I want to fly on a domestic flight in India. Is it enough to have my US drivers license or do I need my passport w/ OCI?

  • 2
    you can't even get into India with just your US driver's license, so the question is moot. – jwenting Mar 16 '17 at 11:53
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    @jwenting the question is hardly moot, they could've forgotten their passport at location A where now they want to return, it might be in renewal, waiting for visa issue and so forth. And airindia.in/documents-to-carry.htm only says "Valid Driving License" and it's not clear whether that's Indian or any valid driving license. Our site has travel.stackexchange.com/q/26319/4188 and travel.stackexchange.com/q/57142/4188 but neither answers this question here. – chx Mar 16 '17 at 12:44
  • Are you a US citizen or are you a foreign national who has a US driver license from being resident in the US? If the later, what is your citizenship? – user13044 Mar 16 '17 at 14:26
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    @chx - In your Air India link at the bottom it states quite clearly: "For Foreign Nationals, the only valid photo ID for travel is Passport." – user13044 Mar 16 '17 at 14:29
  • @Tom OCI (overseas citizen of India) implies that the traveler holds a non-Indian passport. If I recall correctly, some countries consider OCI status to be a form of Indian nationality, but I think Indian law does not. This is far from clear to me, however. – phoog Mar 16 '17 at 14:51

No, your US or for that matter drivers licenses from any other foreign country aren't valid to board domestic flights in India. Here is the information from the websites of Air India and Indigo. I suspect you'll find identical information for other airlines too.

Passengers are required to ensure that they are in possession of all documents necessary for travel, apart from their tickets. For domestic travel within India, valid photo identification, namely

  • Valid Passport,

  • PAN card issued by the Income Tax department,

  • Election Photo Identification Card,

  • Valid Driving License,

  • Photo identity card issued by the employer, being government and reputed private sector organizations,

  • Photo Credit Card,

  • Children should carry their school identification cards or any other photo identification proof,

  • Valid birth certificates of infants,

For travel under Concessionary fare types valid relevant IDs.

In case the Customers do not possess any of the above documents, they should carry a relevant attested document that contains a recent photograph of the traveling Customers.

For Foreign Nationals, the only valid photo ID for travel is Passport.

  • 1
    +1. While these guidelines don't state that photo ID has to be "government of India" issued, I think it is implicit. Then it follows that out of all foreign govt. issued IDs, only the passport is recognized. – RedBaron Mar 17 '17 at 5:06

Considering how many different Driver's License types the US alone has, you can hardly expect that some official in India is familiar with all types of all Driver's Licenses in the world, so he would not be able to differentiate between a Driver's License and an Health Club Membership or a self-printed laminated fake.
That implies it is not sufficient.

However, considering the way things are handled in India, there is always a chance that he has seen them before from just that state, and maybe you can talk him into accepting it, for an extra 'fee'. I would not rely on that, though.

  • 2
    Strongly disagree with this answer. Airport security in most Indian airports in no joke. Suggesting bribery to bypass security is in poor taste too. – nikhil Mar 17 '17 at 0:01
  • I did not suggest it. I have seen similar things happen, in airports, in India, in 2016 and in 2017. So it is possible. It is still illegal and I am not suggesting to try it. – Aganju Mar 17 '17 at 0:05
  • Airport security is handled by CISF, not by some contracted security agency. Further, even offering (or insinuating the offer of) a bribe is an offense which can lead to prosecution, so better not try it. – kabZX Mar 18 '17 at 14:50

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