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PUC Certificate Law in India

By Vikas Chandra Das
21 July 2022, 11:46 AM

We all know how the excessive and irresponsible use of vehicles has become a major cause of air pollution, which is depleting the ozone layer and affecting the environment negatively. This is exactly why it is incredibly important to use vehicles that do not cause a lot of pollution.

For this, the Indian government has brought the PUC certificate law into action, which keeps the pollution levels emitted by vehicles in check.

What is a PUC Certificate and How Mandatory is It to have One?

PUC certificate stands for Pollution Under Control. It is the certificate that approves the emission from your vehicle to be under permissible limits, making it acceptable to drive on an Indian road. There are different tests done to check the emission levels of your vehicle before issuing a PUC certificate.

It is absolutely mandatory to have a PUC certificate with you while you drive your car or ride your bike. If you do not have it with you, you will be charged a fine of INR 1,000 and INR 2,000 for every subsequent offense. Moreover, you need this certificate to renew your car insurance policy as well.

All this makes the PUC certificate a really important document to have with you.

What does a PUC Certificate Include?

  • PUC certificate’s serial number
  • Your vehicle’s registration number
  • Date of the PUC test conducted
  • The validity of the PUC certificate
  • The readings of the PUC test

All the above details will be mentioned on a PUC certificate for four-wheelers, three-wheelers, and two-wheelers.

Do all Vehicles Require a PUC Certificate?

Yes, all the vehicles need a PUC certificate to run on an Indian road. Just like an RC or a DL or insurance, a PUC certificate is equally important.

The road transport authorities have mentioned certain pollution levels that are permissible. If your vehicle falls under that, then you will be eligible to get a PUC certificate.

PUC Certificate for Cars (Petrol)

Here are the permissible pollution levels of petrol cars if you are to get a PUC certification.

Vehicle TypeCarbon Mono-oxideHydroCarbon (PPM)
Four-wheelers manufactured as per BSII (Bharat Stage 2) norms3%1500
Four-wheelers manufactured as per BS III (Bharat Stage 3) norms0.5%750

PUC Certificate for Bikes and Three-wheelers

Here are the accepted pollution levels of two and three-wheelers to get a PUC certificate.

Vehicle TypeCarbon Mono-oxideHydroCarbon (PPM)
Two - and Three-wheelers manufactured on or before 31 March 2000 (Two/Four-stroke)4.5%9000
Two - and Three-wheelers manufactured after 31 March 2000 (Two-stroke)3.5%6000
Two- and Three-wheelers manufactured after 31 March 2000 (Four-stroke)3.5%4500

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

Here are the accepted pollution levels of four-wheelers that run on CNG or LPG along with petrol (pre and post BS-IV):

Vehicle TypeCarbon Mono-OxideHydroCarbon (PPM)
CNG/LPG Four-wheelers manufactured as per BS-IV (Bharat Stage 4) norms0.30%200
Petrol Four-wheelers manufactured as BS-IV (Bharat Stage 4) norms0.30%200

PUC Certificate for Diesel Vehicles

The PUC tests for diesel vehicles are done in a different manner and these are the permissible pollution levels to get a PUC certificate for a diesel vehicle.

Type of TestMaximum Smoke Density
 Light Absorption Coefficient (1/metre)Hartridge Units
Free acceleration test for the naturally aspirated engine and turbocharged engine for vehicles manufactured as per pre-BS IV norms.2.4565
Free acceleration test for the naturally aspirated engine and turbocharged engine for vehicles manufactured as per BS-IV norms.1.6250

What is the Procedure of a PUC Certification Test?

Getting a PUC Certification is quite easy and the process is as follows:

  • For a new vehicle, the motor dealer will arrange for a PUC certificate.
  • In case of renewal, you just have to visit an authorised petrol pump.
  • The ejection pipe of the vehicle will be scanned to monitor the emission levels.
  • If the reading is under the permissible limit, you will be issued a certificate once you pay the fees.

What is the Cost and Validity of a PUC Test?

The cost of getting a PUC certificate ranges from INR 60 to INR 100. The cost depends on the type of vehicle you own and the type of fuel you use.

The validity of the certificate for a new vehicle lasts for a time period of 1 year but it lasts for only 6 months when you renew it. However, upon random checking, if the emission levels are extreme, then the validity of the PUC can be nullified by the concerned authority.

The short validity periods are to ensure that everyone goes for this test on a regular basis and keeps their vehicles fit.

Are There any Penalties for not Obtaining a Valid PUC Certificate?

As mentioned above, there is a fine of INR 1,000 for not having a valid PUC certificate with you. Under section 190 (2) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, you will have to pay the fine or face a short jail term. If you repeat the offense, the fine will be increased to INR 2,000 for each time.

Irrespective of fines, you should ensure that your vehicle is not emitting harmful fumes more than the permissible limit to curb the harm to the environment.

What are the Benefits of having a PUC certificate?

  • Keeps the Environment Safe – The biggest benefit of having this certificate is the fact that you will not be using a vehicle that is causing harm to nature.
  • Helps You Know the Condition of Your Vehicle – Regular PUC tests give you an idea of whether your vehicle is in good condition or not and whether it needs servicing or not.
  • Ensure that You Follow the Law – As mentioned earlier, you will be breaking the law if you do not carry a PUC certificate. So get one and make sure that you are a law-abiding citizen.
  • Helps You Qualify for Insurance – A PUC certificate is an important document to have if you are to buy an insurance policy.

1. Is a PUC certificate necessary to buy an insurance policy?

Yes, IRDAI has made it mandatory for all vehicles to have a PUC certificate in order to get an insurance policy.

2. Should you carry the PUC certificate with your vehicle always?

Yes, it should be there with you when you are in your vehicle. It can either be a hard copy or a soft copy.

3. What happens if you forget to renew the PUC certificate?

You can be prosecuted under the Motor Vehicles Act for not having a valid PUC certificate. Therefore, make sure that you check the validity period of your certificate online.

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