The LTO Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) gives all attendees an in-depth 15-hour seminar or classroom session on the fundamentals of driving and road safety. It’s divided into three distinct sessions, each involving a variety of topics from introductory LTO information to complex conversations about using motor vehicles safely. Additionally, practical driving activities are incorporated when undertaken through private instruction schools.
This is the latest addition to the list of requirements for a Student-Driver’s Permit at the Land Transportation Office (LTO), according to LTO Memorandum Circular 2019-2176. This new mandate took effect on April 6, 2020, and applies to all new drivers who want to obtain a Student-Driver’s Permit.
This new additional requirement is the government’s latest attempt to keep the roads safe and ensure that everyone who is getting a driver’s license would be disciplined. The TDC requirement also ensures that all drivers would learn everything they need to know about driving safely on the road. If you are one of them and you need to learn more about what TDC actually is, then this guide is for you.
What is TDC
LTO’s TDC refers to the Theoretical Driving Course, a 15-hour seminar or classroom session where all attendees are expected to learn about the basics of driving and road safety. The course is split into three sessions, covering numerous topics or modules—from the LTO basics to the comprehensive discussion on the safe use of motor vehicles. It also comes with actual driving practices, especially when taken in private driving schools.
As the most recent addition to LTO’s mandatory requirements from all new drivers, it is a must to complete the TDC either at an LTO branch, online, at an LTO Driver Education Center (DEC), or at any LTO-accredited institution.
It is particularly important to attend this course, especially if you are seeking to secure a Student Driver’s Permit. Once you secure a Student-Driver’s Permit, you may already be allowed to get a non-professional driver’s license after one month, provided that you complete all the necessary steps set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) of the Philippines for Non-Professional Driver’s License application.
The TDC curriculum is divided into classroom/theoretical instructions and actual driving sessions. The classroom sessions cover the following topics:
- The progress and role of the LTO in our society’s growth
- The organization and operation of the LTO
- Requirements and process of getting a driver’s license
- Traffic regulations that include signs, road markings, and right of way
- Specific directives and laws designed by the LTO
- Scanning of danger to reduce road crash risks
- Operations of automotive parts and related accessories
- Effective driving with proper maneuvering
- Different parking skills
- Techniques and tips on how to save fuel
- The correct way of checking the safety of a vehicle
- Practicum on basic troubleshooting
- Defensive driving, road discipline, and other related practices
- Comprehensive discussion regarding the safe use of motorcycles and light motor vehicles
Aside from being a requirement when applying for a Student Driver’s Permit, the TDC also offer the following benefits those who take it:
- It promotes safer roads.
- It promotes better driver attitude.
- It promotes more technical understanding of road signages.
- It promotes clearer driver intuition.
- It supports the government’s resolution to “fix” and “resolve” the unrelenting traffic issues that thousands of Filipinos experience on a regular basis.
- It gives the student driver a better understanding on how to develop better driving attitude.
- It also offers more technical understanding of road signages.
- It restricts the acquisition of Student Driver’s Permit, ensuring that only the most qualified get a license to operate a motor vehicle.
Whether it is to be taken at a driving school, an LTO Driver Education Center (DEC), or any LTO-accredited institution, the first step to taking the TDC is to book a schedule. Once you have a schedule booked for the Theoretical Driving Course at any LTO office, then you can work on securing the following documentary requirements:
- Original and one (1) photocopy of the PSA/NSO Certificate of Live Birth;
- Original and one (1) photocopy of one (1) valid government-issued identification card;
- If married: Original and one (1) photocopy of the PSA marriage contract;
- One (1) piece of 2×2 ID picture; and
- A printed copy of the Theoretical Driving School Student List with the student’s name highlighted.
How to Attend TDC Course and Get a TDC Certificate
So, you already secured your requirements and you are now raring to get started in securing your LTO driver’s license. Unfortunately, there’s still the need to acquire a TDC certificate. To get one, here’s what you have to do:
Step 1: Locate one of the LTO-accredited driving centers in your region (if you wish to take the TDC for free) or pick an LTO-accredited driving school (if you don’t mind shelling out the fees).
Step 2: Once you have found a place to take your TDC, let them know that you’re looking to be scheduled for the theoretical driving course or the TDC.
Step 3: Then, wait for them to confirm when your schedule will be.
Step 4: Once you have your schedules confirmed, attend the three-session lectures.
Step 5: After the lecture, you need to take the TDC exam and score at least 80% to pass.
Step 6: After you’ve successfully passed the TDC exam, you may now secure your TDC certificate at the place where you took the course.
Note: In the event that you fail the TDC exam, you can simply retake it where you took the first one until you pass.
LTO Free TDC Course at Selected Driver’s Education Centers
LTO has announced a free 15-hour TDC Course specifically designed for first-time drivers. This course is available at selected Driver’s Education Centers across the country and aims to equip new drivers with the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitude to become safe and responsible road users. The TDC course covers topics such as driving laws, traffic signs, vehicle control techniques, defensive driving strategies and other important topics.
To participate in the free TDC Course, applicants must contact and register in selected driver’s education centers by LTO. Take note that not all centers offer this FREE TDC course so please make sure to check first. After passing the training, participants will receive a course completion certificate that can be used to apply for student driver’s license.
