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How to Get a PUC Certificate for your Vehicle (Car and Bike)

Team AckoMay 24, 2024

Having a valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate is mandatory for all vehicles in India, yet many vehicle owners need to pay more attention to this requirement. A PUC certificate helps ensure your vehicle meets the prescribed emission standards, reducing air pollution. Just like a PUC certificate, it is also crucial that vehicle owners have a valid car insurance plan.

vehicle-emission-test-procedure-puc-certificate

Getting this certificate for your car or bike is quite simple - all it requires is a simple emission check at authorised PUC centers nationwide.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of getting a PUC certificate seamlessly.

Contents

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The Harmful Effects of Vehicle Pollution on Our Health and Environment

Vehicular emissions are one of the major contributors to air pollution in India. The dangerous gases released from the exhausts can severely affect our health and the environment.

These pollutants comprise a toxic mix of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, benzene, and particulate matter. Long-term exposure to these can lead to aggravated respiratory diseases like asthma and lung cancer. The particulates can enter the bloodstream and increase risk of heart attacks and strokes. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

The pollution also gets absorbed in water bodies and soil, causing acid rain that damages forests and agricultural crops. It reacts with the ozone layer, causing holes leading to climate change effects like increased UV radiation and greenhouse effect. Many studies have linked vehicular fumes to developmental disorders in kids and even a reduction in life expectancy.

By following emission norms and getting timely PUC checks, we can reduce this immense harm to human health and the environment. The tests ensure our vehicles comply with the pollution standards, so it's the duty of each citizen to acquire and renew this basic certificate.

What is a Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate?

The PUCC full form is the "Pollution Under Control Certificate." 

It is a mandatory document for every vehicle owner in India. This certificate states that you can legally ride/drive a vehicle in India with respect to meeting environmental standards. In other words, it is a validation document that states that the vehicle’s emission levels are within the permissible levels set by the government.

The PUC Certificate is issued by the authorised emission testing centres across the country. The issuance of an emission test certificate involves a thorough examination of the vehicle’s exhaust gas, and the test results are mentioned in the vehicle pollution certificate.

How to Get a PUC Certificate

Here are the ways to get a PUC certificate for your four-wheeler or two-wheeler 

  • Offline: By visiting the emission test centre

  • Online: Through the VAHAN (Parivahan) portal

How to Get a PUC Certificate Offline?

Here are the steps to obtain a vehicle pollution certificate offline -

  • Step 1: Take your vehicle (two-wheeler/four-wheeler) to the nearest emission testing centre.

  • Step 2: The testing centre operator will analyse the exhaust emission by placing the testing device inside the vehicle’s exhaust pipe.

  • Step 3: The operator will generate the PUC certificate with the emission readings.

  • Step 4: Pay the applicable fees and collect the pollution certificate.

You can get a PUC Certificate at the following places:

  • Fuel stations across the country with emission testing centres

  • Authorised emission testing centres with computerised testing equipment

  • Licenced standalone emission testing centres

Steps to Get a PUC Certificate Online

Here are the steps to get an online PUC Certificate -

  • Step 1: Visit the VAHAN portal of the Parivahan website.

  • Step 2: Click on “PUC Certificate.”

  • Step 3: Enter the vehicle registration number, chassis number (last five characters), and verification code.

  • Step 4: Click on “PUC Details.”

  • Step 5: Print or download the pollution certificate.

Note that you can only get the existing (active pollution certificate) PUC Certificate by following the steps mentioned earlier. You cannot renew or apply for a new pollution certificate online.

What is the Emission Test Procedure to obtain a PUC Certificate?

The following steps will explain the procedure involved in the vehicle emission test for issuing a PUC Certificate. It is a simple procedure that takes only a few minutes.

