Tickets To The Swearing-In Ceremony At The Inauguration Are Hard To Get, But Not Impossible


For better or for worse, history is going to be made when President-elect Donald Trump takes his oath of office come Jan. 20. But, if you were looking to get tickets to the swearing-in ceremony at the inauguration, you better move fast. Although inauguration tickets are free to the public, they are going to be extremely hard to get your hands on. That's not to say it's impossible, though.

According to, the inauguration ceremony will take place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, and will likely start around noon, although if you are unable to get to the inauguration platform area (you're going to need a ticket to do that), you can line up with the crowds of people along Pennsylvania Avenue to watch the inaugural procession to the Capitol. Pro tip: Get there early. Although you don't need a ticket to watch the procession, those sidewalks are likely going to fill up quickly.

If you want to get closer to the action on the Capitol's West Lawn, though, that's where things get a little more difficult. Tickets to the actual swearing-in ceremony are distributed by members of the Senate and House of Representatives in the months leading up to the inauguration. They are limited in number, and are usually given out on a first come, first serve basis, although some states also use a lottery system. Getting tickets this close to the inauguration is a bit of a long shot, but there is still a small chance you might be able to get some. Reach out to your state's senators or representatives to request a ticket. While there are no guarantees you'll actually get a ticket, you won't know until you try.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: U.S. President Barack Obama drives down Pennsylvania avenue in his vehicle during the Inauguration Parade on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. The President was sworn in for second term. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Of course, you could try to buy yourself tickets to the swearing-in ceremony, but as Refinery29 points out, if you see any vendors claiming to sell tickets, it's probably a scam, so watch out.

If you can't make it to the platform to watch the ceremony up close, you can still watch without a ticket from public viewing stations set up along the National Mall. And, you can also watch the inaugural parade without a ticket as the new president and vice president make their way from the U.S. Capitol back to the White House following the swearing-in ceremony. Just remember, though, that crowds are going to be intense. Give yourself plenty of time to get there, and be prepared to wait. It's probably a good idea to arrive early to secure yourself a good spot. Oh, and dress warmly. It's the middle of January, after all, and chances are it's going to be chilly.

Not feeling a trip to D.C.? No trouble. You can watch the swearing-in ceremony from the comfort of your on home on pretty much every major news network, or you can stream it online.

Regardless of your political affiliations, the inauguration is a pretty huge deal; it marks the beginning of a new administration, and it's a chance to pay tribute to the outgoing president as well. It's not something you're going to want to miss.