A valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate has now become a mandatory requirement for anyone looking to renew their vehicle insurance. This mandate has come via a circular issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
- The IRDAI’s circular complies with the recent Supreme Court ruling.
- No coverage for accident claims if vehicle doesn’t have valid PUC.
- Fines for having invalid PUC certificates have also increased.
Why did IRDAI issue the circular pertaining to PUC certificates?
In a recent Supreme Court (SC) ruling, the apex court asked insurance companies to not issue renewals for vehicles without a valid PUC certificate (PUCC). Hence, in compliance with this ruling, the IRDAI issued its circular implementing the same.
Furthermore, the IRDAI’s circular also states that insurance companies shall not cover any damage claims on vehicles that do not have a valid PUCC at the time of the accident. With this, the organisation looks to ensure that motorists get their vehicle PUCs checked.
What is a PUC certificate and where can you get it?
A PUCC essentially verifies whether a combustion engine vehicle meets the required pollution control standards or not. These pollution control standards are emission levels that are predetermined for each class of vehicle.
Electric vehicles, of course, are exempt from ever requiring a PUCC. The only other vehicles that do not require a PUCC are brand new vehicles. However, this is only for their first year of usage, after which you have to get the certificate renewed every 6 months.
As for where you can get a PUCC – it can be attained from any authorised emissions testing centre. These are usually located at petrol pumps.
Is the PUCC available only as a physical document?
As of September 2019, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has asked PUC centres to link emissions data with the online vehicle database. This allows owners the ability to access their PUCC digitally via the m-Parivahan or e-challan apps.
What are the fines for having an invalid PUCC?
The fine for not having a valid PUC certificate has also gone up from Rs 1,000 to a maximum of 3 months imprisonment and/or a fine of Rs 10,000 for the first violation. The second violation, meanwhile, can result in up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of Rs 10,000, instead of a Rs 2,000 fine.