Can I visit a military base?

by | Apr 12, 2018 | Military Life, New Military Spouse | 138 comments

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A military base can feel like a whole new world as soon as you pass through the base gate. But first you have to get through the gate. Here’s what you need to know the first time you visit a military base.

My first military friend was a girl I met in high school. I was a civilian who had spent zero time thinking about the military for my first 16 years of life. When a new girl joined our class, I was fascinated to learn that she lived at a nearby military base. She invited me to visit her house, but told me I would have to stop at the gate so she could meet me and escort me onto the base. She drove with us past brick buildings and houses that all looked the same. She said funny things like, “there’s the PX, I love shopping there. And that’s the Commissary.” I didn’t know what she was talking about, so it was a bewildering experience!

Now I can laugh at my teenage confusion. I have spent the past six years living on military bases. Before that, we lived off-base in two other states. Base buildings and resources no longer confuse me and I have learned enough lingo to find my way around. Now my family and friends are the ones who are confused when they visit a military base!

Your first visit to a military base may be when you attend a Homecoming ceremony to meet your service member after deployment. Or it could be when your military boyfriend lives in the barracks or your girlfriend invites you to visit her on base. Either way, there are some unique things you should know before your first visit to a military base.

Here are the rules for visiting a military base.

How to visit a military base as a civilian

Most military bases have multiple gates, and each one has armed guards. To enter a military base, you must show your dependent ID card (if you are a military spouse) or have a military sponsor (your service member.) A service member can sponsor non-military guests on base. But they will need to either fill out a sponsorship form in advance or meet you in person at the gate.

  • If you are the passenger in their car, you simply need a driver’s license. A military service member or spouse can sponsor one guest in their own vehicle, as long as that person has valid photo ID.
  • To bring your own car on base, the service member will need to request a base pass, which should be done at least a week before you visit. They will need your full legal name, driver’s license number, address on driver’s license, and your birthday.  A pass is temporary and can only be used during the dates listed. When you arrive at the gate, you will have to show your driver’s license, which the guards will scan to see if you have a pass listed in the system. Be prepared to also show car registration and up-to-date insurance, since they are allowed to ask for that too. If you are driving a rental car, you may show the rental car paperwork.
  • Your sponsor will need to be with you most of the time you are on base. You aren’t able to do much without a sponsor or ID card.

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Things to know when you first visit a military base:

  • Dress code: Yes, there are dress code expectations on a military base, even for visitors and guests. These are posted at the public buildings and offices. Generally: flip flops, belly shirts, workout attire, and baseball hats should not be worn inside. Some bases enforce the rules more than others, but it’s best to not wear anything too revealing if you will visit any base buildings.
  • Flag ceremonies: Each morning on base, flags are raised at a short ceremony called Reveille (French for ‘wake up.’) If you are outside and hear bugle music, you should stop walking and face the nearest flag pole. Once the flag is raised, there is a quick bugle blast, then everyone is free to move again. The flags are all taken down at sunset, at a similar quick ceremony called Taps or Retreat. The same rules of respect apply.
  • Exchange: The Army and Marines call it a PX (Post Exchange), the Air Force calls it a BX (Base Exchange), and the Navy calls it an NEX (Navy Exchange). But it’s all the same–a department store located on base. This is similar to a Kohl’s or Target. You can find home goods, furniture, decor, clothing, shoes, gifts, etc. To purchase anything, you or your service member must show a military ID.
  • Base Housing: On some bases, housing areas are segregated by rank or number of children. The housing is for service members who are married. Many of the houses will look similar because they were all built at the same time. Some neighborhoods look like apartments, while others have single family homes.
  • Gas Stations: All military bases have at least one gas station. The prices there are always slightly lower than they are off base because the military negotiates unique prices with its vendors. You typically need to show a military ID card to pay.
  • Commissary: The Commissary is the base grocery store. Commissaries sell food tax-free, so it is usually a little cheaper than stores off base (depending where you live.) You need to wait in one long line to check out, and you must show a military ID card when you pay.
  • Gyms: Military bases have excellent gyms which are available to all service members and their families. There is usually at least one main gym with great equipment and amenities, then there are smaller gyms located throughout base housing. Access is free, but you will need an ID card or your sponsor with you.
  • Movie Theatre: Each base has its own movie theatre, and it is WAY cheaper than theatres off base! Tickets are often $3 or $4, and the movies are new releases that are selected for their popularity in the young military community. Before each movie, the National Anthem plays.
  • Bowling Alley: Bases usually have a bowling alley too. There are bowling leagues, Family Nights, birthday parties, and teen nights. It’s a fun place to gather with friends on a weekend.
  • Chapels: The base chapel can be used for multiple religious services, and there are usually chaplains from several different religious backgrounds. Typical services include Catholic, Protestant, Gospel, Orthodox, Jewish, Latter-day Saints, and sometimes Muslim. A chaplain is also trained as a counsellor, so you can talk to them about all kinds of topics–marriage and divorce, anxiety, mental health, or abuse.
  • Hospital or Clinic: A base hospital serves all military families. Tricare health insurance covers visits to the base hospital for service members and ID card holders. If you do not have an ID, go off-base to an Urgent Care center or Emergency Room for any medical emergencies.
  • ITT Office: ITT stands for Information, Tickets, and Tours. They provide tickets to local attractions and events at a discounted rate for military members and families. If you are going to any show or amusement park, you can save money by getting tickets through them.
  • Bank: If you need an ATM, you can find some on base for local banks or for military banks like the Navy Federal Credit Union.
  • Family Center/ Community Activities: The military has an amazing amount of programs to support families. And most of them are completely free! There are classes to help you before, during, or after deployments. Community Services offers annual events to celebrate holidays, and they sometimes host guest concerts on base. You can find these events advertised on the base website.

