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Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate

In India, all vehicle owners must possess a valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate certificate. It is basically a certificate of validation that confirms that the emission levels of the vehicle are under the limits set by the government. 

Also, it is mandatory to carry your vehicle’s PUC certificate with you along with other vehicular documentation like your driving licence, registration certificate and insurance. If you’re found to not have a valid Pollution Under Control certificate with you during routine traffic inspections, you will be liable to pay a fine of about ₹1,000. And in the case of subsequent violations, the fine will be increased to ₹2,000.

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What is a Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate?

A Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate is a document that is issued to a vehicle after it undergoes an emission test. The certificate is evidentiary proof of the fact that the emissions of the vehicle under question is within the permissible limits set by the government. According to the Motor Vehicles Act, carrying a valid PUC certificate is mandatory along with other documents like the registration certificate, driving licence, and insurance. 

To get a PUC certificate for your vehicle, you would have to take it to an authorised emissions testing centre. These centres will then run an emission test on your vehicle to determine the total amount of emissions from the exhaust. If the results are lower than the maximum permissible limits set by the government of India, a Pollution Under Control certificate is issued to you. 

How to Get a PUC Certificate Online

The VAHAN portal of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways allows you to download the latest Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate for your vehicle. Here’s how you can do it. 

  • Step 1: Visit the VAHAN portal. 

  • Step 2: Click on the ‘PUC Certificate’ option 

  • Step 3: Enter the registration number and the last 5 digits of your vehicle’s chassis number.

  • Step 4: Enter the security code shown below. 

  • Step 5: Click on the ‘PUC Details’ button.

  • Step 6: The most recent PUC certificate issued to your vehicle will be displayed. You can print a copy of the certificate by clicking on ‘Print’. 

Keep in mind that you can only use this method to download an existing PUC certificate for your vehicle. To renew or apply for a new certificate for your vehicle, you would have to visit an authorised emissions testing centre along with your vehicle. 

How to Get a PUC Certificate Offline

Obtaining a Pollution Under Control certificate for your vehicle is very easy. All that you need to do is follow the steps given below. 

  • Step 1: Take your vehicle to an authorised emissions testing centre. 

  • Step 2: The operator of the emissions testing centre will conduct a test by placing a probe into the exhaust of your vehicle while the engine is running. 

  • Step 3: The emissions from your vehicle’s exhaust will be recorded. 

  • Step 4: The operator will then generate a PUC certificate for your vehicle with the emission readings. 

  • Step 5: Pay the requisite fee to the operator and collect the certificate.  

The details of this certificate will be automatically uploaded to the VAHAN portal of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. You can at any point in time download a soft copy of the certificate for your vehicle by visiting the portal.

 

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Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate Charges and Validity

The validity of a PUC certificate for a new vehicle is 12 months. Post the expiry of the 12 months, you will have to renew the certificate every 6 months. If your vehicle’s emissions during the test are found to be not satisfactory, its registration number will be notified to the RTO immediately. 

Depending on the vehicle being tested, obtaining a Pollution Under Control certificate may cost you anywhere from around ₹60 to ₹100. The cost of PUC also depends on the fuel type of your vehicle. The below table illustrates the cost of a PUC certificate for different types of vehicles. 

Type of Vehicle 

Fee Amount 

Petrol/CNG/LPG (including bi-fuel) two and three-wheelers

₹60

Petrol/CNG/LPG (including bi-fuel) four and six-wheelers

₹80

Diesel vehicles

₹100

 

Disclaimer: These prices are indicative and subject to change.

How to Download PUC Certificate

Thanks to the introduction of the VAHAN portal by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, downloading your PUC certificate has become very easy. The steps that you would have to follow to download it are elaborated below. 

  • Step 1: Visit the VAHAN portal and click on ‘PUC Certificate’. 

  • Step 2: Enter details like the registration number, the last 5 digits of your vehicle’s chassis number and the security code shown below. 

  • Step 3: Then, click on ‘PUC Details’.