  • Step 1: Take your vehicle to the emission testing centre and position the vehicle as per the instructions stated by the emission testing device operator

  • Step 2: The testing centre operator will insert a device inside the exhaust pipe

  • Step 3: Start your vehicle and rev the engine so the device can analyse the exhaust emissions

  • Step 4: The device will display the readings on the computer screen

  • Step 5: The operator will click a picture of your vehicle’s registration plate and generate the PUC certificate

  • Step 6: Pay the fees and collect the pollution certificate

What are the Different Types of Tests for Vehicles and how do these tests Measure Emissions?

Petrol Vehicles

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) Test - Measures CO emissions to check for proper fuel combustion, engine efficiency, and air intake efficiency

  • Hydrocarbon (HC) Test - Measures unburnt fuels to check the complete combustion of fuel in the engine

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) Test - Measures CO2 emissions for a complete picture of the vehicle's impact on the environment

Diesel Vehicles

  • Smoke Density Test - Measures black smoke emitted to check fuel combustion efficiency and engine wear and tear

  • Idling CO Test - Measures CO emissions during engine idling to check combustion efficiency

CNG/LPG Vehicles

  • CO Test - Same as petrol vehicles to measure fuel combustion efficiency

  • HC Test - Same as petrol vehicles to check complete fuel combustion

  • Soundness of CNG/LPG System - Checks for leaks/damage that can increase emissions

How to Download Your PUC Certificate?

The PUC certificate download process has become simpler thanks to the official VAHAN portal. You can follow these steps to download your pollution certificate online -

  • Step 1: Visit the VAHAN portal’s official website.

  • Step 2: Click on “PUC Certificate” from the top menu bar.

  • Step 3: Input details like vehicle registration number, chassis number (last five characters), and security code.

  • Step 4: Click the “PUC Details” button.

  • Step 5: The next page will display the PUC Certificate details. You can either download or print the pollution certificate.

Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate Charges

The bike/car PUC charges depend on fuel and vehicle types.

The car/bike pollution certificate price ranges from Rs. 60 to Rs. 100, depending on the type of vehicle and type of fuel. Also, the PUC Certificate price can vary from one state to another.

How to Check the Status of Your PUC Certificate Online?

Checking the PUC status online is quick, easy, and straightforward. All you need is an internet-enabled smartphone or computer to check the pollution certificate online. Follow the steps mentioned below to conduct a PUC check online -

  • Step 1: Visit the VAHAN portal via the Parivahan website.

  • Step 2: Select “PUC Certificate”.

  • Step 2: Enter your vehicle’s registration number and chassis number.

  • Step 3: On the next page, you can view the status of your PUC Certificate.

Can you Renew your PUC Certificate Online?

If you are looking to renew your PUC certificate online, then you should be aware that the process cannot be completed online.

Your vehicle must undergo an emission test to renew the pollution certificate. And for that to happen, you must take the vehicle to the nearest emission testing centre.

Hence, PUC renewal online is not possible.

How to Find RTO-approved PUC Centres?

You can easily find the RTO-approved PUC centres online via the Parivahan PUC online portal. Here are the steps for it - 

  • Step 1: Log on to Parivahan’s VAHAN online portal.

  • Step 2: Click on “PUC Centre List” from the top menu bar.

  • Step 3: Choose the ‘State and Office’ from the drop-down list to view the list of RTO-approved vehicle pollution testing centres.

Why is a PUC Certificate Mandatory in India?

The PUC certificate of vehicle is mandatory in India to ensure that the vehicle’s emission levels comply with the pollution norms. Every motor vehicle (two/three/four-wheelers) must have a pollution certificate, irrespective of fuel type.

The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 states that the pollution certificate for vehicles is a mandatory document to drive your vehicle legally on the roads.

It is an essential document since it determines the amount of carbon emissions the vehicle produces, which is one of the key contributing factors to rising air pollution.

PUC Rules and Regulations in India

Here are the rules and regulations related to pollution certificates for vehicles. Note that these are subject to changes.

  • The permissible emission levels for vehicles are fixed under Rule 115 (2) of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

  • The acceptable emission levels for vehicles keep changing on a regular basis as per the government’s directives to keep the pollution levels in check.

  • ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) rolls out directives related to examining vehicle exhaust emissions, limits, and updated regulations.

  • The PUC norms and the certificate format remain the same across the country.

  • If the vehicle fails the PUC test (emission levels exceed the permissible level), the testing centre can issue a rejection slip.

  • Under circumstances of non-compliance to the pollution norms, the registration authority can suspend the RC (Registration Certificate) and any other permits (with reasons recorded in writing) of the vehicle till the owner obtains a valid pollution certificate.

Contents of the PUC Certificate

A Pollution Under Control Certificate contains the following details -

  • PUC Certificate serial number: This is a unique number assigned to each PUC certificate issued to track and identify the certificate.

  • Vehicle details (registration number): The registration number, make, model and other details of the vehicle are mentioned to link the PUC certificate to the specific vehicle it is issued for.

  • The date of the emission certificate test: The date on which the emission test was conducted on the vehicle and the PUC certificate was issued is clearly specified.

  • Validity of the vehicle pollution certificate: The validity period (typically 6 months or 1 year) during which the PUC certificate is valid before the test needs to be repeated is shown.

  • Emission test readings: The actual readings of the emission test for factors like CO, HC etc that were recorded by the testing machine during the test are displayed to allow cross-verification.

How long is your PUC Certificate valid?

The validity of the Pollution Under Control Certificate is limited, and it differs for new and old vehicles. Here are more details about the validity of the PUC Certificate in India.

  • PUC validity for a car: The new car's PUC validity stands at 1 year. Post that period, you can searchPUC near me and renew the pollution certificate every 6 months.

  • PUC validity for a bike: The validity of the pollution certificate for a new bike stands at 1 year. Once you cross that period, the renewed PUC Certificate is valid for 6 months.

Pollution certificate for new car (Permissible Levels)

A pollution certificate for a new car is a must as per The Motor Vehicles Act. It is a mandatory document for legally driving a vehicle in India. You can refer to the following table to learn about the PUC rules (permissible levels) for new cars.

Type of vehicle

Carbon Monoxide (in %)

Hydrocarbon (in PPM)

BS6 and BS4 four-wheelers (CNG/LPG)

0.3

200

BS6 and BS4 four-wheelers (Petrol)

0.3

200

Pollution certificate for new bike (Permissible Levels)

The PUC Certificate for new bikes is mandatory as per the rules and regulations of The Motor Vehicles Act. You can go through the following table to learn about the norms (permissible levels) for two-wheeler pollution certificates.

Type of vehicle

Carbon Monoxide (in %)

Hydrocarbon (in PPM)

BS6 two-wheelers/three-wheelers (CNG/LPG)

0.5

500

BS6 two-wheelers/three-wheelers (Petrol)

0.5

500

Pollution certificate for diesel vehicles (Permissible Levels)

The emission testing of diesel vehicles is different from petrol vehicles. Hence, the rules for PUC for diesel vehicles are slightly different. Here are the details about pollution testing norms (permissible levels) for vehicles running on diesel fuel.

Type of test

Light Absorption Coefficient

Maximum Smoke Density in Hartridge units

Free acceleration test of BS4 diesel vehicles (naturally aspirated and turbocharged engine)

1.62

50

Free acceleration test of pre-BS4 diesel vehicles (naturally aspirated and turbocharged engine)

2.45

65

Pollution certificate for old vehicles (Cars, Bikes and Three Wheelers)

Here are the details pertaining to the PUC norms (permissible levels) for old vehicles, including cars, bikes, and three-wheelers.

Type of vehicle

Carbon Monoxide (in %)

Hydrocarbon (in PPM)

BS2 four-wheelers (Petrol)

3

1,500

BS3 four-wheelers (Petrol)

0.5

750

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

4.5

9,000

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

3.5

6,000

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

3.5

4,500

Technological Innovations in Emission Testing

The process of emission testing for vehicles has seen some noteworthy technological innovations over the years. These have served to make the tests more accurate and efficient.

