After the announcement on the required Comprehensive Driver’s Education Certificate before an individual is granted a renewal on his driver’s license (Comprehensive Driver’s Education Is Now Required When Renewing Your Driver’s License) now comes the free TDC (Theoretical Driving Course) for those seeking to gain a student driving permit. In the past, you can just simply apply for a student permit at an LTO by presenting required IDs and documents and having your photo taken (during my time, I brought a 2×2 photo of myself and in less than an hour, I already have my permit.). Now, you need to present your PSA birth certificate (first and foremost — to establish your age), and you have to take the Theoretical Driving Course sponsored by the LTO. I personally think it is a brilliant idea to “educate” drivers before they are allowed hands-on training behind an actual wheel. So many drivers lack common sense on the road – natuto lang magpa-andar ng sasakyan, driver na daw sila.
I think it is best that we take a good and closer look at the TDC. If you have a family member who is set to take driving lessons soon (or apply for their very first driver’s license), it may be best that you know all about the TDC and how it can be taken for free.
What is the TDC?
Theoretical Driving Course
- Since last year (2020), the TDC has become one of the requirements in acquiring a student permit in the Philippines.
- It was the LTO’s response to fix and resolve traffic issues.
- It gives the student driver a better understanding on how to keep our roads safe, develop better driving attitude, more technical understanding of road signages (these are laws, not suggestions), and develop a clearer driver intuition.
How to enroll to the TDC?
- Find an LTO-accredited driving center near your area.
- Request for a schedule of the TDC.
- This is a 15-hour course that you will take for several days. Choose the best dates and time for you so you don’t end up missing a session.
- The TDC is free and you should not be made to pay for anything to take it.
Online Appointment System for the TDC
As I write this, the LTO website (www.lto.gov.ph) is inaccessible. So, I researched further to find out if there are sites where student drivers can get an appointment for the TDC online. I found one that looks credible: https://www.ltoncreast.com/ It’s not a government website but they accept applications for the TDC online — you can choose the date and time you wish to take the course, depending on the availability on their site. You can visit the page here: https://www.ltoncreast.com/theoretical-driving-course-tdc/
Other reminders when taking the TDC:
- Come on time and do not miss your chosen schedule to avoid getting cancelled from the class.
- Bring an original copy of your PSA birth certificate or PSA marriage certificate and one valid government-issued ID. School IDs and proof of enrollment are accepted for student applicants.
- Bring your vaccination card.
- Bring a black or blue-ink pen.
- Wear your face mask properly. Check too if they require face shields.
- Only 40 applicants will be accommodated per day.
- You cannot send a proxy to sit in for you.
- Do not wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, and slippers.
- Bring your own snacks.
Last year, there were reports from applicants who supposedly spent up to Php 11,000 just to get a schedule and certificate for the TDC. I am not sure how accurate these reports were but to avoid any mishaps, make sure you are transacting with a driving school that is accredited by the LTO. I wish I could share LTO’s list of accredited schools but their site is down as of this time. I’ll update this page as soon as they go back online.
Stay safe and happy!