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Is a PUC certificate mandatory for vehicle insurance?

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

In accordance with the law, all vehicles must be certified with the Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate. This helps to curb high levels of carbon emission. But is a PUC certificate mandatory for vehicle insurance? Let’s find out.




What is a PUC certificate?

The PUC certificate authenticates whether an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle meets the required carbon emission level as prescribed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). The certificate states that the units of carbon emissions from your car are within the prescribed limit and are not more than a certain percentage.

The prescribed limits are listed under the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989 and the specified limits are revisited regularly as per the recommendations of the ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India). Hence, vehicle owners must check and get their vehicle certified every six months to adhere to the directives and avoid penalties. The current penalty for not carrying the PUC certificate is Rs. 1,000 for the first offence and Rs. 2,000 for every subsequent offence. 

The PUC certificate is one of the vehicle documents that must be carried by the vehicle owner at all times, along with the other documents such as car insurance policy, Driving Licence (DL), and car Registration Certificate (RC).

Here are the details listed on the PUC certificate.

  • Registration number of the vehicle

  • Date of emission test

  • PUC certificate number

  • Emission test reading

  • The validity date of the PUC certificate

Is it mandatory to have a PUC certificate for vehicle insurance? 

The circular issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in July 2018 has asked all insurers to renew vehicle insurance policy only if the vehicle owner provides a valid PUC certificate. Hence, it is mandatory to hold a valid PUC certificate.

Is a valid PUC certificate mandatory for an insurance claim?

As stated in the previous section, a valid PUC certificate for insurance is not a criterion for the insurer to reject a claim. The IRDAI has clearly stated in the circular issued in 2020 that an insurer cannot deny the claim based on an invalid PUC certificate.

However, this does not mean that you can drive a car without a PUC certificate since it is punishable by law. Ensure you get your vehicle checked before the PUC certificate expires. This will ensure the vehicle is in good condition and you are abiding by the law.

Why has IRDAI made the pollution certificate mandatory for insurance?

Carbon emissions can wreak havoc on the environment. They can severely impact the health of people living in areas with bad air quality. To address the rising pollution levels in the country, the Supreme Court, in 2017, accepted the recommendations of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to ensure the compulsory linking of the PUC certificate while renewing vehicle insurance.

In response to the Supreme Court’s directive, the IRDAI issued a circular in 2018 to all general insurance companies directing them to follow the Supreme Court order that highlighted that all vehicles must hold a valid PUC certificate during their motor insurance policy renewal. 

Furthermore, the IRDAI also issued another circular in 2020 directing insurers not to reject claims in case the vehicle is not certified with the PUC certificate.

Impact of mandatory PUC certificate for vehicle insurance renewal

Let’s understand how the guidelines issued by the IRDAI impact you and the insurance company. Here are the details.

  • As a policyholder: You have to make sure that the PUC certificate is valid, especially when renewing the policy. This ensures you avoid penalties and contribute to reducing the country's carbon imprint.

  • As an insurer: Insurance providers need to verify if the PUC certificate is valid before renewing the insurance policy. This additional step might increase the complexity of the policy renewal process.

Also, read: Fine for Driving Without Insurance


Here are the key takeaways from this article.

  • All vehicle owners must have a valid PUC certificate for the renewal of motor insurance

  • Mandatory certification ensures that the carbon footprint related to vehicles in the country is under control to an extent, and the air quality does not further deteriorate. 

  • Moreover, the certification also helps avoid penalties. Therefore, the guidelines are an essential step toward reducing toxic pollution levels. 

  • Ensure your vehicle is always certified with the PUC certificate not just for renewing your motor insurance but to contribute towards a cleaner environment.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions and answers about the mandatory PUC certificate for renewing motor insurance.

Is a PUC certificate mandatory for renewing the motor insurance policy?

Yes, it is compulsory to have a valid PUC certificate while renewing the motor insurance policy.

What documents are required to drive a vehicle on public roads?

Here are the documents required to be kept in the vehicle while plying on public roads. You can also take advantage of the DigiLocker app for storing your vehicle documents., a digital storage facility authorised by the Government of India to retrieve and store government documents.

  • Motor insurance policy

  • A copy of the vehicle’s Registration Certificate (RC)

  • A copy of the Driving Licence (DL) of the person driving the vehicle

  • Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate

What documents are required to be submitted for a motor insurance claim?

Generally, the following documents are required to raise a claim. The exact list might depend upon the type of damage or loss. 

  • RC copy of the vehicle

  • DL copy of the person driving the vehicle

  • First Information Report (FIR), if required

  • Non-traceable Certificate in case of theft

  • Keys of the vehicle in case of theft claims

  • The original estimate of loss (in case of reimbursement)

  • The original repair invoice (in case of reimbursement)

  • The original payment receipt (in case of reimbursement)

Is a PUC certificate mandatory to renew Third-party Motor Insurance?

Yes, the PUC certificate is compulsory to renew the Third-party Insurance Policy.

Which is the easiest and fastest way to renew vehicle insurance?

The advent of digital technology has led to ease of transactions across different industries. The insurance industry has embraced the technology to enable the ease of renewing a motor insurance plan. Insurers such as ACKO have developed a digital ecosystem to buy or renew motor insurance plans and raise a claim without any hassles. Visit our website or download our mobile app to renew vehicle insurance online instantly. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet; and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content and before making any insurance-related decisions.

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