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PUC Certificate: Essential Guide On Pollution Under Control

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5 Min Read

Increasing pollution levels across the world have forced countries to take cognisance of and cap emission levels for vehicles. It follows that all vehicles – two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers – in India must undergo pollution tests and ensure that they’re abiding by the emission norms.

Therefore, you must obtain the Pollution under Control certificate also known as PUC certificate for your vehicle. Failure to do that will result in a penalty imposed by the authorities.

What is a Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate?

An acronym for Pollution under Control, the PUC certificate serves as an approval document that states the levels of emission generated by a vehicle and confirms if it lies within the stipulated range or not. The emission-check exercise is carried out across authorized testing centres that are usually located in petrol pumps in India.

The PUC certificate is issued after your vehicle’s emission levels have been checked and corroborated with the required norms. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, mandates that the driver (or rider) of the vehicle must, at all times, carry the PUC certificate with them. The government revises the emission levels periodically to check motor pollution in the country.

The contents of a PUC certificate include details like the vehicle’s registration number, date of the emission test, test reading, and the PUC test validity date.


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Why is a PUC Certificate Required?

A PUC certificate is essential for several reasons, besides the obvious point of abiding by traffic rules. Stated below is why a PUC certificate is important:

1. It is mandatory

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, makes it mandatory for you to obtain a PUC certificate. Failure to do that will attract a hefty fine from the RTO and traffic police. The certificate is essentially an approval by the government, validating that the emission levels are within the stipulated range. Make sure you are carrying the PUC certificate along with the driver’s license and registration certificate at all times.

2. It curbs pollution

Emissions that are beyond the permissible levels pose severe harm to public health and the environment at large. Therefore, you must abide by the emission norms as set by the government.

PUC Certificate for Cars (Petrol)

Besides the driver’s license, you should also carry the PUC certificate, vehicular registration certificate, and your car insurance policy. Stated below are the permissible levels of pollution of petrol cars:

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Type of vehicle Carbon Monoxide (CO) (%)

 

Hydrocarbon (PPM)
Four-wheelers manufactures as per Bharat Stage 2 (BS-II) norms

 

3 1500
Four-wheelers manufactured as per Bharat Stage 3 (BS-III) norms

 

0.5 750

PUC Certificate for Bikes and Three-wheelers

You must carry the driver’s license, registration certificate, PUC certificate and your two-wheeler insurance policy. Remember that the Motor Vehicles Act mandates a third-party two-wheeler insurance policy.

Stated below are the permissible emission levels for bikes and three-wheelers:

Type of vehicle Carbon Monoxide (CO) (%)

 

Hydrocarbon (PPM)
Two and three-wheelers manufactured before or on 31st March, 2000 (Both 2 & 4-stroke engine)

 

4.5 9000
Two and three-wheelers manufactured after 31st March, 2000 (2-stroke engine)

 

3.5 6000
Two and three-wheelers manufactured after 31st March, 2000 (4-stroke engine)

 

3.5 4500

PUC Certificate for Petrol/CNG/LPG (BS4) Vehicles

Type of vehicle Carbon Monoxide (CO) (%)

 

Hydrocarbon (PPM)
CNG/LPG four-wheelers manufactured as per Bharat Stage 4 (BS-IV) norms

 

0.3 200
Petrol four-wheelers manufactured as per Bharat Stage 4 (BS-IV) norms

 

0.3 200

PUC Certificate for Diesel Vehicles

Test type

 

Maximum Smoke Density
  Absorption Coefficient (1/metre)

 

Hartridge Smoke Unit (HSU)
Free acceleration test for the turbocharged engine and normally aspirated engine (manufactured according to pre-BS-IV norms)

 

2.45 65
Free acceleration test for the turbocharged engine and normally aspirated engine (manufactured according to BS-IV norms)

 

1.62 50

Benefits of Obtaining the PUC Certificate

Apart from the obvious legal element of obtaining a PUC certificate, there are other benefits as well. These are:

1. Benefits the environment

Air pollution is a menace today, and one of the primary contributing factors to it is the emissions generated by vehicles. High levels of pollution are severely harmful to the environment, and that’s precisely why it is everyone’s duty as responsible citizens to ensure that emission levels from vehicles don’t cross the stipulated range.

2. Keeps your vehicle in top shape

High emission levels are an indicator of a faulty engine. When you visit the authorized centre every six months to renew the PUC certificate, you get a first-hand report of the health of your vehicle. Should the levels be beyond the permissible range, you can take necessary steps and get your vehicle serviced before the issue snowballs in a more severe problem.

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3. Mandatory for motor insurance renewal

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed all general insurance providers across the country to proceed with car and bike insurance renewal only upon producing the PUC certificate. Additionally, insurers are not liable to compensate for damages should the PUC certificate have expired at the time of the accident.

Back in July 2018, the Supreme Court of India, worried about rising vehicular pollution, directed insurance companies not to renew motor insurance unless the owner/driver of the vehicle produced a valid PUC certificate on the date of renewal.

Through a circular issued on 20th August, 2020, the IRDAI directed insurance companies to strictly abide by the mandate of the apex court of the land.

How to Obtain a PUC Certificate?

Follow the guidelines mentioned below:

  • When you buy a new vehicle, you get the PUC certificate, valid for one year, directly from the dealer. So you don’t need to apply separately for the same.
  • If you want to renew the PUC certificate, take your car or bike to the authorized emission testing centre. Get your vehicle tested for pollution, and then ask for the PUC certificate once you’ve paid the fee.

How to obtain a PUC certificate online?

The government has launched Parivahan, the online platform through which you can avail a host of transport-related services and download the online PUC certificate.

The procedure to download a PUC certificate online is stated below:

  • Step 1: Click on the PUC certificate section of the portal. Type in the vehicle’s registration number and the last five digits of the chassis number.
  • Step 2: Enter the text shown in the image, and click on ‘PUC details’
  • Step 3: If the PUC certificate is active, you will be redirected to a new page that will have the emission test reading and other vehicle details. Click ‘Print’ to download the online pollution certificate.

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What is the Cost and Validity of a PUC Certificate?

The cost of obtaining a PUC certificate will vary, depending on the fuel and vehicle type. Usually, the charges range between Rs.60-Rs.100, depending on the type of fuel (diesel or petrol) and whether the vehicle is a two, three or four-wheeler.

The validity period differs across new and old vehicles.

  • For a new car/bike: The PUC certificate remains valid for one year. After the expiry, you will have to renew it.
  • Upon renewing the pollution certificate, it remains valid for six months. After that, you will have to renew it again every six months.

Which vehicles require a PUC certificate?

Any vehicle that’s powered by an internal combustion engine (petrol/diesel/CNG/LPG) and playing on Indian roads will mandatorily require PUC certification.

Is a PUC certificate required for a new vehicle?

Yes. If you are buying a new vehicle, the dealer will provide the pollution certificate that stays valid for one year. Once the initial validity period expires, you will have to renew it every six months.

Should I carry the PUC certificate at all times?

Yes, you must carry either the soft copy or the hard copy of the pollution certificate. Remember that the police can ask you at any given point in time to produce the PUC certificate. If it is found to have been expired or you’re not carrying one, the police, in that case, retain the right to seize your vehicle. Rest assured, you will have to pay a sizeable fine. The failure to obtain a pollution certificate will attract a penalty of Rs.1000 (for a first-time offence) and Rs.2000 for subsequent offences.

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