Most people who visit Washington, DC want to know if they can get tickets to the White House.  This great architectural structure was built during the time of 1792 and 1800 and became the residence of the second President of the United States, James Adams.

So no wonder Washington area tourists want to visit the building. But public tours didn’t begin until the Calvin Coolidge administration. And important to note was the fact that there have been pivotal moments in history where White House tours were terminated.

These times included: World War II, The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

But luckily today getting access to the White House is possible when you plan ahead and know who to call to get access.

Michelle Obama Greets White House VisitorsCredit: People Magazine

Step One: Call your congress person’s office to get tickets to the White House. If you don’t know your congress person, go here and enter in your zip code . You will get a possible list of your congressional representatives; choose your rep based on the map.

Step Two: Call the number listed or visit your congress person’s website. Fill out the White House tours access forms. It’s advised that you try to plan ahead and start six months out in order to procure your tickets. You can schedule dates as close to 21 days of your potential visit as well.  Give the staffer three dates that are of preference.

Step Three: Be prepared to provide your congressional staffer you and your travel companion’s Social security number, name and etc., because you will have to submit to a background check. All persons 16 years and older must submit to a background check with a social security number.

Step Four: A tour ID will be emailed to you and can be accepted or denied two days to a week prior to the scheduled tour date. The final decision to accept or reject a tour is made by the White House and can be done at any time without notice or reason due to security measures.

Those that are not citizens of the US are encouraged to contact their embassy for White House Tickets.

Here are Some Frequently Asked Questions about White House Tours:

I’ve always wanted to see the Oval Office, Where the Real Action Is, Can I on a White House Tour? No, you cannot. The Residences in the White House along with the Oval office are off limits to the general public.

Can I Take Pictures Once Inside of the White House? No, you are not allowed to photograph any tours inside of the White House and with that said, cameras, video equipment etc., are not allowed under any circumstances.

Will I Meet the President? This is also unlikely. However, there have been tours going on in the White House, where tourists were greeted by the President.

Is the Same Process Above Followed for the White House Christmas Tree Lighting?: No, the Christmas White House Lighting is handled by the National Park Service. You can go here to find out more.

As you can see getting tickets to the White House is pretty straightforward and fairly easy, you just to make sure you plan out your trip to ensure you get access.