What is the PUC Center? [Detailed Guide]

. 8 min read
What is the PUC Center? [Detailed Guide]

Global emissions have reached record highs, and global warming has emerged as a grave issue for the world for the past two decades. Countries are looking to minimise their carbon footprints to bring global temperatures and air pollution in control, which have been increasing every year. The Indian Government is also conscious of the environmental degradation that is gravely affecting the world. They introduced the Motor Vehicles Act of 2009, a stringent fine of Rs.10,000 on vehicles that do not comply with the emission standards set by the government.

What is a PUC Certificate?

Every vehicle must have a non-polluting mark to comply with the government norms on pollution.

This non-polluting mark comes in the form of a pollution certificate or a PUC certificate. A PUC certificate is imperative to drive on the roads of India. The PUC certificate includes the registration number of the vehicle, PUC center serial number, date of the test, the emission reading, and the date until the test is valid.

Importance of a PUC Certificate

The PUC certificate states that the pollution emitted by your vehicle meets the emission standards set by the Government. Generally, a vehicle that is older than 5 years emits more pollution since it runs on previous BS (Bharat Stage) bars. The PUC certificate was first mandated by the Central Motor Vehicles Act of 1989. The fine earlier was Rs.1,000 for the first offense and Rs.2,000 for subsequent offenses. The fine has been enhanced to Rs. 10,000/- now.

Earlier, the PUC norms were not enforced or were rarely enforced. The Indian Government has said that it will be strictly enforcing the PUC norms now.

Millions of motor vehicles are lining up to get a PUC certificate to comply with the law.

What is a PUC center?

A PUC centre is a government authorised place where PUC certificates can be issued. These centres are equipped with testing equipment that can test the level of emissions a vehicle is making. There are millions of vehicles in Indian; it would be impossible for the Government to open and operate PUC centres itself. Therefore, the Government authorises private players to certify vehicles with a non-pollution making mark.

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly hurt business prospects. As such, PUC centers are an excellent way to generate a good cash flow for your business. With only a little investment, you can earn thousands in a single day. A PUC center can be opened by a company, somebody, a partnership firm, or a trust. Only those establishments that have the capacity to test pollution standards and come from a specific background can get authorised. Petrol pumps form the bulk of the PUC centers in India.

What are the Ways to Open a PUC Center?

You can open a PUC center in India with the following requirements:

Requirements for the site

  1. A petrol pump or an oil company’s retail outlet, or
  2. A workshop that is authorised as vehicle manufacture can work too.  The workspace must be at least 400 sq. ft. For testing the emissions of two and three-wheelers. For testing four-wheelers, the workspace must be at least 1000 sq. ft. or
  3. When an individual or a firm wants to establish a PUC center, the minimum area required is 200 sq. ft. Additionally, there should be space for parking so that the traffic jams do not happen as traffic causes inconvenience to the public.

Qualifications for a PUC operator

A PUC center must have a designated PUC operator. The operator needs to be skilled in this line of work. After meeting the site requirements, ensure that you employ someone with the qualifications given below needed for a PUC operator. The qualifications are:

  1. The person should have a certificate in motor mechanics, auto mechanics, Diesel mechanic, or automobile engineering from a recognised institute of learning.
  2. The PUC center should employ him/her.
  3. The person should be up to date with all the procedures. He should also be skilled enough to make minor adjustments to lower a given vehicle’s pollution levels.

The designated operator must operate the PUC center. No other person is authorised to run the PUC center.

Procedure for opening a PUC center:

The following procedures have to be followed when a person aspires to open a PUC center:

  1. One should apply for authorisation at the RTO, i.e., Regional Transport Office.
  2. You should apply at the nearest RTO division from your address that is on your identity proof.
  3. You will need to submit an affidavit when applying for a license.
  4. The terms and conditions should be clearly mentioned in the affidavit.
  5. Apply for a NOC from the local authorities.
  6. The fees for applying depends on the state in which you are applying.

You can apply to the central government portal. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways website has a section where you apply for the license. All you have to do is fill in the center’s details, the PUC operator’s details, the state, etc. Once you fill in the state of the PUC center, select your nearest RTO office, and an application number will be generated for you. Fill the form and upload the necessary documents to procure the license easily. This is the online government site for the PUC form.

Note that you will have to submit a valid approval certificate of your testing equipment while applying for the license. For testing Petrol/CNG vehicles, you will need a 4 gas analyser of the approved make and model. For testing diesel vehicles, you will need a smoke meter of the approved make and model. Other than that, you will need a computer with basic system requirements, a working webcam, a printer, an uninterrupted power supply, an internet facility with a minimum speed of 1 Mbps, and any software as decided by the transport authorities.

Fees for setting up a PUC center

The fee varies from state to state. In the Delhi NCR region, the application fee is Rs. 5,000. The license has to be renewed every year. Annual license renewal is charged, which costs Rs. 5,000. A PUC center can recover the application fee in a matter of days.

Terms and Conditions

There are certain terms and conditions when opening a PUC center. Make sure you meet all the site requirements. You will need to have a PUC operator with the necessary credentials and the technological know-how to do the job. Next, the center has to be opened with a yellow cabin with 2.5m x 2m x 2m.

Income Potential

The initial investment needed for setting up a PUC center is meagre. Other than that, the fees in almost all the states are less than Rs.10,000 a year. Generally, businesses can charge Rs.50/Rs.100 depending on the geographical location. One only has to stick an Rs. 2 government sticker when the certificate is issued. You will recoup all your investment in a short time and earn handsome profits from then on.

Some Tips:

  1. Do not forget to take a No Objection Certificate from the requisite local authorities.
  2. An affidavit is required in some states. In other states, it is not required; ensure if your state requires it or not.
  3. You should get all your documents ready when applying for a quicker approval process.

Also read:

1) Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in India: Scope & feasibility
2) How does the future of Electric Vehicles look like?
3) How to Start an E-Rickshaw Business in India?
4) How to Get an Electric Vehicle Dealership? Read this 101 Guide

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Q. Can anyone open a PUC center?

Ans: No, not everyone can open a PUC center. One has to meet the site requirements, have the testing equipment in place, and have a PUC operator that meets the qualification criteria. All the requirements are mentioned in the article above.

Q. Where can I apply for a license?

Ans: You can apply in your nearest RTO office. You can also apply to the central government portal made by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Various state governments have opened an online portal for applying as well.

Q. What are the site requirements for opening a PUC center?

Ans: The site has to be a petrol pump or a retail outlet for an oil company. It can also be an authorised vehicle workshop.

Q. What are the qualifications of a PUC operator?

Ans: The person should have a certificate in motor mechanics, auto mechanics, Diesel mechanic, or automobile engineering from a recognised institute of learning.

Q. Is it costly to open a PUC center?

Ans: No, it is not costly to open a PUC center. The initial investment in equipment can be recovered easily over a short period.

Q. How long is the license period for the PUC center?

Ans: The license is generally given for one year. After which, it can be easily renewed.

Q. What are the fees for opening a PUC center?

Ans: The fee varies from state to state. In the Delhi NCR region, the application fee is Rs. 5,000.

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