The LTO Practical Driving Course (PDC) is one of the most recent additions to the list of requirements set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for those who wish to drive legally on Philippine public roads. It is a prerequisite for securing a PDC certificate—a mandatory documentary requirement for LTO driver’s license (DL) application in the Philippines.
To understand what getting a PDC certificate entails and how it can be helpful for drivers like you, we looked into the details of the course and compiled the information in one comprehensive guide that you can use when it’s your turn to go seeking for a PDC certificate.
What is the LTO Practical Driving Course (PDC)
Attendance and completion of the LTO Practical Driving Course (PDC) is a mandatory requirement for anyone applying for new driver’s licenses, or those who already have one but want to add a new restriction code. It was mandated for those whose student permits were issued from August 3, 2020, as well as those drivers who wish to get Additional Restriction Codes (RC) in their DLs. It is an eight (8) hour training that allows aspiring drivers to have hands-on driver training which will be useful when they are set free on public roads. It culminates with the issuance of the Practical Driving Course (PDC) certificate which will then complete your requirements for your DL application.
During the 8-hour PDC training, you can expect to learn about the following:
- Pre-driving checkup
- Check the tires and batteries
- Adjust mirrors, light, and windshield
- Use the seatbelt/helmet
- Check the hand and foot brake
- Disengage the clutch when starting the engine
- Driving skills
- Engine control
- Use of brakes
- Speed control
- Turning left, turning right, u-turn
- Observance of traffic rules
- Right of way to other vehicles
- While approaching an intersection
- In changing lines
- In passing/being passed
- Stop lights/signals and others
- Right of way
- For other vehicles
- For pedestrian
- For emergency
- Yielding of right of way
- For bicyclist
- Right of way to other vehicles
The PDC certificate is not exactly a welcome addition to the LTO requirements. Many people complain that it is anti-poor as the course can cost anywhere from ₱1,400.00 to ₱8,000.00 at an LTO-accredited Driver Education Center (DEC). Luckily, there are other free options even though you can also take it from any LTO-accredited driving schools, authorized driving school instructors/administrators, and from LTO Driver Education Centers (DECs) in LTO offices if you do not mind the cost.
Who Needs the LTO Practical Driving Course (PDC) Certificate?
Anyone can take the LTO-mandated Practical Driving Course (PDC) and secure a PDC certificate. However, the PDC certificate is most helpful to the following:
- Those who are upgrading their student permit to a non-professional driver’s license.
- Professional and non-professional driver’s license holders who wish to apply for additional restriction codes (RC)
Whether the PDC is taken at an LTO-accredited driving schools, authorized driving school instructors/administrators, or from LTO Driver Education Centers (DECs) in LTO offices, only the following are allowed to take the PDC and secure a PDC certificate:
- Filipinos who are 17 years old and above and below 65 years old
- Filiino drivers who wish to get additional restriction codes on their licenses
- Foreign nationals who are holders of Philippine-issued driver’s license
- Foreign nationals in the Philippines who are between 17 to 65 years old and who wish to secure a Philippine driver’s license
To get a PDC certificate, you need:
- Valid driver’s license / student permit (must not be expired)
- Your own motorcycle (must be accompanied by a duly license driver).
- Vaccination Card
- Black or blue ballpen
- Confirmed LTO appointment slip
- Your own Safety Gear (Elbow Pad, Knee Pad & Helmet)
How to Get an LTO Practical Driving Course (PDC) Certificate?
To get a PDC certificate, you may follow these steps:
Step 1: Check the available schedule for Practical Driving Course (PDC), either at an LTO-accredited driving school, at an LTO DEC, or at any LTO office (especially if you are interested in the free PDCs).
Step 2: Choose your preferred schedule and practical driving course depending on your driving needs and reserve a slot.
Step 3: Enroll in your chosen course and schedule.
Step 4: Attend the course on your preferred schedule and complete the series of driving exercises and the required driving hours.
Step 5: Pass the daily assessment of the driving instructors.
Step 6: Once you successfully complete your practical driving training, your PDC certificate of completion along with your biometric will be uploaded directly to the LTO website.