Whether you first visit a military base for a day or a week, I hope you have a great visit and aren’t intimidated by the military world!

138 Comments

  1. Rachel A Hill

    I just found your blog and hope you may be able to help me. My husband’s job just got contract for erosion control at the Little Rock Air Force Base, but we are unsure if he will be able to enter the base. He is a convicted felon, currently on parole. His company isn’t even sure if he can get the clearance to work there (non-violent, no current warrants). If you have any tips, I would greatly appreciate any advice. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      I’m sorry, but the base gate guards require a background check before letting anyone on base, and a felon on parole would not be allowed access to the base. In some cases, an exception would be made if a sponsor with a valid military ID completed the paperwork for him and escorted him onto base as their guest. But he would not be allowed to drive through the gate on his own, even with a work contract. His company should probably contact the specific base for more details.

      Reply
      • Erika

        Does the soldier have to pay when requesting a pass for their girlfriend ??

        Reply
        • Lizann

          No, there is no fee to request a base pass.

          Reply
          • Harold Foster

            Me and my family are coming to Virginia beach on 8-14-20 through 8-18-20.i want to bring them to the base,i was stationed on the USS IOWA BB61 for 6 years then I went to sima Norfolk for 4 more years.would love to be able to show them around what do I need to do to get a pass or whatever I need. thank you.

          • Amparo de Jesús

            My boyfriend asked me for the license, he says to scan that is true, he needs to do that before I go to the base and he also got me a teas with the name ID. Please tell me if everything is true

          • Lizann

            I’m not sure I understand your question. Yes, if he is getting you a visitor pass, it’s true he will need your driver’s license number in advance because the base does a background check. But they don’t need a scan of the license, and you won’t be able to get a dependent ID card until you are legally married. Until then, a guest pass will get you on and off base.

        • Nicole

          Do. I have to pay a fee to visit a boyfriend on his military base. Or am I being scammed.please advise.

          Reply
          • Lizann

            No, there should not be a fee to visit a military base or request a visitor pass. It is a paperwork process, but I’m not aware of any place that charges people to visit. Definitely pay attention and get more information, because that could be a scam.

          • Rick

            I’m a 6 year Navy veteran 1980-1986 did my duty on 32nd Street navel base San Diego and long Beach. I’m also a 30 year retired police officer. My wife and I will be celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary February 20th in San Diego. I would love to take my wife onto the navel base would that be possible???

      • Harold Foster

        Me and my family are coming to Virginia beach on 8-14-20 through 8-18-20.i want to bring them to the base,i was stationed on the USS IOWA BB61 for 6 years then I went to sima Norfolk for 4 more years.would love to be able to show them around what do I need to do to get a pass or whatever I need. thank you.

        Reply
          • Harold Foster

            I called base pass ID they told me I could get on base with my va med card but to get my family with me I would need a sponsor.also recommended the tour bus.there are a couple places I would like to go and spend a little time at the USS Iowa memorial.at Iowa point I dont no any one down there have not been there since 1997.

