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 ​The Employee Transportation Services Office hours of operation are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, closed 11:00 am to 12:00 pm for lunch. To schedule an appointment email or call 301-496-5050. The office is located in Building 31, Room 1A11, next to the NIH Federal Credit Union. 

General Information

Parking at the National Institutes of Health is managed by the Division of Amenities and Transportation Services (DATS).  

Parking permits may be requested online through the Commuting and Parking System (CAPS) or by emailing The Employee Transportation Services Office (ETSO), is located in Building 31, Room 1A11.

Online permit requests will be mailed through the USPS (allow 5 - 10 business days) to the employee specified home address as detailed in CAPS. To obtain a permit, a valid NIH identification card and valid vehicle registration certificate (copy) for each vehicle registered must be submitted. Each employee may register a maximum of three (3) vehicles.

Vehicles parking on the NIH campus, excluding visitor's vehicles, must display a valid NIH Parking Permit. This permit must hang from the vehicle's rearview mirror, clearly visible through the windshield while parking at the NIH. Each employee receives one permit, the permit must be transferred between the owner's vehicles that have been registered to his/her account in CAPS. Employees who need temporary parking (e.g., subsidy program members, etc.) will be issued a paper placard permit that must be displayed on the driver's side dashboard while the vehicle is on campus.

For detailed information on how to apply, modify, renew, and/or terminate your NIH Parking Membership (NIH Parking Hanger), please visit the Application Instruction Page.


It is the permit holder's responsibility to adhere to all applicable policies, regulations, and laws while using an NIH Parking Permit. The ETSO attempts to inform the NIH staff of parking policy changes using global email. In certain cases, the use of website alerts, fliers, signs, and news articles may be utilized. The ETSO is not involved with, or responsible for, any parking citations or law enforcement actions taken on the NIH Campus. Those enforcement matters should be addressed to the NIH Division of Police. The use of NIH parking permits is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure they are up to date and compliant with all parking policies and regulations.  


 By accepting an NIH parking permit you acknowledge and accept the following terms and conditions:

  • Any person who knowingly makes a false representation on this application may be subject to a criminal prosecution potentially resulting in a fine or imprisonment, or both, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1001 and to disciplinary actions, including the revocation of parking privileges, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Chapter 75 and 5 C.F.R. Part 752.
  • The parking permit (hanger) is the property of NIH and must be returned to the NIH Division of Amenities and Transportation Services (DATS) upon separation from the Government or when the holder is no longer eligible for the permit.
  • The permit cannot be transferred.
  • The permit must be properly displayed at all times while the permitted vehicle is parked on the NIH Campus – Bethesda, Maryland. The permit is valid through the last day of the month and year displayed.
  • Anyone using this permit inappropriately is subject to possible administrative and/or criminal penalties, including ticketing and towing of the vehicle.
  • If you are renewing, please destroy or discard your old parking permit in the trash.
  • You have read and understand the NIH Parking Policy, Manual Chapter 1410, and will adhere to all rules and regulations within the policy and abide by policy applications administrated by the program managers.

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Employees with Disabilities

Employees parking in handicap/disability parking spaces on campus must obtain the new "Gold" Disability parking permit. 

All handicap/disabled parking spaces are for persons eligible to receive NIH parking benefits. NIH employees who need to use handicap/disabled parking spaces must display a valid NIH-issued "Gold" disability permit. NIH permits can be obtained by emailing or through the Commuting and Parking System (CAPS).

There are two types of disability parking permits: Permanent and Temporary.

*Note: Employees are allowed to have only one active NIH parking permit. If you already have a permit, you must return the current permit before you can apply for the Gold Permit. For more information, please contact the NIH Parking Office at 301-496-5050.

Permanent Permit:

Upon providing a valid state-issued handicap registration card in the NIH employee's name, an NIH disability permit will be provided. The permit will be valid for two (2) years. Individuals will be sent courtesy reminders via email when their disability placard needs to be renewed.

"Gold" Disability parking permits may be requested online through the Commuting and Parking System (CAPS)

*Note: Employees are allowed to have only one active NIH parking permit. If you already have a permit, you must return the current permit before you can apply for the Gold Permit. For more information, please contact the NIH Parking Office at 301-496-5050.

After logging into CAPS, choose "Enroll in Parking" and follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: Verify work address, click Next (to update work address contact your Administrative Officer);
  • Step 2: Enter current  home address;
  • Step 3: Check the box under the Disability Permit field;
  • Step 4: Enter State Issued Disability ID number and Expiration date (see examples below);
  • Step 5: Upload a copy of your state-issued disability ID (Files allowed: .pdf/.jpeg/.png);
  • Step 6: Provide the number of days you will commute to work, vehicle information (click on the "plus" button to add): year, make model, license plate number, type of vehicle (truck, car, etc.), type of engine (gas, hybrid, etc.). 
Note, if you do not qualify to receive a parking hanger, you will not see the "Enroll in Parking" option.

A state-issued disability registration card is the only authorized item to verify eligibility for a permanent permit and must contain the information as seen in the images below in the employee's name (Maryland MVA and Virginia DMV examples provided). NIH permits are not valid in designated visitor parking areas (including handicap) or at any non-NIH location.

 Image of MVA diability certificationImage of DMV disability ID

Temporary Permit:

Employees who require a handicap parking permit for temporary reasons (i.e., broken leg, recovery from surgery, etc.), must present either a valid DMV issued temporary handicap registration, or an approved NIH Temporary Parking Request Form signed by Occupational Medical Services (OMS), located in Building 10, 6th floor. 

This is accomplished by an employee requesting a temporary disability parking permit through OMS. If approved, OMS will provide NIH Form 26-9 directly to the ETSO. Once processed, the employee must follow up with the ETSO to obtain the permit. The permit will not exceed the stated expiration date on the temporary authorization.

*Employees who park in handicap parking spaces without displaying an NIH handicap placard are subject to having their vehicle towed and/or ticketed by the NIH Police. 

Visitor handicap spaces are no longer free on-campus.  Visitors with State issued placards may park in designated visitor lots and "Red" top meters spaces for an hourly fee.

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Visitor Parking

The NIH offers limited visitor parking in parking lots, garages, and metered spaces throughout campus. All visitor parking areas charge at the following rates:

  • Garages and Lots: $2.00 for the first hour, $4.00 for the second hour, and $6.00 for the third hour. If the vehicle is parked in excess of three (3) hours, a daily rate of $12.00 will be charged
  • Metered Parking Spaces: $2.00 per hour

*Rates also apply to all handicap visitors parking.

Please refer to the visitor map to find all lots that allow visitor parking. All visitor lots are managed by Mid Atlantic Parking, Inc., NIH Parking Services Contractor.

Visitor Validation Stickers/Monthly Passes:

While the NIH Parking Office does not issue permits or validations to visitors, Institutes/Centers, Divisions, Offices, and companies may purchase validation stickers and a limited number of monthly passes from Mid-Atlantic Parking, Inc. The Mid-Atlantic Parking Office is located in Building 31, Room 1E08, and can be reached at (301) 656-9008. Purchases can be made using a credit card.

Validation stickers will only be valid in visitor lots. Monthly passes are valid in multiple multi-level parking garages around the campus and visitor lots. Please refer to the valid location(s) marked on the pass.
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Documents & Forms

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