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What is a PUC Certificate? Understanding Its Importance and Purpose

Wish

Written by Amit Jain

Updated Oct 16, 2023

What is a PUC Certificate? Understanding Its Importance and Purpose

The 2022 World Air Quality Report deemed India as one of the worst polluted countries in terms of air quality and the increasing susceptibility of the vulnerable masses to respiratory disorders. Most pollutants in the air are contributed through exhaust gases emitted by petrol and diesel vehicles, along with a minority of dust, soil particles and pollen. The Government of India has taken numerous steps towards the abatement, control and prevention of air pollution. One of which is issuing the mandatory PUC Certificate under the Motor Vehicles Rule 1988, which permits vehicles to drive on Indian roads.

What is PUC?

The PUC (Pollution Under Control) Certificate is issued to vehicles only if their emissions comply with the acceptable emission standards. The vehicle must undergo a thorough PUC test available at various petrol pumps throughout the country, wherein the issuer checks the ejection pipe of the vehicle using a specialised device that produces comprehensive emission readings. A soft copy of your PUC certificate can also be downloaded from the Parivahan Sewa website.

What is a PUC Certificate? Understanding Its Importance and Purpose

What is Mentioned in the PUC Certificate?

The PUC Certificate contains information like:

  1. Vehicle Registration Number (VRN), 
  2. Date of issue of certificate
  3. Emission readings of your vehicle 
  4. Validity of the certificate 
  5. License Plate Number

Why is the PUC Certificate required?

Check out below why you need to have a PUC certificate

  1. The PUC Certificate ensures that your vehicle produces emissions within the prescribed range and does not contribute to releasing harmful combustion products into the atmosphere. 
  2. The PUC test helps you reflect on your vehicle’s condition and get it serviced before facing any major issues. 
  3. The IRDAI has made it mandatory to present a valid PUC Certificate while renewing your vehicle insurance.
  4. The PUC Certificate is mandatory for all petrol, diesel, natural gas and compressed gas vehicles. (Electric vehicles (EVs) are exempted from this test.)
  5. This certificate is one of the mandatory documents, along with a driver’s license and Vehicle Registration Number (VRN). It permits you to drive a vehicle on Indian roads and is valid throughout the country.

What is the cost of getting a PUC Certificate?

Issuing a PUC Certificate may cost anywhere around 60-100 rupees, which is subject to change depending on the type of vehicle. Contrary to that, driving without a valid PUC Certificate can attract fines of up to 1000 rupees for first-time offenders. The amount is subject to increase for repeated offences.

What are the PUC Test Criteria?

Year of Manufacture

Carbon Monoxide (CO) % and Hydrocarbons in parts per million (ppm)

Vehicles manufactured before 31/3/2000; 2 and 4 stroke engines.

4.5%, 9000 ppm

Vehicles manufactured after 31/3/2000; 2 strokes

3.5%, 6000 ppm

Vehicles manufactured after 31/3/2000; 4 strokes

3.5%, 4500 ppm

Cars manufactured as per Bharat Stage II norms (petrol)

3%, 1500 ppm

Cars manufactured as per Bharat Stage III norms (petrol)

0.5%, 750 ppm

Bharat Stage IV and VI four wheelers (CNG/LPG/petrol)

0.3%, 200 ppm

Bharat Stage IV and VI two/three wheelers (CNG/LPG/petrol) 

0.5%, 500 ppm

Pollution testing and permissible emission norms are different for diesel vehicles. These are measured in terms of light absorption coefficient and maximum smoke density in Hartridge units.

Test

Light Absorption Coefficient

Maximum Smoke Density in Hartridge units

Free acceleration test of Bharat Stage IV vehicles

(Naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines)

1.62

50

Free acceleration test of pre–Bharat Stage IV vehicles (Naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines) 

2.45

65

How Long is the PUC Certificate Valid?

The PUC Certificate is valid for one year after registration of a brand-new vehicle, after which it must be renewed. A renewed PUC certificate is valid only for 6 months. Also. retesting of emissions must be done every 6 months.

Suppose your vehicle produces emissions above acceptable levels. In that case, your PUC Certificate is liable for cancellation. If this happens, your vehicle must undergo the PUC test again for a new certificate within 7 days of cancellation.

What if you fail the PUC Test?

Here is what happens if you check the PUC test.

  1. In case you fail the PUC test, it is advisable to get your vehicle inspected for any faults or leakages by a qualified technician, especially in the air ejection system. This is because malfunctioning can lead to an increase in CO and Hydrocarbon emissions. The ignition system can also develop faults which can build over time and contribute to high emission levels.
  2. Despite possessing a valid PUC Certificate, in case your vehicle is found to be producing emissions above the prescribed limits, you may be asked to undergo PUC testing again, and failure to do so will attract penalties. If the vehicle owner repeatedly fails to pay fines and undergo PUC testing, the certificate of registration of the vehicle will be suspended until a valid PUC Certificate is issued. 

Conclusion

Issuing a valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate is important to combat air pollution in India. The certificate confirms that your vehicle meets the acceptable emission standards. . It helps you reflect on your vehicle's condition and get it serviced before facing any major issues. Moreover, it is mandatory to present a valid PUC certificate while renewing your vehicle insurance.

Wish

Written by Amit Jain

Amit is an upcoming name in the motor industry be it new cars/ bikes or used ones. Amit in his last stint worked as a consultant for major Fortune 500 companies across the globe.&Read More

Disclaimer

This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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