        • Cindy

          My boyfriend is stationed at Fort Lee. He says I have to pay to visit him for the day. Is this true or am I being scammed?

          Reply
          • Lizann

            That is false, there’s no charge for a visitor pass on base. So unless he means you need to pay for gas and such, then there is something else happening there.

      • Stephanie

        Asking for a friend… Her bf lives on base but wants to get her a temporary pass. She has a felony for a non violent/drug crime and was convicted 7 years ago. Will they allow her on the base?

        Reply
        • Lizann

          Probably not. They do a background check for the pass, and a felony is a flag that typically prevents getting a pass. He could ask the gate guards about it, and if there is any time limit to the crimes popping up in the system. But my guess is that they would deny her a pass.

          Reply
          • Amparo

            Hi, how are you, please? I’m talking to a military man for almost a year. I don’t know him from a photo and he wants me to go to the base but he says I have to do a self-registration and Id me to register. Please tell me if it’s true.

      • Raffaele

        If someone I know that isnt a US Citizen is visiting could I sign them in on base

        Reply
        • Lizann

          I think that is allowed, but you should contact the base Pass and ID center for the specific base to get the regulations.

          Reply
    • Emma

      My friend and I are 17. She is a military dependent with an ID not living on base. We want to go to the Tim Hortons on base. She doesn’t drive so we would have my car. Can she get me on base?

      Reply
      • Lizann

        That depends on the gate guards. Be sure you have your car registration and insurance paperwork with you and up to date. They may ask you to stop by the visitor center and register before continuing on to the base.

        Reply
      • Aly

        Hey there!! I am flying 15 hours to the base that my hubby and kids will have to complete, so I was wondering what is the Sponsorship form number At the bottom left of the paper? My brother in law will be traveling with me because I have two kids, and my husbands higher ups don’t know what form this is without a number!

        Reply
  2. JAZ

    Hey, I’ve visiting a friend you works as a marine in Cali and i’m visiting him in a few weeks. I was wondering if i’d be able to stay on base with him and how ?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Hi, thanks for reading! You can’t stay with him in the barracks, but if he lives in base housing you can. He would sponsor you as a guest. You should provide him your driver’s license number and address, and then he can go to the Pass and ID office in advance to get you a pass.

      Reply
      • Carolina

        Hello, I want to go to see my boyfriend, I have to pay for a gate fee to see a boyfriend inside base?

        Reply
        • Lizann

          No, there’s no fee! You just have to bring your driver’s license or valid ID. He can also meet you at the gate and escort you on.

          Reply
          • Ag

            Hello! Due to the coronavirus going on now, is it possible that me as a Marine could go onto a Army base? My girlfriend is on one (Fort Lee) and wanted to visit her if possible, would they let me in?

          • Lizann

            Yes, they would let you on with military ID. In most places, they are doing Coronavirus screenings to enter buildings, but not at the base gate. Once you are there, you should follow base policy about wearing masks, etc.

          • Edelmira Ibarrientos

            Hi,
            I would like to visit my son for a week during the week of Christmas. He has a housing on base. Would my husband and I be allowed to enter the base to stay with him?

          • Lizann

            Yes, you can usually visit base housing up to 30 days without a pass.
            To get through the gate, there are 2 options.
            1. He can contact the base visitor center a few weeks in advance and request a guest pass from his chain of command. He will need your driver’s license number for the paperwork. This would let you drive through the gate without him during your stay.
            2. No pass, he can meet you at the gate and escort you through each time, or be in the vehicle with you. He will show his military ID and the Guards will let you both through, even if your vehicle is following his.

          • Charlene Oestreich

            I don’t drive, and my AF ID expires next month. My husband, retired AF, is in assisted living memory care. How do I get on base (Offutt) to renew my ID? Can my friend (non military) drive me on base?

          • Lizann

            Yes, if you are in the car with a valid ID, the driver does not need to have a military ID. You are essentially escorting them onto base, even though they are driving you. Then you can access the ID center to update your ID card.

      • Patrick Myles Cameron

        If an officer sponsors me on base, do I get in/out privileges without him? I want to explore the city while he attends a conference in base. We are staying in a hotel on base.

