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,
- 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
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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.