  • Step 4: The PUC certificate for your vehicle will be displayed. Click on ‘Print’ to download a copy of the certificate. 

What is The Emission Test Procedure to Obtain a PUC Certificate?

The emission test process for a vehicle is simple and takes only a few minutes to complete. Here’s a simplified step-by-step breakdown of the entire procedure from start to finish. 

  • Step 1: Take your vehicle to an authorised emissions testing centre. 

  • Step 2: Position your vehicle according to the instructions of the operator of the testing centre.

  • Step 3: The operator will then insert a long probe into the exhaust pipe of your vehicle. 

  • Step 4: You will be required to start the vehicle and lightly rev the engine. 

  • Step 5: The probe will record and measure the amount of emissions emanating from the exhaust of the vehicle. 

  • Step 6: The results are relayed to a computer connected to the testing machine. 

  • Step 7: The operator of the centre will take a picture of your vehicle’s registration plate. 

  • Step 8: A PUC certificate for your vehicle will be generated if its emissions are within the permissible limits. This certificate will contain the picture of your vehicle’s registration plate and a few critical details. 

  • Step 9: You can collect the certificate from the operator by paying the requisite fee. 

How to Check The Status of Your PUC Certificate Online

You can quickly ascertain the status of the PUC certificate of your vehicle online through the VAHAN portal. The steps that you would have to follow to do that are listed below. 

  • Step 1: Visit the VAHAN portal and click on ‘PUC Certificate’. 

  • Step 2: Enter details like the registration number, the last 5 digits of your vehicle’s chassis number and the security code. 

  • Step 3: Then, click on ‘PUC Details’.

  • Step 4: The status of the PUC certificate for your vehicle will be displayed. You can print or download a copy of the same by clicking on the ‘Print’ button. 

Can you Renew PUC Certificate Online?

Unfortunately, you cannot renew a PUC certificate for your vehicle online. Instead, you can only download a copy of your existing certificate through the VAHAN portal. To renew the Pollution Under Control certificate for your vehicle you would have to visit an authorised emissions testing centre with your vehicle. The operator will conduct an emissions test and issue the certificate only if vehicular emissions are within the permissible limits set by the government.  

How to Find RTO Approved PUC Centres

You can quickly find an authorised emissions testing centre near you through the VAHAN portal. Check out the steps that you would have to follow. 

  • Step 1: Visit the VAHAN portal. 

  • Step 2: Click on the ‘PUC Centre List’ option on the homepage. 

  • Step 3: Select the state and the RTO office from the dropdown menus. 

  • Step 4: Details of all of the RTO-approved emissions testing centres will be listed including the complete address of the centre. 

PUC Rules and Regulations in India 

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, every vehicle must mandatorily possess a valid Pollution Under Control certificate. Without this piece of document, a vehicle cannot be legally driven on Indian roads. Such a rule was enacted in the country to ensure that the emission levels of vehicles are within the stipulated air pollution control norms. 

If you’re an owner of a vehicle, it is important for you to know what the rules and regulations related to PUC in India are. Here are some key rules and regulations that you need to be aware of. 

  • The format of the PUC certificate is the same throughout the country, irrespective of the region and the state. 

  • The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) is responsible for framing guidelines for testing the vehicular exhaust emissions. 

  • The maximum permissible limits for exhaust emissions are changed periodically as per the directives of the government. This is done to keep the vehicular pollution levels in check. 

  • In the event of a vehicle failing the emissions test, the operator of the testing centre would issue a rejection slip. 

  • If a vehicle doesn’t comply with the laid out pollution control norms, the Regional Transport Authority (RTO) has the power to suspend the Registration Certificate (RC) of the concerned vehicle till a valid PUC certificate is produced. 

Contents of The PUC Certificate

A typical Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate for a vehicle should mandatorily contain the following details. 