        Reply
        • Lizann

          Yes, as long as he goes to the visitor center and gets you a pass. This will include your name and driver’s license number, and the specific dates of your visit. He can do it before you arrive, or just go with you when you first get there. Once you have a pass, you can go through the gate on your own. Otherwise, you need to be in the vehicle with him and get in with his ID card.

          Reply
  3. SONIA M SCIPIO

    I have a guest that has a valid Mexican Consulate ID I just wanted to know if he is eligible to go in to the base for one day as a guest inside the military?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      I’m not sure about that particular situation. I would recommend asking a gate guard or calling that base Pass and ID office to check.

      Reply
      • Lisa Mason

        Hi! Omg thank you for this post. My boyfriend is doing his AIT training at Fort Rucker and wants me to come visit and book a hotel on base. They were told they can’t leave base due to the neighboring cities having a rise in cases. Would that be possible? If so what would I need? I checked and they mentioned something about a visitor access card. I’m so confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

        Reply
  4. Lindsey

    I have a houseguest pass. My bff is having a baby at tripler and im supposed to bring her mother in law to visit. Does she have to get a day pass or will my pass cover her.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Hmm, if she is the passenger and has a valid ID (driver’s license) she should be ok on your pass. But it would be best to check with the gate guards ahead of time.

      Reply
  5. Emily

    If you don’t want someone visiting you while you live on base can you or their spouse deny the person a pass? Long story short my husband just joined the Army and we dont get along with some of his family and we dont want certain people to visit.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Yes, I suppose you can do that. I mean, civilians can’t get on base without a sponsor. But I would recommend he talk to them about it first and use that as a last resort.

      Reply
    • Pamela Nagy

      Met an army guy says he needs money for gate fee in order to leave bsse to come visit me, true or scammer ?

      Reply
      • Lizann

        That’s a scam. There’s no gate fee, and it doesn’t cost service members anything to leave base.

        Reply
  6. Taylor Fox

    Hi I want to visit my boyfriend at A School and the only hotels are on base how would I go about making him, my sponsor?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      If he is not able to apply for your pass ahead of time (he would need your address and driver’s license number and to complete paperwork at the Pass/ID Office), then he could always meet you at the base gate and use his military ID to escort you onto base. Military ID holders are allowed to bring 1 guest onto the base. You don’t need a pass then, but you should be prepared to show your driver’s license if the gate guard requests it.

      Reply
      • Taylor Fox

        Does he have to stay with me at the hotel?

        Reply
        • Lizann

          He doesn’t have to, no. He may need to be there to check you in initially, but it is up to the unit leadership when he gets time off and where he is allowed to stay during that time.

          Reply
          • Vikki Smith

            I lost my new I’d and can’t get an earlier appointment at DMV but I have a cleaning job at a base in DC. I have all paperwork and an old expired id.Can I use it with birth certificate and social security card?

          • Lizann

            It will honestly depend on the gate guards and the current security levels at that base. Typically, they would ask you to pull into the visitor lane and go into the visitor center to show your paperwork. But with Coronavirus, I’m not sure if all visitor centers are operating full time. So you will just have to try and see what they say at the gate.

        • Chloe

          Hey! I am a military dependent (parents are in Military) and I was wondering if I can bring my friend onto base. I am driving my friend so all my friend has to do is show her drivers license, correct?

          Reply
          • Lizann

            Yes as long as you have your dependent ID you should be fine to escort 1 friend on base in your own car.

          • Edelmira Loleng Ibarrientos

            Hi
            Is the base open for visitors to go in?

          • Lizann

            Hi, I’m not sure which base you mean. But yes, most military bases are open and have procedures for visitors, as described in the article. However, COVID restrictions mean that some bases have increased security right now. So it’s best to call the base Visitor Center or visit their website before planning to visit.

  7. Michele

    Hello, I have visited the Hale Koa Resort in Hawaii with a military friend at the time. Can civilians be sponsored by a military service man and stay at military installation without the service man being present?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      That hotel is a DoD resort, not a military installation. Yes, the service member needs to make the reservation and sign you in, because rooms are for military members and guests only. But once they sign you in I believe you can stay there without them.

      Reply
  8. Amanda Howe

    Hi I’m not sure whether rules change for US Military serving in the UK or not or whether the rules are different if it regards MP’s but I have never dated anyone in the military before and I am looking for some help with regards to visiting the barracks he is currently stationed at.

