Skip to Content

How To Register On IRCTC Indian Railway Site As A Foreigner in 2024

This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission if you use these links.

The IRCTC is the official website for the Indian Railway system, it’s the official and direct way to book trains in India and it’s what locals use. However, it is a bit hard to work out how to use AND you need to register to the IRCTC first which can also seem tricky to start with.

So in this India travel blog, I’m going to give you a step by step guide on how to register on the IRCTC website as a foreigner to India so that you can book trains in India using IRCTC ticket booking system.


If you have already registered, head straight over to my How to book a train in India guide with step by step details on how to use IRCTC.

VISA FOR INDIA!

Remember you need a visa to enter India. Luckily, these day’s the visa for India can be applied for online and they give you a 1-year visa straight away! Here’s my step by step easy guide on how to apply for an e-visa for India.

SIM CARD FOR INDIA

I really recommend having a sim card in India as it makes travel in India so much easier! You may have heard that it’s hard to get a sim card in India but you can get a sim card in Delhi Airport, read this post to see how to buy a sim card in Delhi Airport or if you fly in elsewhere 3 ways to buy a sim card in India and you’ll be connected in just a few hours!

WHAT TO WEAR IN INDIA

If you are a woman, here’s what I recommend you pack and wear in India. Technically you can wear what you like in India in most places but to get fewer stares and feel more comfortable, read my post!

DON’T GET SCAMMED IN DELHI

Most people arrive for the first time into Delhi and get scammed within a few hours! Read my Delhi Travel Tips to help you enjoy Delhi, and the best places to stay in Delhi which is so important!

IRCTC Registration

Step One – Complete Registration on IRCTC

Visit the IRCTC website and click ‘Register’ at the top. Complete the details in the first section which are standard questions and easy to answer.

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog IRCTC homepage
The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog IRCTC Registration page

When you get to ‘Country’ at the bottom of the form and you complete anything that isn’t ‘India’ it will bring up a blue info box basically saying that unless you have an Indian Mobile Number (with dialing code 91) you will have to pay a registration fee after successful registration of just over 100 Indian Rupee’s, which is an extremely little amount.

Note – I assume this is because you need to be sent a registration code to verify your account, they can send it to an Indian number for free but if you are completing this and not yet in India and therefore do not have an Indian Sim Card.

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog IRCTC registration details

Complete the remaining details. Although it asks for your address in a weird way including Post Office Address, complete with your own home address making sure all mandatory boxes are completed. Complete the Captcha, tick ‘agree’ to the T’s & C’s and click ‘Register’.

You’ll get a pop up confirming your mobile number and email address so make sure this is correct.

You’ll then get a list of green boxes confirming everything plus an email sent to your address.

Note – This email may take some time to send, especially if you are somewhere on a different timezone as India but you do not need this email to continue the registration process so it’s ok.

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog IRCTC registration page

Step Two – Log on for the First Time

You can now click to log into your account. Enter your username and password, complete the Captcha and hit login.

You’ll see a big blue sign again telling you that you need to pay a registration fee. (If you happened to use an Indian Number in the setup process because you are in India already, you will not see this and instead be sent a verification code and can skip this step.)

BOOKING TRAINS IN INDIA

India is best travelled by train because its the quickest, cheapest and best way of getting to know the country. For an EASY option of booking trains in India use 12GO to search and book trains really easily. If you’ll be in India for awhile, you can use the local booking system, it’s a bit tricker but possible, here’s my post on how to book trains in India as a tourist.

BEST ACCOMMODATION IN INDIA

I always use Booking.com to book my hotels in India and Hostelworld to book my hostels. India has a great range of accommodation with brilliant hostel chains like Moustache, Zostel and Backpacker Panda as well as homestays to luxury hotels.

GUIDED TOURS IN INDIA

Many cities in India are best seen with a guide, even if it’s just a half day tour on your first day. Cities in India are chaotic and complex and what better way to taste the food and get to know the city than with a local. I recommend Get Your Guide & Viator for the best tours in India!

