Visitor vehicles must be inspected before entering campus, and all visitors must go through security.
All visitors over 15 years of age must present a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport. Patients under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Visitors will be asked to walk through a metal detector, and all bags will be scanned. Please note that the following items are prohibited on the NIH campus: firearms, explosives, archery equipment, dangerous weapons, knives with blades over 2 ½ inches, alcoholic beverages and open containers of alcohol.
Please note: Depending on the time of day and the amount of visitors, the security process can take as long as 30 minutes to 1 hour, so please plan accordingly.
There are two entrances for patients and patient visitors who arrive via car on weekdays.
The Gateway Center Vehicle Inspection facility is open from 5 AM to 10 PM, Monday to Friday. It is located on Rockville Pike (Route 355). Please see a detailed map of the Gateway Center for more information. After turning into Gateway Drive, please continue straight ahead to one of the lanes for campus access (either lane is fine). Do not park in the visitor parking lot located on Gateway Drive. You will be directed by security personnel into a lane for vehicle inspection. You will need to turn your car off, unlock your vehicle, and open your trunk. Exit the vehicle and take all bags and personal belongings with you into the badge issuing station. Once inside the badge issuing station, your bags will be scanned. You will be asked to pass through a metal detector and present your government-issued ID. Once these steps have been completed, you will be given a visitor ID badge and can return to your vehicle. You will also be given a vehicle inspection pass, which must be displayed at all times while on the NIH campus.
The Patient and Patient Visitor Entrance is open from 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday to Friday. It is located at Cedar Lane and West Drive. Visitors will be assisted by Clinical Center Hospitality Staff. You will need to exit your vehicle and proceed to the badge issuing station with all your bags and personal belongings. Once inside the badge issuing station, your bags will be scanned and you will need to pass through a metal detector. You will then be asked to present your government-issued ID. Once these steps have been completed, you will be given a visitor ID badge and can return to your vehicle. For more information on this entrance, please visit the Patient Entrance page on the Clinical Research Center website.
A map of visitor entrances (PDF) is available.
Weekend and After-Hours Entrance
Vehicles entering on weekends or between 10 PM and 5 AM on weekdays must enter via the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility, located on Rockville Pike (Route 355). Your vehicle will be inspected by security personnel, so you must unlock all doors and open your trunk. You will be asked to exit the vehicle and proceed to a badge issuing station, where you will need to present your government-issued ID. Once you have received your visitor ID badge, you may return to your vehicle.
A map of visitor entrances (PDF) is available.
Extended Visitor Badges
For patients who will be returning to campus, there is the option of receiving an extended visitor badge. These badges are valid for one year upon issue and allow visitors to enter campus through any entrance. Extended visitor badges must be sponsored by a CRC staff member and are issued in the Main Lobby of the CRC. If you would like an extended visitor ID badge, please talk to Karen Adams, and she can provide you with the required paperwork.
Additional Security Information
Visitor parking is extremely limited at the NIH, so we recommend patients take public transportation if possible. Free parking is available at the Safra Family Lodge and the Children's Inn. Please talk to the staff at the Lodge or the Inn about receiving a permit for these parking areas.
For patients who are not staying on campus, we recommend that our visitors park in the garage located under the CRC. A map highlighting visitor entrances and patient parking locations can be found here. Patient and patient visitor parking is available on the P1 level of the garage. You will need a ticket to park after 7 AM, and your vehicle may be inspected again. PARKING IN THE GARAGE IS FREE FOR PATIENTS AND PATIENT VISITORS, BUT YOU WILL NEED TO GET YOUR TICKET VALIDATED. Validation is done at the desk just inside the doors on the P1 level of the garage (near the South Elevators). If you arrive before 7 AM and do not have a ticket, please inquire at the desk about the procedure for parking validation.
For additional parking information, please see the NIH Clinical Center Parking website.
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