Dos and Don'ts
Visiting the Lab
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is located off Vasco Road, near Interstate 580, in Livermore, California, about 50 miles east of San Francisco. It is an easy drive from anywhere in the Bay Area, and convenient to San Francisco International, San Jose and Oakland airports.
Because much of LLNL’s mission involves national security, entry is strictly regulated. Visitors must make prior arrangements and pick up a badge at the Westgate Badge Office in order to gain admittance to the Laboratory. Visitors and the news media should be aware of LLNL’s policies on photography and its rules for bringing restricted and controlled items onto the site.
If you’re not ready or able to come on-site, take our Virtual Tour to learn more about our Laboratory and its unique facilities.
Dos and Dont's
For anyone who has made arrangements to visit LLNL, the first stop is the Westgate Badge Office, located off Vasco Road in Livermore. The Badge Office is open Mon.–Thurs. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fri. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
You will need a badge for admittance to the Laboratory. Be prepared to wait about 15 minutes for your badge to be issued. You must have a valid driver's license or other form of official photo identification, and be prepared to provide your Social Security number. Non-U.S. citizens must present a Permanent Resident Card or valid passport plus visa documentation and all accompanying documentation. You must wear the badge conspicuously at all times while you are at LLNL. The photo side of the badge must be visible, and it should be worn between your neck and your waist; you should not attach it to a belt. You must turn in your badge at the security checkpoint as you leave the Laboratory.
Members of the news media should make prior arrangements with the LLNL Office of Strategic Communications before coming to the Laboratory. Using a camera or recording device without prior authorization is prohibited; see LLNL's policies on photography and its rules on restricted and controlled items for more information.
All types of video recording equipment, including digital cameras, film cameras, camcorders, commercial video recording equipment and any other equipment with video image recording capability, are considered controlled items.
Privately owned video recording equipment may be brought into (non-classified) Property Protection Areas but must be turned off and secured (e.g., in a locked vehicle or a cell phone garage). They may not be taken into any building, trailer or (classified) Limited Area without a Controlled Items Permit. Any use of such equipment at LLNL requires a Controlled Items Permit.
Photography/Videotaping by News Media
All news media requests to bring still cameras or video recording equipment onto the Laboratory site are handled through the Office of Strategic Communications (OSC). OSC will determine what kind of equipment will be used, where it will be used, what will be photographed, the name and citizenship of the photographer, who the escort will be and the dates and times for the photography/videotaping. OSC will then coordinate with the Security Organization and Badge Office to issue a press badge to the approved media personnel. All media will be escorted by OSC staff.
As a general rule, media are not permitted to bring camera equipment on-site to obtain file footage. Taking shots for file footage (e.g., video or still photos with the Laboratory as background) is permissible from off-site. Existing video file footage of the Laboratory can be requested from OSC.
What Can Be Photographed
Photographing and videotaping within (non-classified) Property Protection Areas of the Laboratory is permitted upon prior arrangement with the LLNL Office of Strategic Communications.
What Cannot Be Photographed
Photographing and videotaping in (classified) Limited Areas is prohibited without prior approval by the LLNL Security Organization and Laboratory management. In situations where such approval has been granted, the area will first be surveyed by Security personnel before any media cameras are allowed in the area.
Visitors may contact their host for assistance.
(e.g., laptops, cell phones, tablets, headsets, earbuds, smart watches, fitness trackers and e-readers)
- May be used and stored on-site except where otherwise posted
- Are prohibited from connecting to LLNL equipment or networks except guest wi-fi
- Are subject to DOE requirements controlling the presence and use of mobile devices within Property Protected Areas and Limited Area (LA) buildings. Please observe posted signs for regulations within the subsections of LA buildings where the use or storage of these devices is not permitted (e.g., buffer space, secure space, enhanced security areas)
Personal Cameras and Recording Devices
- May not be used on-site without a Controlled Items Permit
(e.g., hearing aids, heart or glucose monitors)
- Devices approved by LLNL and/or the DOE Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence prior to the visit may be used on-site as specified by Security
- Approvals require a minimum of 5 working days
- Contact your meeting organizer regarding medical device accommodations
- Visitors may contact their host for assistance.
The following articles are prohibited from any area on LLNL property without prior appropriate authorization by the Security Organization:
- Dangerous weapons (exception: local, state and federal law enforcement)
- Instruments or material likely to produce substantial injury to persons or damage to persons or property
- Mace/pepper spray
- Controlled substances (e.g., illegal drugs and associated paraphernalia, but not prescription medicine)
- Other items prohibited by law
The following articles may be stored in personal vehicles on-site but are prohibited from use:
- Unopened alcoholic beverages with intact manufacturer’s seals or caps
- Binoculars and telescopes
- Visitors may contact their host for assistance.
There are currently no COVID-19 requirements for visitors. For more information, contact your host.
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