The day pass is a quest item in Fallout 2. Vault City, although extremely closed to outsiders, nevertheless recognized that, from time to time, outsiders would require at least some access to the Inner City to conduct business. The solution was the day pass.
Recognizing that the creation of the day pass was a liability that would potentially let anybody into the city, Vault City took steps to insure that they would not be overrun by outsiders.
Only outsiders with legitimate reasons - as Vault City saw them - would be granted a day pass. Traders dealing in gecko pelts, uranium, or gold could negotiate for a day pass. Unlike many other settlements in the wasteland, Vault City also considered slavers as legitimate traders and granted them access to the city via the day pass system. Vault City made sure that their trading system was stacked doubly in their favor; not only were trades conducted at nearly punitive rates, but the day pass the trader needed to conduct business was also only had at a steep fee.
Free day passes were granted in certain circumstances. Diplomats often received complimentary day passes, and non-citizen agents of Vault City - rare though they were - also typically received free day pass access.
Acquiring a day pass
In-game, there are several methods the player can take to acquire a day pass from Wallace. The first and easiest, is for the player to remove their clothing amd talk to Wallace, he will give you a day pass and tell you to show your suit to the First Citizen. Another way, assuming the player has a high-enough Speech skill, is to tell Wallace they wish to discuss a network of Vaults with Lynette. Another, riskier way, is to Steal one from Wallace. Another way is to ask about Lynette, then ask about the raider attacks. This allows the player to offer to locate the raider base in exchange for a day pass. This is easily the most difficult method.
The final, easiest way, is to enter Wallace's office after midnight, and a day pass can be found in the locked locker (the locker cannot be unlocked while Wallace is around, so the player must wait).
At first glance, it seems there is a fourth option - if the player purchases fake Citizenship papers from Skeev, they can turn him over to Wallace and request a day pass as a reward. However, Wallace requests a reason for this, leading into the "network of Vaults" method. Because this last route decreases the player's reputation in Vault City, it is not recommended. Mentioning the GECK to Wallace also does not do anything to convince him.
Access Without Freedom
A day pass granted access to the Vault City proper, but did not confer even the illusion of freedom. Any non-citizen entering Vault City was subject to search. Vault City held a rather loose definition of "contraband," and persons carrying any sort of drugs - apart from stimpaks and similar purely medical pharmaceuticals - were barred from entering. Even possession of alcohol was considered a disqualifying offense, as Vault City maintained a strict, synthetic alcohol only policy.
Holders of day passes were only permitted access to the Inner City during daylight hours. At sundown, day pass privleges expired, and outsiders were escorted to the gate and discharged. Furthermore, day passes did not grant entry into the most significant structure of Vault City: the Vault itself.