Pollution Certificate: In India, a pollution certificate is needed if you plan on driving a motor vehicle. This certificate is known as the Vehicle Pollution Certificate or the Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUCC). The Motor Vehicle Act made it mandatory to carry PUCC along with the motor insurance, registration certificate and driver's license. The certificate is usually valid only for a period of six months or less and requires renewal after the end of the term. It is applicable for all vehicles that ply that Indian road.

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Why is the Pollution Certificate Required?

Apart from being a legal requirement (Motor Vehicle Act of 1988), the pollution certificate verifies the number of carbon emissions that your vehicle contributes to the environment. Hence, driving without this certificate can attract a fine of INR 1,000 ( INR 2,000 if it's a subsequent offence). If the offense is repeated despite several warnings, sterner actions could be imposed – such as the revocation of driver's license. Furthermore, the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) announced that a valid PUC certificate is required if you need to renew your vehicle insurance. Therefore, we shall explore the contents, prerequisites and application process for pollution certificate in India.

Contents of a Pollution Certificate

A typical pollution certificate will have the following information:

  • The serial number of the certificate
  • Vehicle's registration number
  • Date of emissions test
  • Reading of the test.

Which Type of Vehicle Requires a Pollution Certificate?

In India, all vehicles that operate on Indian roads require a pollution certificate. Exemptions to this rule are:

  • Fully electric vehicles
  • New vehicles (Pollution certificate required after 1 year)

Criteria for Obtaining Pollution Certificate

The following are the criteria set for obtaining a pollution certificate. If any vehicles exceed the set standards, the use of such vehicles will be prohibited.

Type of Vehicle Standard / Date of Manufacture Carbon Monoxide Emission in % Hydrocarbon (PPM)
4 Wheeler Pre-Bharat Stage-II Norms 3% 1500
4 Wheeler Bharat Stage-II Norms and subsequent norms 0.5% 750
2 Wheeler (2/4 stroke) Manufactured before 31st March 2000 4.5 900
2 Wheeler (2 strokes) Manufactured after 31st March 2000 3.5 6000
2 Wheeler (4 strokes) Manufactured after 31st March 2000 3.5 4500

Procedure for Obtaining Pollution Certificate

Following is the procedure for obtaining a pollution certificate in India:

  • For New Vehicles: In most cases, the dealer will arrange the certificate. If not, you can get the certification at any petrol pump.
  • For Old Vehicles:
    • Most petrol pumps are authorized to provide an emissions test and certificate
    • The process involves taking a probe-like device and inserting it into the exhaust pipe of the vehicle
    • The readings are measured and if it conforms to the criteria mentioned above, a pollution certificate is provided

Pollution Certificate Fees

Note: The process of emission testing may involve a nominal fee. The actual amount may vary depending on your vehicle and the location of the testing centre. Typically, the fees vary between INR 60 to INR 100.

The validity of Pollution Certificate

  • The validity of a pollution certificate for new vehicles is one year for cars and bike
  • After this, the validity of the certificate must be renewed every six months for cars as well as bikes.
  • In case of adverse readings, the validity changes accordingly.

Fines of Pollution Certificate

  • First-time offenders that do not have a valid pollution certificate will be prosecuted and fined an amount of INR 1,000 under Section 190 (2) of the Motor Vehicle Act.
  • Subsequent offenders will be fined an amount of INR 2,000

Online Process to Procure Pollution Certificate

Currently, only authorized emission testing centers and RTOs can renew the PUC certificate. However, users can access the last recorded version of their pollution certificate online if they happen to misplace the original one. The steps involved are as follows:

  • Visit Parivahan official website at https://vahan.parivahan.gov.in/puc/views/login.xhtml
  • Navigate to the PUC Certificate section (in the header navigation)
  • You will then be required to enter your vehicle registration number as well as chassis number
  • After entering, you will be directed to your PUCC. (Please note, if validity has expired, the certificate will not be available).
  • You may print the certificate or save it for future references.

How to Find Emission Testing Centres?

Users can find emission testing centers through the Parivahan official website. Steps to find the same are as follows:

  • Visit Parivahan official website at https://vahan.parivahan.gov.in/puc/views/login.xhtml
  • Navigate to the PUC Center List section (in the header navigation)
  • You will then be asked to select your state and region. Doing so will show you the available list of RTO approved PUC Centres along with their names, address and contact number.

How to Get Pollution Certificate

Environmental Implications

From an environmental perspective, this initiative was introduced to curb pollution and its effects on the planet. Moreover, the number of vehicles on the road has been increasing exponentially day by day. If left unchecked, carbon emissions can cause disastrous consequences on the environment. From global warming and the greenhouse effect to flooding and poor air quality, carbon emission can spell doom for all life on earth. Hence, it is paramount that all vehicles test for emissions and get their pollution certificate from the authorities.

FAQ's on Pollution Certificate

Question 1.
What is a pollution certificate?

Answer:
A pollution certificate (also known as the Vehicle Pollution Certificate or the Pollution Under Control Certificate) is a certificate that verifies the number of exhaust emissions let out by a vehicle into the environment.

Question 2.
Is a pollution certificate compulsory?

Answer:
A pollution certificate is compulsory as per the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988. Failure to furnish a PUCC can attract fines.

Question 3.
Who issues this certificate?

Answer:
RTO authorized emission testing centres will provide a PUCC after measuring the emissions of the vehicle.

Question 4.
What is the validity of this certificate?

Answer:
The validity of a pollution certificate for new vehicles is one year for cars and bikes. After this period, the validity of the certificate must be renewed every six months.

Question 5.
Do all vehicles require this certificate?

Answer:
Yes, all vehicles that ply on Indian roads are required to have this pollution certificate. Exemptions to this rule are fully electric vehicles and New vehicles (Pollution testing will be done by the dealers).

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