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The Knowledge Exam

The two-part knowledge exam is taken on a computer in DMV customer service centers or in classrooms at participating high schools and is available in several languages. The exam tests your knowledge of traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques.

Exam questions are taken from information in the Virginia Driver's Manual. To prepare for the knowledge exam, familiarize yourself with all information in the Virginia Driver's Manual and try our sample knowledge exam online (Guía de Estudio Para Conductores).

All ten traffic sign questions in Part One must be answered correctly before you can take the general knowledge exam in Part Two. You must score at least 80% on these questions to pass Part Two.

Oral exams are given in all DMV customer service centers.

Duration of Time Before Having to Retest

If you do not obtain a license/permit within 1 year of completing a knowledge exam, you will be required to retest.

Retaking the Knowledge Exam

If you fail the knowledge test:

  • If you are under age 18, by law you must wait a full 15 days before you can retake the exam. For example, if you fail the test on January 1, the earliest you would be eligible to take the test again is January 17.
  • If you are age 18 or older, you must pay a $2.00 re-examination fee if you retake the exam within 15 days and you are only eligible to test one time per day.
  • Regardless of age, if you fail the two-part knowledge exam three times at a CSC, you must complete the classroom portion of a Virginia approved Driver Training School program and present the Driver Education Certificate at a customer service center. To be eligible for re-examination, the course completion date must be after the date of the third exam failure. Re-examination requirements for home-schooled students can be found in the "Home-Schooled Re-Examination Requirements Information Sheet" (HS 4).

Prohibited Activity

It is unlawful to:

  • Receive assistance or assist anyone while taking the knowledge exam;
  • Attempt to secure or provide answers to any parts of an exam;
  • Have unauthorized possession of an exam or exam answers; or,
  • Use a cell phone while taking the exam.