    He is an MP stationed at barracks in the UK currently, and I wondered whether I can visit him using the same rules re sponsors etc in your blog or whether things would be different. He has mentioned me talking to his Commanding Officer though.

    Any help would be gratefully received.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Rules can vary for different countries, depending on the local agreement with the American government. It would be best to follow your boyfriend’s directions and speak to the CO or the gate guards at that particular base.
      Also, getting on base is one thing. Visiting the barracks is an entirely different set of rules and restrictions. So follow the directions they give you so you don’t get him in trouble.

      Reply
  9. Jenni

    I’m going to pick my son up for leave. I know I need my ID and car info (insurance/registration) but do I need any paperwork my 2yr old daughter?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      No, you should not need any extra paperwork for a young child. They are covered under your pass.

      Reply
  10. Ralph telles

    I am a retired army 1sg and I want to take my daughter and husband on to Camp Pendleton in my car. Will I be able to, also I will coming from New Mexico. Do I still get a pass 1 week ahead of time. Years ago it wasn’t that hard to get on base, why so hard now?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      If you still have a retired military ID card, it should be no problem to just drive on. Without an ID card it would be wise to request a pass ahead of time. Your daughter would just need a legal form of ID like a driver’s license. Sometimes they ask for it, but not always. I just give people the background for days of security check so they won’t be turned away or caught by surprise.

      Reply
      • Ralph Telles

        I have my ID, What about the daughter’s husband going in too. Can I take my small dog in also who is ceritfy as a emotional support animal fo PTSD reasons (he also has a ID) Thanks

        Reply
        • Lizann

          The dog should be fine. You would only need the service animal paperwork to get into certain buildings on base.
          Anyone in the car should have a valid form of ID (like a driver’s license). That is usually all that is needed if you have your retired military ID card.

          Reply
      • Wendi

        If my dad is a retired MP, can he sponsor me to visit my son at 29 Palms? My son is at MOS school and I didn’t even get to see him graduate 😢

        Reply
        • Lizann

          Sure, as long as he still has a valid form of military ID, the veteran version is fine. Congrats to your son!

          Reply
  11. Ralph Telles

    Thanks alot it will ease my mind.

    Reply
  12. Shaunita bensin

    Hi I have a boyfriend who is in the military and I need a pass to go see him. Where should I go to obtain one and how long does it take to get it? What information is needed? How long is the pass good for?

    Reply
    • Jeanmarie Andradez

      I’ve a friend in the Army. He’s stationed in Florida. He wants me to come and visit him. As I was getting ready to call the airline to make arrangements for my flight, he texted me that they’re asking him to pay 300.00 dollar’s so I can stay with him on base. Is this true? It just doesn’t seem right. This just sounds fishy.

      Reply
      • Lizann

        Have you ever met him before or seen him in video calls? Or is it possible he is part of the internet scam where people pose as service members and ask for money?
        Because no, there is no fee to stay with someone, and visitors are not allowed in the barracks at all. There is an Inn or Lodge type of motel on most military bases, and civilians can stay there if a service member makes the reservations. They are slightly cheaper than a regular hotel. But then you would need to go through the gate by yourself, so people usually make their guests reservations off base.
        So yeah, it sounds fishy and I would definitely ask more before doing anything!

        Reply
  13. grace

    Hi. I’m looking to visit my boyfriend in Japan. Am I able to make the reservation to stay at the hotel on camp fuji with him?

    Reply
  14. Anthony

    My wife and I have a friend whose husband is on deployment and she lives on base with her three children. It sounds like his deployment is going to last much longer than first expected and she is not coping well. Is their a way for local civilians to get a pass to check on them or help them out when needed, or does she just have to meet us at the gate every time?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Yes, you can stop by the Visitor Center near the gate and request a temporary pass. They may ask for her information to be on it the first time, but it can have a time limit that extends for several months before it needs to be renewed. After receiving the pass, you can go through the gate without her.

      Reply
  15. Ralph Telles

    Thank you for your advise. Had no problem going onto Camp Pendelton with just showing my Retired I.D. did not ask my daughter for I.D. They also showed me respect due my Rank.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Wonderful, glad you had a good visit!

