driving. If you do it enough times, you will get the hang of it. Focus and train yourself to ignore distractions. And finally, do all the preparation you can before actually doing it.