What was the purpose of this document issued in Czarist Russia? #russia


Thanks to translation by a  very helpful member of this forum (thanks Michael!), I understand that the attached document issued to my great-uncle, Elya Schwets, allowed him to travel within Russia for one year. It was issued by the local government in Kozhan Gorodok (near Pinsk) where he was registered, although he was born in Makarov, near Kiev, hundreds of miles away. 

So it would seem to be an internal Russian passport. The date it was issued is December 28, 1911, and Elya left Russia shortly afterwards, arriving in New York in February 1912. 

Can anyone explain why it was necessary or helpful  to obtain such a document? Was it a document needed in order to leave the country, i.e. to travel internally in Russia prior to emigrating? Did it need to be renewed each year? Was this only issued to Jews, or to all Russians?

Thanks in advance!

Howard Brown
Stowe VT

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