Step Three – Pay the Registration Fee on IRCTC

Click on the second option in Payment Options on the left – Multiple Payment Service and International Cards.

Click Make Payment which will take you through to a section to complete with your bank details and billing address, complete these details and click ‘Pay Now’. This is the same way you will pay for your trains when you are booking them.

Note – If you are using a bank card like Monzo it will alert you in the app and ask you to confirm the payment. This may happen with other prepaid travel cards too. If you’re using a bank debit or credit card you may be asked for authorisation from them too depending on how this is set up. If you have any issues paying take a look into this.

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog IRCTC registration payment page

Step Four – Verify OTP

Now you’ll see ‘Mobile and Email Verification Process’. You need to verify both by IRCTC sending a code – OTP as they call it, to your email and mobile number entered.

Click ‘Verify Mobile with OTP’ and ‘Verify Email with OTP’ to ensure that the OTP does get sent.

This is when it can get a bit annoying as by now you probably won’t have had your registration email through, and there will be a delay on the email and probably text message with both OTP codes on, especially if you are not in the same timezone as India. To save getting lots of codes do not keep clicking to re-send the code, give it some time first.

You’ll more than likely need to put the registration aside for a few hours, maybe even until tomorrow until both the email code and mobile code comes through, so have a look at some of my other India travel blogs posts, bookmark this page and come back to it when it does as the below tells you exactly how to book a train in India as a foreigner!

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog IRCTC registration verification page

When your email OTP and Mobile OTP come through, log back onto the IRCTC website and enter them in.  After you log in the first page you’ll see is the verification page.

It will tell you your account is verified and you need to log back in via the homepage again via the ‘login’ button at the top.

And now you’re ready to book a train in India!

For more of my India blog posts to help you plan your trip see:

Katrin

Saturday 23rd of December 2023

I've also got issues getting the OTP to a UK number - been waiting about a day now.

I'm also experiencing issues on 12Go where trains are showing as not available or booked out when selecting them, however viewing them on the official site shows availability.

Do you know of any alternatives to 12Go?

TheWanderingQuinn

Wednesday 27th of December 2023

Oh that's really annoying! Especially with 12GO. Red Bus is a company I used to book buses in India and it looks like they have an option to search train tickets so have a look at this: https://www.redbus.in/train-tickets :)

John Crosby

Tuesday 12th of December 2023

Thanks for this brilliantly written piece, we have got as far as waiting for the mobile OTP, but it has never arrived (waiting two days), do you have any advice as to who we should contact ? We’re in the U.K. and have used a booking agent here for our last two trips to India, but thought we’d try and book with India Railways direct this time, not quite as easy as we had hoped. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.

TheWanderingQuinn

Friday 15th of December 2023

Hello, has it still not come through? I don't think there is anyone to contact except for trying again. However you can book your own trains in India on platform sites like 12GO Asia so I'd recommend checking there as these days, most of the trains are on there and it's a trusted site to use for trains around Asia. Have a go at that as I agree, it would be nice to book things yourself this time if you've been before :)

Rich

Wednesday 11th of October 2023

Thanks a million for taking the time to write this up - your instructions worked perfectly for my UK mobile :-)

TheWanderingQuinn

Monday 16th of October 2023

Great to hear!

sylvie

Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

Hi, but I don't have an Indian SIM, and I am not in India yet. How to login to the IRCTC System to book a ticket in advance? Thank you so much for help! Kind regards Sylvie

TheWanderingQuinn

Thursday 23rd of March 2023

Hi Sylvie, that's fine, when you get to ‘Country’ at the bottom of the form and you complete anything that isn’t ‘India’ it will bring up a blue info box basically saying that unless you have an Indian Mobile Number (with dialling code 91) you will have to pay a registration fee after successful registration of just over 100 Indian Rupee’s, which is an extremely little amount so go ahead withe the payment and it should work to your mobile number now. You might have to wait overnight for it to come through.

Michael

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Good info...But I am from Canada and IRCTC registration is asking for a pin #...any idea of what this is?