  • The serial number of the PUC certificate

  • The vehicle’s registration number 

  • The date on which the emission test was conducted

  • The date till which the PUC is valid for

  • The emission test results 

Pollution Certificate for New Cars (Permissible Levels)

All four-wheelers manufactured after April 01, 2020 should mandatorily conform to the BS 6 emission norms. A PUC certificate is awarded to such vehicles only if their emissions are below the maximum limits stipulated under the BS 6 norms. Check out the table below for more information on the permissible limits. 

Vehicle Type

Carbon Monoxide (%)

Hydrocarbons (PPM)

Petrol four wheelers (BS 6 and BS 4)

0.3

200

CNG/LPG four wheelers (BS 6 and BS 4)

0.3

200

 

Pollution Certificate for New Bikes and Three-Wheelers (Permissible Levels)

All three-wheelers and bikes, which includes both scooters and motorcycles, manufactured after April 01, 2020 should conform to the BS 6 emission norms. The maximum permissible emission limits for such BS 6 vehicles should be below the figures mentioned in the table below. 

Vehicle Type

Carbon Monoxide (%)

Hydrocarbons (PPM)

Petrol four wheelers (BS 2)

3

1,500

Petrol four wheelers (BS 3)

0.5

750

 

Pollution Certificate for Diesel Vehicles (Permissible Levels)

Unlike petrol vehicles, the emission test for diesel vehicles tend to be slightly different. The emissions from such vehicles are measured during free acceleration of the engines. A PUC certificate is awarded to diesel vehicles only if the total emissions are less than the permissible limits, which are given below.

Vehicle Type

Light Absorption Coefficient

Maximum Smoke Density in Hartridge units

Naturally aspirated and turbocharged diesel vehicles (BS 4)  

1.62

50

Naturally aspirated and turbocharged diesel vehicles (pre-BS 4)  

2.45

65

 

Pollution Certificate for Old Vehicles (Cars, Bikes and Three Wheelers)

To be able to get a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate for your old vehicle, it is important that its total emissions are within the prescribed limits. Here’s a table that outlines the maximum permissible emissions from old vehicles. 

Vehicle Type

Carbon Monoxide (%)

Hydrocarbons (PPM)

Petrol four wheelers (BS 2)

3

1,500

Petrol four wheelers (BS 3)

0.5

750

Two-stroke or four-stroke two wheelers and three-wheelers manufactured on or before March 31, 2000 

4.5

9,000

Two-stroke two wheelers and three-wheelers manufactured after March 31, 2000 

3.5

6,000

Four-stroke two wheelers and three-wheelers manufactured after March 31, 2000 

3.5

4,500

 

Should You Carry The PUC Certificate While Driving The Vehicle?

Yes. Similar to how it is mandatory to carry documents like insurance, registration certificate, and driving licence, carrying a valid PUC certificate is also equally compulsory. In fact, if you’re found to not have a valid PUC certificate during routine inspections, you can be penalised by the traffic authorities. 

Penalties for Not Obtaining a Pollution Under Control Certificate 

If you do not have a valid PUC certificate, you could be prosecuted under Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act. According to this section, a penalty of ₹1,000 is levied for the first offence and ₹2,000 for any subsequent offences.

FAQs on PUC Certificates

✔️Should I carry the PUC certificate along every time I drive my vehicle?

Yes. Along with a valid driver’s licence and motor insurance, PUC certification needs to be carried with you.

✔️When should I obtain PUC certification?

The PUC certificate is issued when you purchase a new vehicle. However, it comes with an expiration date and needs to be renewed by visiting a PUC testing centre with your vehicle. 

✔️Do BS6 vehicles need PUC?

Yes, all BS6 vehicles need a valid PUC certificate.

✔️Does a scooty require PUC certification?

Yes, all two-wheelers require a valid PUC certificate.\

✔️Why is PUC important?

The PUC certificate is provided only if the vehicle passes the PUC test. This test is conducted to ensure that the vehicle emissions comply with the norms related to air pollution.

✔️Can I download a PUC certificate online?

Yes, you can visit the official Parivahan portal to download an online PUC certificate.