      Reply
      • Carson S

        Im trying to get my family on base to stay at the navy lodge in lemoore. Can i escort my father, mother and brother on base? With no questions asked? Or do i need to submit for sponsorship since there is more than 1? I hopefully want to be able to just drive them on. Any help would be nice

        Reply
        • Lizann

          You should be able to escort them all. However, the base guards will most likely ask for ID for the other passengers in the vehicle. Doesn’t have to be a military ID, but they all should have their driver’s license with them.

          Reply
  16. Claire

    I have newly got my spouse id card but i was wondering if i can use it to visit any base or does it have to be the one my husband is stationed at? We are currently in different countries and i haven’t used it to access the base here yet. Maybe i need someone to sign me in the first time?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      The dependent ID card is good anywhere! It doesn’t have the base listed on it, so it works for all bases, Commissaries, PX stores, etc.

      Reply
  17. Logan

    Hi I am currently dating a guy in the Air Force. We have been together all through high school and left after graduation for boot camp. Now that he is at a base I want to visit. I am 17 will it be an issue to visit him without an adult?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Age shouldn’t be a problem. Just have your driver’s license or other valid ID, and follow the instructions in the article. He can escort you on as his guest too.

      Reply
  18. joy

    First time visiting our son. He is single and lives in a dorm. Are parents allowed to sleep in their dorm for a 4 days visit? If so, what does he needs to do and how long it takes to process the approval? Can we go in and out of base without him?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Is he at a military academy? No, parents can’t stay in those dorms. If he is on a regular base they are called barracks. Visitors are not allowed overnight in the barracks either.
      There will be a military Inn or Lodge on base where he can make you a reservation at a discount rate. Or you can stay off base at a regular hotel or motel.

      Reply
  19. Stephanie Ortiz

    If my mom has a card for base and she wants to bring me as her plus one can we bring my children too the are 11, 4 and 2? For do we need to get a visitors pass for the kids?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Minors should be able to accompany without any additional ID. So yes, kids are fine!

      Reply
  20. Joy

    My boyfriend stationed in Stuttgard Germany he wants me to visit him,what do I need to get on the base? I don’t know if it’s the same rules in Germany and here in the states.
    Thank you in advance

    Reply
    • Lizann

      There will be additional requirements in Germany–they may want your passport number, for example. He should be able to learn the requirements for hosting a visitor from the security office before your visit so you can both make the right arrangements.

      Reply
  21. Noor

    I’m 17 and my friend who’s in the marines wants me to visit him on base. Would I be able to get on base to see him?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      You can be his guest, but he will need to be with you at the gate. He can either meet you there or drive your car.

      Reply
  22. Scott

    Are minors allowed to visit military bases with ID and someone meeting you at the gate?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Yes, I believe so. Anyone with a military ID can escort guests on, even a military teen with dependent ID.

      Reply
  23. Annika Souvandy

    I’m 17 and is wanting to go visit my boyfriend on base. What do I need to bring? If I’m driving my brothers car with his insurance, can I get it into base? I don’t have a car yet, so I’m driving my brothers just to use to go there. Will there be any problems if I don’t have insurance, but my brother does on the car?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Well, you’ll definitely want your drivers license. Is your name on the vehicle insurance? If not, that might be a problem. Another option is for you to park outside the gate, your boyfriend meet you there, and then he can ride with you and show his military ID.

      Reply
      • Annika Souvandy

        My name is sadly not on the vehicle insurance ): Does that mean I can’t bring the vehicle into base?

        Reply
        • Lizann Lightfoot

          Without a pass or ID, it would be a problem. If your service member meets you and drives the vehicle on base with his ID, it would probably be better.

          Reply
      • Janely

        Hi, I plan a visit to a military base and I had my pass approved, however my driver license is being replaced and I have a temporary license, do you think the guards at the gate would take it? I would have the temporary license and another form of valid identification at hand.

        Reply
        • Lizann

          That sounds right as long as you have a form of photo ID.

          Reply
          • Amparo

            I don’t know what to do, he has all my information, he got my social security and he says that he gets everything at the military base, he has everything from me and since I don’t want to do what he wants, he sent me all my information, as he can do anything.

  24. Harold Foster

    Me and my family are coming to Virginia beach on 8-14-20 through 8-18-20.i want to bring them to the base,i was stationed on the USS IOWA BB61 for 6 years then I went to sima Norfolk for 4 more years.would love to be able to show them around what do I need to do to get a pass or whatever I need. thank you.

