How to get a travel pass in Chennai during the COVID-19 lockdown


ஊரடங்கு காரணமாக எப்பொழுதும் நெரிசல் மிகுந்த தி.நகர் வெரிச்சோடி உள்ளது. படம்: லாஸ்யா சேகர்

As the city continues to be under lockdown, many people have questions on the eligibility and procedure of availing a pass for unavoidable travel. Stringent measures have been put in place in the city to enforce social distancing and the  policy of passes is also designed to ensure that even if people have to step out, it should not lead to crowding anywhere.

Here is a guide that answers the most common queries around travel passes in Chennai:

Who can issue a travel pass?

The process has been centralised and only Collectors through Personal Assistant (General) for districts and the Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation will issue passes after due verification process.

Who can avail of a pass?

According to the revised norms, the Greater Chennai Corporation is issuing travel pass to citizens, including the differently-abled, only for three reasons: marriage, death and medical emergency. For occasions like weddings and funerals, the civic body is issuing a pass only for 10 people that includes all family members.

How can you apply for a pass?

The civic body is only accepting online applications for passes at the link below:

Document proof and identity proof should be submitted while applying for a pass. For occasions like weddings and deaths, the issuing authority will do a thorough check upon receiving the application.

How long does it take to process a travel pass?

Applicants will be given a response within 24 hours of submission of the application. Instructions to get the pass will be given after the application is approved; no service fee is charged for this.

Do I need a pass if I need to go out for daily provision or medicine?

No, daily provisions/medicine may be purchased during the stipulated time (6 am to 2.30 pm) but social distancing must be strictly maintained. But people are not expected to buy provisions/medicines every day. Frequent visits are to be avoided during lockdown.

Can I get a pass to buy something that is not available in my area, since police have barricaded every area and not allowing me to go to other areas without passes?

No, COVID-19 pandemic is a medical emergency. It is wise to manage with what is available in your area.

I am a farmer, do I need a pass to reach and engage agricultural labourers in my farmland?

No, agriculture is declared as an essential service. Engage minimum labourers and practice proper sanitising procedures and social distancing.

Can I travel to my place of work without a pass?

No, any movement of individuals is restricted during the entire period of the lockdown, except for those involved in essential services as stipulated by the state government guidelines. In case of violations, the offender may be punished with two years of imprisonment.

Should I get a pass to visit a doctor?

No, this is a lockdown. General consultation/elective surgeries are prohibited. In case of emergency, please call government helpline numbers: 104, toll-free number: 1800 120 55550, 044-2951 0400, 044-2951 0500, 94443 40496.

Can I get a pass if I am self-employed or from a start-up and need to visit my office once in a while to maintain essential equipment?

No, only essential services are allowed.

 How do I get a pass to meet my parents/relatives/wife/children in other districts?

As we are in lockdown, passes are issued only to attend pre-fixed marriages, funerals and medical emergencies as per the government guidelines issued by the Chief Secretary.

I need to visit another district, because of a death in my family due to causes other than coronavirus, can I do so? If yes, how do I apply for a pass?

Yes, you may; you will have to apply for a pass as per the guidelines above.

I need to go to my parents’ house in another district, because I do not have any help at home. Can I go? 

No. COVID-19 pandemic is a medical emergency situation, use locally available facilities like Amma unavagam and other functioning shops for meeting your needs.

I am a doctor working at a private clinic, can I continue working?

No. General consultation/elective surgeries are prohibited. Only emergency cases shall be treated.

Can I jog or run in the morning, while maintaining six feet distance from others?

No. Section 144 applies to all activities in public spaces. It is exempted only for purchase of essential commodities.

I am a migrant worker, can I get a pass to go to my native state?

No. You are not allowed to travel. In case of an emergency, please call the government helpline numbers.

The 24×7 Helpline Numbers for COVID-19

  • Toll-free for calls: 18004250111 / 1800 120 55550 / 104
  • Landline: 044-2951 0400, 044-2951 0500
  • Mobile: 94443 40496
  • WhatsApp and Video Calling: 9700799993 (Sign language Interpretation Facility)

I am an essential goods supplier; can I send my empty vehicle to transport essential goods from one area to another within or across districts?

Yes, you can send the empty vehicles to transport essentials from one area to another area within the district, as well as inter-district.

Tamil Nadu association of clinical psychologists is offering mental health support in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are the numbers:

  • 944429 7058
  • 99402 11077
  • 98402 44405
  • 94443 59810
  • 98842 65958
  • 94493 65194
  • 84282 01968
  • 93838 45040

Mental health counselling by GCC: 044-26425585

Differently-abled people living in Chennai with aches and pains for tele-counselling can contact:

  • Dr Hamsa Raj – 98402 3534
  • Dr Jagadeesan – 9500200345
  • Dr B William Stanley – 95000 01620
  • Dr Vigneshwaren – 98845 76007
  • Dr Ajithkumar – 99941 75437
  • Dr Prakash – 988498 7336

(Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar with inputs from Greater Chennai Corporation and Tamil Nadu Police Department)

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  1. how and where to apply for vehicle pass for transporting personnel of essential service sector such as banks, is there any restriction for number of passes for per institution.


    Babu Devarajan

  2. We are supplying contaminated gauntlets to pharmaceutical companies. We want to visit office and send the material to pharma company. Where to get the pass?

  3. What all comes under essential service, do pest control come under essential service

  4. Dear Sir, This important instructions you are published in English language.former, local pupils could not understand properly.kindly publish in Tamil for tamilnadu local language.

  5. Hi Sir,

    Very informative website and thanks for the same.

    We are medical equipments suppliers and we have to send engineers to check the medical systems for periodic check up. We have medical equipments installed in many hospitals and clinics in chennai.

    Pls let me know what kind of pass we need to get for our engineer to visit these hospitals

  6. The travel emergency number(75300 01100) that is provided switched off all the time. We are trying for the past 3 days to get approval to travel to attend direct blood relation’s death to attend his funeral. And we had applied Online and still no reply.
    Is there any other way or no we can approach for this emergency.

  7. Where do I apply for a pass to take my dog to hospital? It’s an emergency situation. Need to give oxygen therapy asap.

    • I tried 1962 pet ambulance but no use at all. They said ta it’s not available due to pls help me to take my dog to hospital asap

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