Insurance is like a spare tyre. You may not require it, but not having one is not an option.
  • Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate

    In India, a valid driving license, insurance coverage and a Pollution Under Control Certificate are legal mandatory requirements for a car. An insurance coverage is mandated by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, for all cars plying on Indian roads. Similarly, the Central Motor Vehicle Rule, 1989 mandates the PUC Certification.

    The smoke emitted from vehicles, if left unchecked, could pollute the environment to a great extent. PUC is a certification mark that is provided to vehicles that undergo the PUC Test successfully. The certification indicates that the vehicle’s emissions are in alignment with standard pollution norms and are not harmful to the environment. All vehicles on Indian roads are mandated to carry a valid PUC certification.

    Validity and Cost

    • When you purchase a new car, a PUC certificate is provided for it and the validity of this certificate is 1 year. Following that your car would need to undergo the PUC test at regular intervals and a new certificate will be issued each time.
    • The validity of the new certificate is usually 6 months. In case an adverse reading is observed in the PUC test, the validity of the certificate will be decided on the basis of that reading.
    • If cars exhibit higher levels of emission than the prescribed limits, the registration number of the vehicle will be informed to the RTO, Deputy RTO or Assistant RTO by the testing centre within one day.
    • The cost of the PUC test is quite minimal. It varies from Rs. 60 to Rs. 100, based on the vehicle that is being tested and its fuel type.

    PUC Test Procedure

    In the case of diesel vehicles, the accelerator is fully pressed and the readings of pollution levels are observed. This is repeated five times and the average constitutes the final reading.

    For petrol vehicles, the car is kept idling without pressing the accelerator. Only one reading is taken and this constitutes the final reading.

    Test Criteria and Certificate

    All vehicles that are tested for PUC should fall within the following limits.

    Vehicle Type Percentage of CO Hydrocarbon measured in ppm
    2 and 3 wheeled vehicles (2 or 4 stroke) that are manufactured on or before 31st March 2000 4.5 9000
    2 and 3 wheeled vehicles (2 stroke) that are manufactured after 31st March 2000 3.5 6000
    2 and 3 wheeled vehicles (4 stroke) that are manufactured after 31st March 2000 3.5 4500
    4 wheeled vehicles that are manufactured as per the Pre Bharat Stage II Norms 3 1500
    4 wheeled vehicles that are manufactured as per the Pre Bharat Stage II, Stage III or subsequent Norms 0.5 750

    PUC testing can be done at any authorised petrol pumps or independent testing centres. The certificates are also issued at the location of the tests.

    The PUC certificate contains the following information,

    pollution under control certificate
    • The serial number of the issued certificate
    • The vehicle’s license plate number
    • The date on which the test was conducted
    • The expiry date of the PUC certificate
    • The readings and observations from the test

    Also Read On: Top Seven Car Checklist Before Long Drive

    PUC certificate is an important document that you should carry at all times when you are driving the tested vehicle. When requested by a traffic official, if you are unable to furnish this document, you will have to bear the penalties. You should also ensure that it is renewed as soon as it expires to avoid fines.

    If a vehicle does not carry a valid PUC certificate, it is liable for prosecution as per Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act. The driver will be charged Rs. 1000 if it is a first-time offense, and Rs. 2000 for every subsequent offense.

    In case you are carrying a valid PUC certificate, but your vehicle is visibly polluting the environment, the certificate of your vehicle will be cancelled and you will be required to procure a new certificate within 1 week. If you fail to do so, you will be prosecuted under Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act.


    1. Which vehicles require PUC Certification?
    2. All motor vehicles plying on Indian roads are required to have a valid PUC Certificate.

    3. Will I have to take a new PUC Certificate when I travel to a different state in India?
    4. No, the PUC Certificate is valid across the entire country.

    5. Who has the authority to conduct a Pollution Under Control test?
    6. The person conducting the PUC test should have a minimum qualification of a degree in motor mechanics or automobile engineering issued by a recognised body. The individual should also know the procedures involved in making minor repairs/adjustments on the vehicle that would bring down the pollution levels. These changes should also not bring about any negative impact on the engine performance.

    7. What are the requirements for undergoing a pollution check?
    8. You will have to take your car to the pollution testing centre and appear in person for the same. There is no other requirement for the pollution check.

    9. When should a car be tested for pollution?
    10. You should conduct the PUC test when you buy a new vehicle. A PUC Certificate is always provided with the new car. This certificate will have a validity of 1 year. Following that you will have to get the vehicle certified again on a periodic basis.

    GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017

    News about pollution under control certificate

    • Insurers awaiting guidelines for linking motor insurance to PUC Certificate

      General insurance providers are waiting for guidelines from either the IRDAI or the government for the implementation of the Supreme Court order to link PUC Certificate to motor insurance at renewal. The Supreme Court had issued the order last week in a bid to contain pollution.

      As per the proposal, the motor insurance of a vehicle cannot be renewed unless the owner furnishes a Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate.

      Sanjay Datta, chief of claims and underwriting at ICICI Lombard General Insurance, mentioned that the company is awaiting confirmation on the procedure of linking insurance to PUC Certificate. He also stated that the use of telematics will enable insurers to give cross subsidy to car insurance policyholders, and this was not offered earlier. Datta further mentioned that the company has seen 14% growth in total premium for the April-June quarter.

      22nd August 2017

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