    Reply
  25. Alexandria Simpson

    My husband is at tech school at Lackland AFB, I just received my spouse Military ID today. I’m I able to go visit him this weekend with my new ID card?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Check with your husband first, since some schools have restrictions on weekend leave, and he may not be able to have visitors. But otherwise, yes! Your ID will get you onto base!

      Reply
  26. Cally

    Can 21 year old or 17 year old with dependent card go on base without military parent? If so, can he bring a guest? Can he reserve lodging without primary military parent? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Hi, thanks for reading this article! If they both have a dependent ID card, they should be able to go on base without problems. That is the same sage as many military spouses who go through the gate with a dependent ID card. I believe the 21-year-old could reserve lodging on base, but perhaps not the 17 year old since they are a minor. You can call the base lodging building ahead of time to ask and make reservations over the phone. They will just need to see an ID card at check-in.

      Reply
  27. Emerald

    If I’m coming from out of state, can the base member drive my car on base with me inside to get me in? We are wanting to do a surprise visit and are having her meet another friend from nearby at a local restaurant and we will be there but we are wanting to stay at the base members house for 3 days.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      What a fun idea! Out of state tags are not a problem, and as long as she has her military ID it is fine. Just make sure the vehicle registration and insurance are up to date before trying to drive on. It isn’t always something they check, but if your tags are expired you could risk being held up at the gate.

      Reply
  28. CAJ

    How does someone get packages then from people other than usps? I’m talking food delivery and even idk maybe a Walmart or target box etc.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Many food delivery companies will meet you at the base gate, but they can’t deliver to housing unless they have a staff member with a military ID. In a military town though, it’s common to have someone on staff with base access–either a spouse or older dependent. Amazon and FedEx drivers usually have clearance to get on base and do their delivery route.

      Reply
  29. Lizzy

    Hi , want to visit my daughter she live in a army base in Texas want to know if I could bring my dogs

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Sure, just check with her first if dogs are allowed in her base housing. Some neighborhoods allow it, and others don’t.

      Reply
  30. Barbara Martin

    Hi, I’m was thinking about moving on base . I’m a Federal employee but my sister is not and we are roommates. Would she have to be an employee/military as well

    Reply
    • Lizann

      It might depend on the specific base and the housing area, so it’s worth asking the Housing office that question. But in order to get a long-term pass, yes, she would need to be on the military orders and/or have a dependent ID card.

      Reply
  31. Paula Loop

    Hello,
    I’m getting ready to work DOD as a civilian. Is there a way to get my boyfriend a pass so he can eat lunch with me periodically? Or how would this work?

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Good question! DoD will get a pass, but it is different from a military ID. I’m not sure whether the DoD civilian employees can bring guests on base. The best way to find out is to stop by the Visitors Center at the gate, or to call or visit their website. They should list the specific details for your base there.

      Reply
  32. Rae

    Hello,

    My boyfriend (Navy) would like to also have my son visit with me on base. My son is 11. Do minors need a form of ID in this situation since my boyfriend is the only one with a military ID? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Minors do not typically have a legal form of ID, so you can bring him, and it is expected that you are responsible for him during the visit. Enjoy!

      Reply
  33. Amparo

    no, I’m married, we don’t talk on the phone and tex still don’t know him, I sent him my license in front and back and later today I receive a text with a company called ID.me that needs me to send it a selfish phone

    Reply
    • Lizann

      If you have not met him in person, then please be careful. There are many scams to get information where people pretend to be a service member and ask for information like this. The site ID.me is sometimes used to verify a service member’s status so they can get a military discount at a store. But I don’t think it has anything to do with getting a pass to visit base. Do not send any more information. You can google the number for the base Pass and ID office, or their visitor center. Call them and speak to them directly about the rules.

      Reply
  34. Amparo

    thanks I feel the same I think he’s doing something else

    Reply
  35. Amparo

    I don’t know what to do, he has all my information, he got my social security and he says that he gets everything at the military base, he has everything from me and since I don’t want to do what he wants, he sent me all my information, as he can do anything.

    Reply
  36. Tee

    Hi, I plan to have a group of friends over and I do live on a military base. My question is, is there a limit to how many people I can bring on base? I’ll be bringing 5 non military affiliated friends and we’ll all be in the same car. Also is there a cut off time to when you can sponsor people on base? I heard we’re only allowed to sponsor during working hours, but I don’t know what specific times those are.

