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Security Screening

Illinois
Level Contributor
159 posts
2 reviews
Security Screening

I am trying to put together a tentative plan, and am wondering on average how long it takes to get through security screening at the Smithsonian museums, Library of Congress, etc. I will be there Dec 28th - Jan 2nd.

11 replies to this topic
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
1,817 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Security Screening

Depends on the location. Most places are just a bag check. The National Archives and I think the Capitol everything has to go through the xray machines. Of course if you have WH tickets it will take much longer.

Illinois
Level Contributor
159 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Security Screening

Thanks! I pretty much figured the White House will have a longer wait. Still waiting to hear back on that one. But I have a Capitol tour scheduled, and the FBI Experience. So trying to plan out the other places I want to visit. Just a little unsure of how much extra time to add in for screening. If I need to add in 30 minutes or will it be closer to 15 minutes. I already figured out I'm going to need a return trip :)

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
61,619 posts
48 reviews
3. Re: Security Screening

I think any itinerary with such a strict schedule is just going to lead to frustration.

Illinois
Level Contributor
159 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Security Screening

Nope. Just trying to making sure I've left plenty of time. So I won't be rushed, that would be frustrating. But thanks for your input.

Washington, DC
Level Contributor
1,817 posts
12 reviews
5. Re: Security Screening

Double check what you can bring into the FBI experience. It is basically almost nothing. You will have to go through a metal detector there and your items will have to be xrayed. Will not take a lot of time

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Cape May, Jersey Shore
Level Contributor
3,179 posts
69 reviews
6. Re: Security Screening

If you are taking a tour of the Capitol, you can just walk through a tunnel to the Library of Congress. No further security screening necessary. So plan both on the same day on your itinerary to save time.

There also was Metal Detector security at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, the Supreme Court and the White House Visitor Center (we did not go to the actual White House).

Of the Museums we visited, only the Museum of American History and the Air and Space museum had metal detectors. Neither the National Gallery of Art or the Postal Museum had metal detectors.

US
Level Contributor
5,628 posts
37 reviews
7. Re: Security Screening

We’ve waited af least 20 minutes before to get into Natural History. We’ve also breezed in. Allow plenty of time and you’ll be set.

Washington DC
Level Contributor
4,100 posts
64 reviews
8. Re: Security Screening

I've never spent any time at all to even count it as time in any museum, you just sort of open your purse/bag and they look at it, takes only a few seconds. The only place it took a few minutes more was the Archives, as they have those screening machines. I haven't been to LOC recently, though, or places like that, I'm just talking the museums. I think they have some screening belts at Air and Space, also, I was there not too long ago, but there still wasn't any wait to do that, you just put your purse on it and then pick it up inside.

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Cape May, Jersey Shore
Level Contributor
3,179 posts
69 reviews
9. Re: Security Screening

We waited about 15 minutes on the security line at the Museum of American History. Full visual bag screening, X-ray of bag, metal detector walk through. Need to empty pockets, take off jackets, whole thing. Was very comprehensive, but we are from NYC, very used to screenings.

Less of a screen at Air and Space. I think just the bag on the conveyor belt.

National Gallery of Art-no screen. Nothing. Was not expecting that.

Silver Spring...
Level Contributor
1,685 posts
1 review
10. Re: Security Screening

I have always had to open my bag at NGA. At the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum I've never had to do anything.

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