In most states across the nation, in order to earn a learners permit or instruction permit, prospective teenage drivers must take a written exam of some sort as a test of their driving knowledge.
In the state of Washington, this actually isn’t the case – the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) administers a knowledge test only to select individuals.
Who is the Knowledge Test For?
The Washington DOL knowledge test is reserved for:
- Teenagers 15 ½ -17 who did not enroll in a driver training course before earning their instruction permit
- Adults 18 and older who are looking to apply for a new drivers license without taking drivers ed
- Adults 18 and older who’ve moved from out-of-state with an expired license
If you’re a teenager 15-17 who’s signed up for a drivers ed course before earning their permit, the knowledge test is automatically waived.
Don’t forget to pre-apply online for a permit or license and schedule an appointment at a testing location before taking your knowledge test – the Washington DOL requires a record of you in their database before entering in your scores.
What’s on the Knowledge Test?
The written knowledge test contains subject matter regarding driver safety, driving skill, and various information dealing with road rules and road signs.
Most, if not all, of this information is taken from the Washington DOL Driver Guide. This driver handbook contains all of the driving knowledge and information you’ll need to be a safe, responsible driver on the road. It’s an invaluable resource for studying for the knowledge test – and since it’s regularly updated, it’s a great guidebook to have in the car so you can brush up on the most updated driving and traffic laws in the state. Additionally, it’s conveniently available in multiple languages in case English isn’t your first language.
Passing the Knowledge Test
The knowledge test consists of 25 multiple choice questions. In order to pass, you must answer 20 out of 25 correctly. If you don’t pass, depending on your license status there may be varying amounts of time you must wait before retaking the test.
A passing score is good for 2 years. If you’re looking to get a drivers license, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a behind-the-wheel drive test immediately after passing as well.