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Hi there, it’s best to check with your base visitor center and chain of command for those details. Usually, you can sponsor anyone in your car, and if you live in base housing there are not limited visiting hours. Guests can stay in base housing up to 30 days without a special pass.
      However, security levels can change on base and that may restrict guest rules. When we lived overseas, we could only sponsor 2 visitors per military ID. But I haven’t heard the working hours restriction before.

      Reply
  37. Angela

    Hello,
    I will be getting married to a Sailor who lives in Marine base housing. If he applies for a pass for me (and my daughter), how long does it last? Would I be able to move in with him beforehand using that pass? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Lizann

      If you aren’t married yet, a base visitor pass is good for 30 days in base housing. After that you will need to get it renewed. He would have to check with the local housing office for details. Marines E5 and below usually do not receive BAH or quality for base housing if they aren’t married, so if he falls in that category, then you wouldn’t be able to live together on base without the marriage certificate.

      Reply
      • Angela

        thank you for the guidance!

        Reply
  38. Kirstin

    Thank you for this article, I found it very helpful!
    Question for you – when my boyfriend is assigned his first PDS I plan on moving to that area, if I will be visiting him on base regularly will he have to meet me at the gate every single time or is there some easier/faster way to go about it? Additionally, would it make sense/be at all helpful to register my car under his name as well?
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Lizann

      Hi Kristin, glad this helped! Unfortunately, yes, you will always need a pass or to be escorted until you get a military dependent ID (after marriage). There are 2 options: either he can meet you and escort you each time, or he can request a visitor’s pass for you and renew it every 30 days. The visitor’s pass would let you travel through on your own.
      Changing the car registration won’t have much impact at the gate. That is more of a financial decision, and you can choose which state you want it to be registered in. Some states have more flexibility for registrations for a service member, so you may benefit from having his name on your registration, but there are too many factors for me to discuss here.

      Reply
      • Kirstin

        Got it, thank you! I so appreciate you taking the time to give advice for us newbies to the military lifestyle (:
        Have a wonderful week!

        Reply
        • Lizann

          You’re welcome! You too!

          Reply
  39. cheyanne

    hi my boyfriend is a marine and i was wondering if you know if i can stay in one of the hotels on base of i need to find a hotel off base

    Reply
    • Lizann

      It’s best to get a hotel off base. Only he can make the reservation on base, and he would have to be there in person to check you on and out, I believe. He would also have to escort you from the gate, and anywhere else you went on base. If it’s for a weekend and he has libbo to leave base, most Marines prefer to stay at a hotel on town.

      Reply
  40. Andrea

    Hi, my boyfriend and I are planning for me to go to visit him during my spring break, but I have my doubts if I am able to go since I’m 17 barely turning 18 this summer. Last time I went to see him at his base I went with his family, so there was no problem with me being underage since they didn’t ask for any identification or anything like that. Do you think it would be a problem if I went alone?

    Reply
  41. Nanny

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Hey my boyfriend is stationed in Germany … I live in Atlanta I never been outside of the country .. I don’t even have a passport 😏 I was wondering what do I do … I really wanna go see him … he there for 4 years he only been there for 6 months thought … he live on base with a roommate… will I be able to stay there I will only be visiting for 3 days … do I have to get a hotel … I heard the hotels are far from the base sooo how will I get there … PLSSSS HELP

    Reply
    • Lizann

      So yes, you will need a passport, and he would have to meet you to escort you onto the base. There is probably a military inn (motel) on the base, but the service member has to make the reservation and check you in. If there are no rooms available there, you will have to stay off base at a regular hotel and use a taxi to get around.

      Reply
      • Nanny

        So the taxi can drive on base or will we have to wait at the gate ? And if there is no hotel on base will he be able to leave to go with me to a hotel

        Reply
        • Lizann Lightfoot

          Taxis cannot go on base unless the driver has permission. In foreign countries, it is likely the taxi could only pick you up or drop off at the gate. Whether the service member can meet you in town or stay off base depends on his particular unit. So he would know those answers better than I would.

          Reply
      • Nanny

        And I’m planning on renting a car could it go on base as well

        Reply
        • Lizann Lightfoot

          The rental car isn’t a problem, but someone with the car needs to have a military ID. So your service member would need to drive with you or meet you at the gate to escort you on base.

          Reply
          • Nanny

            What if I’m just picking them up

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