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Inauguration Security - What You Need to Know for the 2013 Inauguration


Security measures for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration will be massive including street closures on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, thousands of surveillance cameras, air patrols, sharpshooters, personal searches and more. All parade and event attendees will be subject to a thorough security screening. Be prepared to wait in lines and remain calm. Officials strongly recommend that you bring as little as possible with you. Allow for additional time and be aware of prohibited items. Cell phones and cameras will be allowed, however tripods and camera bags will be prohibited.

Security checkpoints will open for the Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremony at 8 a.m. Ticketed guests are advised to arrive by 9 a.m. Parade route entry points will open at 6:30 a.m. and will remain open until the parade route can no longer accommodate additional people.

Prohibited Items

  • Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated)
  • Explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
  • Knives, blades, or sharp objects (of any length)
  • Mace and/or pepper spray
  • Sticks or poles
  • Pockets or hand tools, such as “Leatherman”
  • Packages
  • Backpacks
  • Large bags
  • Duffel bags
  • Suitcases
  • Thermoses
  • Coolers
  • Strollers - Allowed on the Mall with a child in it, not allowed on the Capitol Grounds or the Parade Route
  • Umbrellas
  • Tripods and camera bags
  • Laser pointers
  • Signs
  • Posters
  • Animals (other than service animals)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Other items as determined by and at the discretion of the security screener

Security Perimeter and Closures

A security perimeter will be established around the U.S. Capitol and the parade route. Metro stations, bus stops, and streets within that perimeter will be closed. Street closures throughout Washington, DC will make traveling by car or taxi very difficult. Bridges from Virginia crossing the Potomac River into Washington, DC as well as major roadways from Maryland into Washington, DC may be closed to all but bus traffic. See a map of the parade route and security perimeter.

Vehicle restricted zones will be put in place. All road closures in Washington, DC will be instituted by the Metropolitan Police Department. Inquiries pertaining to road closures should be directed to the MPD Office of Public Information at (202) 727-4383.

Air Security

A combined air security plan will be implemented to provide airspace security for the Washington metropolitan area. Enhanced airspace restrictions on general aviation have been released and can be accessed online at the Federal Aviation Administration web page. Pilot inquiries should be directed to 866-598-9522.

Water Security

There will be an enhanced security presence on the waterways around Washington, DC. Inquires should be directed to the U.S. Coast Guard at 410-576-2693 or via marine band radio VHF channel 16 or the Metropolitan Police Department Harbor Patrol at 202-727-4582.

Metrorail Security

The Metro Transit Police Department and the TSA will increase their security using canines to patrol stations and trains. Archives, Mt. Vernon Square and Smithsonian Metrorail stations will be closed on Inauguration Day.

Attendees should report any suspicious behavior, unusual activity or unattended items to Metro Transit Police at (202) 962-2121.

Learn More About Washington DC Law Enforcement Agencies

See Inauguration 2013 Transportation Guide for information about getting around Washington, DC for the inaugural events.

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