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NIST Access Control Policy

NIST has implemented a new site access policy for US citizens mandated by the Department of Homeland Security**. Users and visitors of the NCNR must now present a form of identification that is consistent with DHS’s Real ID program. As a result of this policy, we must recommend that all users, including US citizens, should bring a valid passport in order to be guaranteed access to the NCNR.

For our US users who do not have a valid passport, many drivers licenses will continue to be accepted, however we are unable to state conclusively which ones as several states are now providing multiple types of licenses only one of which is consistent with the new requirements. We do know that licenses that have something such as “Not for Federal Identification” printed on them will not be accepted. In addition, licenses from 4 states/territories, including Maine, Montana, Missouri, and Minnesota+, are not acceptable.

+Federal officials may continue to accept Driver's Licenses from Minnesota and Washington if they are the "Enhanced" ones.

Other types of ID that will be accepted include:

  • Passport card
  • DoD's CAC
  • Federal agency HSPD-12 IDs
  • Veterans ID
  • Military dependents ID
  • Trusted Traveler card : Global Entry, SENTRI, or NEXUS
  • Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC)

Non-citizen visitors must present passports with visas or with permanent resident cards (green cards) to access NCNR facilities in any case, so the change in policy has no effect on them.


If you have any questions please contact your local contact, or contact the NCNR User Office (K07) at 301-975-8200 or email ncnraccess [at] (ncnraccess[at]nist[dot]gov).

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that this will cause. We appreciate your continued support of the NCNR.


Thanks for your attention to this matter,

Rob Dimeo
Director, NCNR
robert.dimeo [at] (robert[dot]dimeo[at]nist[dot]gov)

** The change in policy derives from the Department of Homeland Security's REAL ID program, following Congressional legislation. 

Created April 19, 2017, Updated November 15, 2019