Upgrade to Automated Testing Stations

The old manual testing system has given way to automated testing equipment at authorised PUC centers. This reduces human error and discretion during testing. The automated machines directly upload test readings to a centralised server for scrutiny.

Improved Testing Protocols

The testing methods have been standardised nationwide based on vehicle type and fuel used. This includes measurement of specific pollutants like CO, HC and smoke density through sensors inserted in the exhaust stream. Upgraded software algorithms analyse emissions accurately.

Tamper-proof Systems

Sophisticated sensors can now detect any tampering with a vehicle's emission control equipment or false reporting of test readings. This has reduced corruption and authenticates the PUCC better.

Integration with Databases

Emission testing systems are now interconnected with regional and national transport databases for easier access to vehicle records and owner details. This aids in the enforcement of PUCC compliance.

The technological upgrades have brought more accountability, reliability, and efficiency to the vehicle emission testing regime. For vehicle owners too, obtaining a genuine PUCC has become easier.

Should I carry the PUC Certificate while driving the vehicle?

Yes, you must carry a copy of the PUC Certificate (soft or hard copy) while driving the vehicle. As per the rules and regulations of The Motor Vehicles Act, the pollution certificate is a mandatory document to drive a vehicle legally in India. You can be penalised if you fail to produce the PUC Certificate during a general inspection.

Penalties for not obtaining a Pollution Under Control Certificate 

According to The Motor Vehicles Act, a PUC Certificate is mandatory to drive a vehicle in India. Not complying with the rules and regulations can attract penalties under Section 190 (2) of The Motor Vehicles Act. The penalty for not obtaining a PUC Certificate stands at Rs. 1,000 for the first-time offence. For a repeat offence, the penalty inflates to Rs. 2,000. Note that the penalties can also vary from one state to another.

The enforcement of PUC norms has been stepped up across many cities:

  • In Delhi, over 57 lakh vehicles were fined in 2022 alone for not having a valid PUC certificate, compared to just 91,000 cars in 2021. This massive increase in crackdown highlights the serious consequences of non-compliance.

  • Bengaluru traffic police recently launched special drives and fined over 6 lakh vehicles not conforming to emission norms in just 45 days.

  • Surat traffic police is setting up PUC checking camps at petrol pumps and busy intersections to catch non-compliant vehicles. Over 60,000 vehicles have been booked here.

The numbers speak for themselves. With environment conservation becoming paramount, enforcement agencies are proactively catching vehicles flouting PUC rules. As a responsible citizen, it's not just important, but crucial to get your vehicle tested and obtain a valid certificate. Non-compliance can lead to not just hefty fines, but also the immobilisation of your vehicle, and even the cancellation of vehicle registration in extreme cases. Being aware of the laws and adhering to them is the need of the hour.

Do I need to obtain a pollution certificate for a new car?

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Yes, you need to have a PUC Certificate for a new car. Typically, the car dealer will provide the pollution certificate when you buy the vehicle, which is valid for a year.

Can I get the PUC Certificate for my vehicle in another state?

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Yes, you can obtain the Pollution Under Control Certificate in another state.

Is the Pollution Under Control Certificate valid all over India?

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Yes, the PUC Certificate is valid throughout the country.

Can I renew the PUC Certificate before the expiry date?

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You can renew the pollution certificate before the expiry date. Driving your vehicle with an expired PUC Certificate can attract penalties. Hence, it’s advisable to renew before expiry.

What is the grace period for PUC Certificate renewal?

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The grace period for the renewal of the vehicle pollution certificate stands at seven days from the date of expiry.

What type of vehicles require a Pollution Under Control Certificate in India?

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All motor vehicles that run on (ICE) Internal Combustion Engines (CNG/LPG, petrol/diesel) need to have a PUC Certificate.

How much does it cost to obtain a vehicle PUC Certificate?

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The cost of a PUC Certificate depends on the type of vehicle and fuel type. It usually ranges from Rs. 60 to Rs. 100.

