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2009 Inaugural Information

For information on all inaugural events, please visit
The Official 2009 Inauguration Committee website

For constituents with tickets to the inauguration who were unable to get into the event due to the large crowds and poor planning on the part of the Joint Inaugural Committee, the committee is offering to send an apology and a commemorative package including full color photos of President Obama and Vice President Biden. To receive your packet, please email feedback@jccic.senate.gov and provide your name and home address.

Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony
A limited number of tickets to the Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony, held on January 20, 2009, will be distributed to each Congressional office by the Inaugural Committee. Registration for inaugural tickets has closed as we have received in excess of 17,000 requests. However, the National Mall will be open to the public on Inauguration Day for the first time in history. The D.C. government plans to set up jumbotron televisions and loudspeakers so everyone will have a good view of the event and be part of the live action.  The Mall will open for visitors at 8:00AM.

Inaugural Parade
The Inaugural Parade, which takes place before the Swearing-In Ceremony, will be open to the public and does not require tickets. The Armed Forces Inaugural Committee will be accepting requests from individuals and groups who wish to participate in the parade. More information ...

Inaugural Balls
Inaugural Balls will be coordinated by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Important Event Information

  • Experts expect between 2 and 4 million people will be coming to Washington for the inauguration
  • City officials have closed the Roosevelt, Memorial and 14th St. Bridge on Inauguration Day to all traffic except for buses and authorized vehicles.
  • It is highly recommended that you take Metro and plan to get into the city early (Metro opens at 4:00AM)
  • Secret Service will establish a secure perimeter surrounding the Mall and parade route.
  • The Mall and parade route will not be open to the public until 8:00AM on Inauguration Day.  
  • Camping on the Mall is not allowed.
  • Cell phone reception is also expected to be disrupted on inauguration day given the crowd size.
  • Bars and restaurants will be allowed to serve until 4AM from January 17 - 21 and can stay open 24hrs/day. Recently revised upward from 5AM by the DC City Council.

VDOT Road and Bridge Restrictions
Beginning at 2 a.m. Tuesday, January 20, personal vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickups, vans, etc.) will not be allowed to enter Washington from Virginia. Those driving are encouraged to seek out public transportation to access the District on Inauguration Day. (See Public Transit Resources for more information). Personal vehicles will only be able to enter Washington by driving in from designated Maryland routes.

Beginning at 2 a.m. Tuesday, January 20, only authorized vehicles – emergency vehicles, buses, taxis, and for-hire limos and car services – will be permitted to travel northbound on Interstate 395 and eastbound on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway/I-495. All other traffic heading to Washington on Interstate 95 will be diverted at the Springfield interchange (Exits 170B and 170C) onto I-495 North (Inner Loop) or I-495/I-95 East (Outer Loop). All general traffic traveling eastbound on I-66 and toward Washington on the Dulles Toll Road will also be diverted to the Capital Beltway/I-495.

Only authorized vehicles will be allowed to cross the 14th Street Bridge, Roosevelt Bridge and Key Bridge, all of which lead from Virginia into Washington, D.C. The Memorial Bridge and Chain Bridge will be open to pedestrians only.

To augment patrols and expedite emergency response along Interstates 95, 66 and 495, Virginia State Police will be bringing in several hundred troopers from around the state to the Northern Virginia region. Increases in manpower and resources will begin Monday, January 19, and continue through Wednesday, January 21.

Beware Of Inaugural Ticket Scams
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies released the following information regarding tickets for the 56th Presidential Inaugural Ceremony on January 20, 2009:

Tickets to the 56th Inaugural Ceremonies will be provided free of charge and distributed through Members of the 111th Congress. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies does not provide tickets to the public. Members of the public interested in attending the Inaugural Ceremonies should contact their Member of Congress or U.S. Senators to request tickets.

The public should also be aware that no website or other ticket outlet actually has inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell, regardless of what they may claim. Tickets will not be distributed to Congressional offices until the week before the inauguration and will require in-person pick-up.

“Any website or ticket broker claiming that they have inaugural tickets is simply not telling the truth,” said Howard Gantman, Staff Director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. “Tickets for the swearing-in of President-elect are all provided through members of Congress, and the President-elect and Vice President-elect through the Presidential Inaugural Committee. We urge the public to view any offers of tickets for sale with great skepticism.”


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