If you are taking the face-to-face TDC, regardless of the venue, here are a few things you’d want to keep in mind:
- Come on time.
- Do not miss your chosen schedule to avoid getting your name taken off the class list.
- Bring an original copy of your PSA birth certificate or PSA marriage certificate along with one valid government-issued ID. School IDs and proof of enrollment are also accepted for student applicants.
- Bring your vaccination card.
- Bring a black or blue-inked pen.
- Wear your face mask properly.
- Check if they require face shields.
- Get there early as only 40 applicants will be accommodated per day.
- Make sure you personally go for the class as sending a proxy to sit in for you.
- Do not wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, and slippers.
- Bring your own snacks.
Video: How to Enroll in TDC to Get a TDC Certificate
Watch as Mervs, a self-declared adventurer, mountaineer, and rider, gets himself enrolled in TDC to secure the TDC certificate he needs in this Youtube Video posted by PinoyAdventurista himself.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here’s a list of common questions and answers related to the LTO Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) and TDC certificate for your reference:
1. What is the LTO Theoretical Driving Course (TDC)?
The Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) is a 15-hour, three seminar session workshop on LTO and the basic of driving and road safety. It offers lectures that gives the student driver a better understanding on how to keep our roads safe, develop better driving attitude, more technical understanding of road signages, and develop a clearer driver intuition while fulfilling a Student Driver’s Permit requirement.
2. What topics are discussed in the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC)?
The TDC lectures cover information on the LTO, traffic regulations that include signs, road markings, and right of way, specific directives and laws designed by the LTO, scanning of danger to reduce road crash risks, and operations of automotive parts and related accessories.
3. How much does TDC cost?
If you are taking the TDC at an LTO branch or any of the LTO DEC nationwide, then the course is free. However, if you prefer going through a driving school, the price for face-to-face sessions range from Php 1,500.00 to Php 2,500. Online TDC offered by driving schools come with a fee ranging from Php 1,000.00 to Php 1,500.00.
4. How long is the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) and TDC certificate valid?
After one (1) year, the TDC certificate can no longer be used for purposes of the practical driving course. However, it can be used to apply for Non-Professional Driver’s License if the practical driving course has been completed within the one (1) year validity period.
5. What is the passing score of the TDC exam?
The randomized quizzes after every module requires getting 80% correct answers to pass. The course is valid for 30 days so the exam can be retaken until then.
6. How many hours does the TDC take?
According to an announcement issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) via its official Facebook page, the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) has a 15-hour duration and is free to take at any LTO Driver Education Centers. It is divided into three sessions of five (5) hours each.
7. How many modules are there in theoretical driving course?
The number of modules is undisclosed, but the 15-hour course is divided into three sessions and should cover everything about LTO and road safety, from traffic regulations to LTO mandated special laws.
8. Where can I enroll for a TDC session?
To take the TDC, you may enroll at any of the following:
- Driver’s License Renewal Office (DLRO)
- District Offices (DO)
- Licensing Centers (LC)
- Extension Offices (EO)
9. Is the TDC required for a student permit?
Yes. You will need to present your Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) Certificate before you can apply for and be issued a student permit. To get the certificate, you must first complete the 15-hour course at any LTO Driver’s Education Center or LTO-accredited driving school and pass the TDC exam.
10. What happens if you fail the TDC exam?
If you failed the TDC exam, then you must schedule a retake at the same place where you completed the 15-hour TDC lecture sessions.
11. What is the difference between TDC and PDC?
These certificates may only be issued by LTO-accredited driving schools, authorized instructors and administrators, and Driver Education Centers (DECs) in LTO offices. There are two different types of certificates: one for the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) and the other for the Practical Driving Course (PDC)
The Theoretical Driving Course requirement for securing a Student Driver’s Permit at the LTO office may seem like a hassle especially because doing so at a driving school costs money, but this additional requirement is for a good cause. It signifies the good intention of the Philippine government to keep the public roads safe for both drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Not only that, it is also the government’s way of ensuring that only the qualified and knowledgeable drivers are issued the authority to operate motor vehicles on public roads.
Though taking the TDC at a driving school costs money, the government has also started offering them for free. You simply need to choose to do it at either an LTO office or an LTO Driver Education Center to attend the seminar and get the TDC certificate for free. Before you can do so, however, you need to book a schedule and get your requirements in order first. In any case, there is at least one LTO DEC center per region so you don’t have to go too far in search of a free TDC certificate. It is also now available online, so that’s another option you can look into when you decide that you want to get your TDC certificate already.
For more information or to check if there are LTO DECs nearby or if there are available TDC schedules, you may reach out to LTO via:
Land Transportation Office (LTO)
LTMS portal: https://portal.lto.gov.ph/ords/f?p=PUBLIC_PORTAL:CONTACT_US:115716301949471
Telephone Number: (632) 922-9061 to 66.
Email: You may also send them an email at email@example.com.
LTO Text Hotline Service: You may use LTO’s nationwide SMS service for drivers and vehicle owners by typing LTOHELP and sending it to 2600
LTO office: For information, you may check the LTO branch closest to you.