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Parking and Garage Access

Parking and Commuter Information Line:


Parking is limited on NSA Bethesda. There are two patient parking garages located adjacent to the medical center. Staff parking is limited, by permit only, and there may be a waitlist. New staff may not be able to park on base upon arrival and should plan accordingly. There is no open parking on the installation. Parking is strictly enforced.

Public parking in downtown Bethesda is also an option. Staff can park in these areas and ride the Metro to the Medical Center Station.

Using Your CAC with the Garage Arm Keypads:

NOTE: Many of us are in a hurry to get where we're going when we're parking. This process requires patience.

After approaching the keypad, take your CAC (ID card) and lightly hold the gold chip against the top of the keypad. The light at the top will flash as it reads the card (it can take up to 10 seconds), and should turn green for access. If access is denied, it will turn red.

The keypads are not "instant" card readers, and cannot read a card if it is just "waved" in front of the reader.

The reader will only work if the card is gently held in place while the reader confirms access credentials.

If your card is initially denied, pull the card away from the keypad, count to three, and try again. If it doesn't work a second time, please visit NSA Bethesda Security located in the basement of Bldg. 17 to have your credentials verified.

FAQ - Questions/Answers:

Q1. Where can patients park at NSA Bethesda?

A1. Patients at NSA Bethesda can park in the America Garage (Bldg. 63) on North Palmer Road, and in Bldg. 55 on located at South Palmer and Brown Drive.

Q2. How can staff obtain a parking permit?

A2. The Pass & ID office distributes a specific number of staff parking permits to each tenant organization at NSA Bethesda based on their population size. Each tenant organization is responsible for determining which of their staff members will receive a parking permit. Check with your unit or organization for more assistance.

Q3. How can staff get access to the garages?

A3. Drivers wishing to access staff garages at NSA Bethesda must first have a registered parking permit and a common access card. Once a parking permit has been issued, the driver may visit NSA Bethesda Security located in the basement of Bldg. 17 to have garage access added to their common access card. Drivers with handicap parking privileges should first register their vehicles and present a handicap certificate at Pass & ID. They may then visit NSA Bethesda Security to have garage access added to their common access card.

Q4. What is the process for obtaining a carpool permit?

A4. Commuters may request an application for a carpool parking permit by sending an email to NSA Bethesda Transportation Manager - Ryan Emery at:


Created: June 9, 2020 | Updated: June 28, 2022

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