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Driver Learner Permit and Motorcycle Endorsement
The driver knowledge examination tests your knowledge of traffic laws, road signs, and driving safety rules. It determines whether you are prepared to operate a vehicle in accordance with DC law. The exam is offered on a walk-in basis at DMV service center locations, and available in English, Spanish, Amharic, French, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog and Thai . Audio assisted tests are also available for those who need assistance with reading.
You may download a copy of the Driver Manual [PDF] and Motorcycle Operator's Manual [PDF] . Hardcopy manuals are no longer available. NOTE: Due to the length of the test, the driver and motorcycle knowledge tests will not be administered one hour prior to the closing of the service center. There is also a fee for taking the knowledge test, regardless of whether you pass or fail.
Effective April 14, 2015, DC DMV will no longer provide a motorcycle learner permit. Instead, you will receive a printout after passing the motorcycle knowledge test. Additional information is available in the motorcycle endorsement section.
You may also take a practice knowledge test online for practice purposes.
Commercial Drivers License (CDL)
An individual seeking to obtain a CDL must already have a regular driver license prior to taking the CDL knowledge test. CDL applicants must be a US citizen or a Non US citizen with a valid Permanent Resident Card. In order to receive a CDL, each applicant is required to take the appropriate CDL Knowledge tests for the CDL Class and/or endorsements they are applying for. CDL knowledge tests are offered on a walk-in basis at our Brentwood Service Center and are available in English only. Upon successful completion of the knowledge test(s), a CDL learner permit will be issued in conjunction with your regular driver license. The CDL learner permit is valid for 180 days and is renewable (30 days prior to expiration) for an additional 180 days without re-testing. If the CDL learner permit is expired, then re-testing is required. Endorsements H (Hazardous Material), T (Tank) S (School Bus) and X (Hazardous Material and Tank) will not be displayed on the CDL learner permit.
You may download a copy of the DC CDL Manual [PDF]. Hardcopy manuals are no longer available. NOTE: Due to the length of the test, the CDL knowledge test will not be administered two hours prior to the closing of the CDL office. There is also a fee for taking the knowledge test, regardless of whether you pass or fail.
NOTE: If you fail the driver knowledge test 6 times within a 12 month period, you will not be allowed to take the 7th test until 12 months after the 1st failed test. If you fail the driver knowledge test, you must wait 72 hours before you are eligible to retest. Therefore, please ensure you have studied the driver, motorcycle or CDL manual prior to taking the driver knowledge test. Testing Time limits: NCDL – 60 minutes, GRAD – 75 minutes, Motorcycles – 60 minutes, CDL General Knowledge – 90 minutes, CDL Endorsements – 60 minutes. Exceeding these time limits will result in a test failure.