What To Know Before Taking the Pennsylvania DMV Written Test

Are you planning on taking the Pennsylvania DMV written test? If you pass the test, you will receive a learner's permit, which allows you to learn how to drive with a vehicle. Here's everything you need to know about what to study, how to prepare, and what to do on test day.

What Should I Study for the Pennsylvania DMV Test?

The Pennsylvania written test covers the following topics:

  • Non-commercial learner's permit information

  • Signs, signals, and pavement markings

  • Learning to drive

  • Driving record information

  • Laws and related issues

To pass the knowledge test, you must answer 15 out of 18 multiple-choice questions correctly. These questions will test your knowledge of traffic signs and Pennsylvania's driving laws and safe driving practices. 

Pennsylvania's DMV has published its driver's manual online. You will also find an audio version. Each content chapter has practice questions to test your knowledge. This page also contains three practice tests that simulate the DMV experience.

What Forms Do I Need to Take to My Written Test?

Are you ready to take the written test? Before you head out to a PennDOT Driver License Center, you need to print and fill out the following forms:

  • DL-180: Non-commercial Learner's Permit Application

  • DL-180TD: Parent or Guardian Consent Form

The DL-180 form contains a section that must be filled out by a physician. It is valid for one year after the physician's signature date. For learners who are 16 or 17 years old, a parent or guardian must also consent, via the DL-180TD form. 

What Else Should I Bring With Me?

Along with the above forms, you will need to bring:

  • A $35.50 fee

  • Proof of identity

  • Proof of Pennsylvania residency

The $35.50 fee can be paid via check, money order, credit card, or debit card at most PennDOT locations. To make sure your payment form is accepted at the location you are visiting, make sure to check this page.

Proof of identity and residency requirements can be fulfilled with the documents listed here. If you are under 18 years old, you will need a U.S. birth certificate, passport, or other proof of U.S. citizenship, along with your Social Security card. Your parent or guardian will need to come with you to the PennDOT location and present proof of identity and residency. You can find more details about what is required from your parent or guardian here.

For people 18 and over, you will need proof of U.S. citizenship (such as a birth certificate, passport, naturalization, or citizenship certificate), two residency documents (such as tax record, lease agreement, mortgage document, or a utility bill), and your Social Security card. This page contains all the information about documents needed for non-US citizens. 

What Happens at the Test Site?

Once you are confident in your theoretical knowledge and have gathered all the required forms and documents, you can visit a PennDOT location to pass your test. Along with the written test described above, you will also have to pass a basic vision exam. 

If you pass both the vision exam and the written test, congratulations! You will receive a learner's permit, which allows you to get behind the wheel to learn how to drive. If you fail the written test, you will need to wait until the next business day to attempt it again.

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