In Imperial Russia (as in other states) passports were required for interior travel. They were issued to individuals and had a finite duration. I'm guessing that being found away from home without a passport was a crime.
A letter from Natalia Shelikhova says state peasants usually got 3-year passports. Russian-American Company employees, who had to travel farther, used 7-year passports. According to G.A. Miller's Kodiak Kreol, these were issued at Irkutsk to those that had "travel papers and passports from their home regions". Irkutsk is not very close to Russian America, so perhaps it was a rather high functionary that was writing the documents; the distinction between passports and "travel papers" is not clear to me.
Around 1800, which officials were empowered to write passports, and which officials would ever demand them of travelers?