How can I check the details and status of my car’s PUC Certificate?

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You can visit the official website of Parivahan to check the pollution certificate details and status online.

Do I need to get a PUC Certificate for BS6 vehicles?

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Yes, you need to obtain the Pollution Under Control Certificate for BS6 vehicles.

What is the validity of the BS6 vehicle pollution certificate?

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The validity of a PUC Certificate for a new BS6 vehicle is one year. Post that, you must renew the pollution certificate every six months.

Can I obtain a PUC Certificate online?

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You cannot get a vehicle pollution certificate online. You need to visit the emission testing centre with your vehicle to get the PUC Certificate.

What is the validity of the pollution certificate for new two-wheelers?

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The validity of the PUC Certificate for new two-wheelers is one year. Generally, it is issued by the vehicle manufacturer, and the vehicle dealer will provide you with the certificate.

Where can I get the pollution certificate for my bike?

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You can obtain the PUC Certificate for your bike from any of the authorised emission testing centres.

Are the emission testing centres open on all days of the week?

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Generally, the PUC centres are open on all days of the week. However, you can confirm the same with your nearest emission testing centre.

Can the emission test for my car be done at home?

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Currently, there is no such facility available. Hence, you need to take your car to the nearest PUC centre to get the emission test done.

How can I renew the Pollution Under Control Certificate issued in a different state?

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You can visit the emission testing centre to renew the PUC Certificate issued in a different state. Since PUC is valid across the country, you can renew it from any state.

Is there a late fee for renewing an expired PUC Certificate?

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There is no late fee for renewing an expired vehicle pollution certificate. You can visit the nearest emission test centre to renew the PUC Certificate.

Can I upload the PUC Certificate in the DigiLocker app?

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Currently, the pollution certificate is not available on the DigiLocker app. Hence, you need to carry a soft or hard copy of the PUC Certificate when you drive the vehicle.

How can I update the vehicle registration number in the pollution certificate?

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You cannot update the vehicle registration number in PUC Certificate. Only the authorised PUC centres can issue the certificate with the vehicle registration number.

What should I do if I lose my PUC Certificate?

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If you lose the pollution certificate, you can get it online by visiting the Parivahan portal. You can either download or print the certificate within a few clicks.

What is the procedure to submit a PUC Certificate online application?

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One cannot submit a pollution certificate online application as it requires you to take the vehicle to an emission testing centre. You can only download the existing PUC online.

What if PUC is expired?

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If you don't have a PUC Certificate or are found carrying an expired one, the traffic police will have the right to get your vehicle seized. That is why you must always carry an updated PUC Certificate with you.

Do BS6 vehicles need a pollution certificate?

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Yes, a valid PUC Certificate is necessary for BS6 vehicles, too.

What is an online PUC?

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PUC is a certificate issued by the government. It is only given to vehicles whose emission levels are at par with the emission norms.

How often do I need to renew my PUC certificate?

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For new vehicles, you're covered for a year. After that, it's like visiting the dentist; you need a checkup every six months.

What happens if my vehicle fails the PUC test?

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It's a bit like failing a school test; you need to fix the problems (with your vehicle, in this case) and then re-take the test.

Is the PUC certificate required for electric vehicles?

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Electric vehicles are like the teacher's pet; they don't need a PUC certificate because they don't emit pollutants.

What documents do I need to get my PUC certificate?

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Just your vehicle. The test center will use your vehicle's registration number to pull up everything else they need.

What are the penalties for not having a valid PUC certificate?

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Not having one can be quite costly, with fines starting at Rs. 1,000 for the first offense. It's best just to keep it updated and avoid the hassle.

Do I need to carry the PUC certificate all the time?

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Yes, it's like carrying a driver's license. You should have it with you (hard or soft copy) to show you follow the rules.


Disclaimer: The information mentioned on this page is compiled from different websites and government sources. The information may be updated from time to time. Hence, please refer to the respective government websites and verify before making any decisions.

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