Update: November 27, 2012: Proof of ID now required for all classes of Indian Railways
Considering the high temperatures in India, air-conditioned coaches are the preferred way of train traveling in terms of comfort and not-so-expensive rates, as compared to Europe. So if you are traveling through the “AC Class” of Indian Railways starting this February then make sure to carry an proof of identification.
Aiming to check misuse of rail tickets, the railways has made it mandatory for all passengers traveling in AC classes to carry an identity proof with them during the journey. The decision will be implemented in all trains across the country from February 15, according to a circular issued by the Railway Board.
As of now, only passengers traveling on Tatkal (last-minute) tickets and e-tickets have to carry original identity proof during the journey. If more than one passenger is traveling on one ticket, any one passenger in a group is required to carry the original ID proof.
Those failing to produce original ID proof will be treated as travelling without ticket and will be charged accordingly. The acceptable ID proofs include voter ID issued by Election Commission, passport, driving license, Photo ID card having serial number issued by central/state government, nationalized bank passbook with photo, credit card issued by banks with laminated photos, or student ID card with photo. There was no indication of acceptance of International Drivers Permit or foreign drivers licence as a legitimate proof of ID.
Zonal railways have been instructed to publicize the decision to prevent any inconvenience to the public. Also, necessary instructions have been issued to all officials concerned, particularly ticket checking staff. The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) has been asked to make necessary changes in the software so as to incorporate the message in rail tickets for the benefit of passengers.