When trying to secure a PDC certificate, here are some thing worth keeping in mind:
- Free PDC is available at selected LTO DECs so make sure you check on available schedules regularly.
- PDC certificates are only required from individuals applying for a new driver’s license, if their student-driver permits were issued from August 3 onwards.
- A valid student permit is required to take the PDC.
- Make sure you come on time on your chosen schedule to avoid forfeiture of your appointment.
- Bring your own motor vehicle (MV) or allot funds for rental in case the vehicle use charge is not included in the fees.
- Some LTO DECs only cater to limited number of applicants per day so make sure you arrive on time to avoid wasting your slot.
- Applicants for Additional Restriction Codes (RC) will also be required to secure a PDC certificate, which will vary depending on the additional restriction code being applied for.
- Switch all communication devices to silent mode.
- Do not forget to bring your own ballpen. (Black or blue ink)
- Since PDC trainees will need to undergo a aeries of driving exercises, students are expected to
- Bring a VALID driver’s license / student permit (must not be expired)
- Bring your own motor vehicle (must be accompanied by a duly license driver).
- Wear decent and appropriate riding attire. This means no short pants, sleeveless shirts/blouse and slippers. high-heeled shoes and sandals are allowed.
- Individuals who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall be immediately barred from entry.
Video: LTO Practical Driving Course Updated Requirements
To learn more about what you need to secure your PDC certificate, watch this explainer video posted by Ed Ashir PH – Team Kagala, a Youtube channel dedicated to the life of a traveler and a rider.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For your reference, here are some common questions and answers regarding getting your PDC certificate:
1. Do I need to enroll in NC the Practical Driving Course (PDC) when upgrading my Student Permit?
Yes. You will still need to enroll for the Practical Driving Course (PDC) when upgrading your student permit. This is a course meant to teach license applicants about the basics of practical driving and it is quite different from the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) which is required for Student Permit applications.
2. Can an expired student license be used for purpose of practical driving course?
No. While an expired student driver’s permit can be used to apply for a Non-Professional Driver’s License, it can’t be used for purposes of the practical driving course. It’s best to get the 8-hour PDC course completed within the year, before your student permit expires.
3. Will I need a PDC certificate when applying for a license to drive a motorcycle?
Yes. A PDC certificate is necessary to apply for a driver’s license, regardless of vehicle type. However, if you are driving a motorcycle, you will need to complete motorcycle PDC specifically. Likewise, when you apply for additional restriction codes (RC), like if you are already driving an automatic sedan and you want to add a semi-truck (18-wheeler) or motorcycle RC code, then you will need to present the appropriate PDC completion certificate prior to the issuance of the additional RC.
4. How much does PDC cost in the Philippines?
Depending on the driving school and the course you are taking, the price for a PDC in the Philippines can range anywhere from ₱1,200 to ₱10,000. There are some free PDCs available, but you will need to be very vigilant in watching out for them as slots run out fast.
5. Do I need a PDC certificate when applying for a non-professional driver’s license (NPDL)?
Yes. One if the requirements for applying for NPDL is to have attended, completed, and passed the Practical Driving Course (PDC) from any LTO-accredited licensed driver, LTO Driver’s Education Center (DEC), LTO-accredited Driving School, or LTO-accredited TESDA Training Center (TTC).
6. What do I need to do after completing the PDC?
After you take the PDC, you will need to take and pass the practical driving exam.
7. Are TDC and PDC certificates the same?
No. These are both required by the LTO, but these are two different types of certificates: One is for the 15-hour Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) and the other is for the 8-hour Practical Driving Course (PDC). Either type must be electronically transmitted to the LTO-IT System upon issuance.
Getting your PDC certificate is as simple as enrolling in a driver training class and completing at least 8 hours of driving exercises. However, some people say that this driver’s license requirement from the LTO is anti-poor, thanks to the sky-high prices normally charged by private driving schools. Luckily, the government now offers free Practical Driving Courses (PDC) in LTO offices, LTO DECs, and even LTO-accredited TTC.