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How to get onto a Military Base

Updated on January 8, 2011

New to the military or going to see someone on base?

First i would like to start by saying every branch of the armed forces probably has different rules. Each base has a commanding officer who can also add rules and regulations. The things listed here are from my experience with the bases I have been on.

6 people authorized to come on base.

1. Anyone with a DOD (department of defense) decal on their vehicle. This person would also have to have a military ID or sponsor.

2. Anyone who obtains a Visitor pass.

3. A vehicle with Government license plates.

4. Civilian law enforcement.

5. NCIS (Naval criminal investigative service)

6. Taxi cabs.

DoD decals

You may obtain a DoD decal if you are In the military (active duty, reserve, or retired.), a civilian who works on base, a government contractor that works on base, or a dependent of someone in the military.

There will be a building on base called Pass & ID or Visitors Center. This is where you will be given a DoD decal to be placed on your windshield (usually in the lower drivers side corner).

The DoD decal will have a decal number. There will be a number to the left of it indicating the month it expires. There will be a sticker to the right with the year it expires. directly underneath the decal number the name of the base where the decal was issued will be displayed in white font with a colored background.

Red backgrounds Indicate the the military member is enlisted. Blue Indicates the military member is an officer (these vehicles will be saluted). Green backgrounds are for civilians that work on base, and black decals indicate that it is a government contractor.

All DoD decals have unlimited, unrestricted access to base except for the black decals (contractors). contractors are only allowed on base between normal working hours (0500 - 1700).

In order to get your decal you will need the following: Drivers License, Registration, proof of insurance, and a military ID.

*Note - If you are a military service member you will also need to provide proof of your driver improvement course.*

Government Tags

Government license plates are white with blue writing that says U.S. Government. These tags are given to officers that are 0-6 or higher. The vehicle is owned by the government and they have a military member that serves as their driver.

Government tags are also used on military working vehicles such as some tactical vehicles. Duty vehicles also have government tags such as Military Police vehicles, base buses, or Duty vans that may be checked out by service members for various tasks such as transporting marines around base on official duty or to act as designated drivers for people who have been drinking on certain events held on base. Recruiters also have government vehicles.

Visitors passes

Visitors passes can be issued to anyone who has a military sponsor. They are paper passed placed on your dashboard. These passes usually can be valid for 1 day to 2 weeks.

To obtain a visitors pass you may be required to have your vehicle thoroughly searched for certain things that are not authorized on base or that may harm anyone.

You will need your drivers license, proof of insurance, registration, and a military sponsor. Your military sponsor must be present with his military ID. The only other way your sponsor can sponsor you on is to send an email the the person issuing the pass from his military or government email address with the name of the person he wants to sponsor on, date, and destination.

The reason visitors must obtain passes is to make sure the vehicle has insurance because every vehicle that comes on base must be insured. The other reason is to make sure the person trying to come on base has a reason to come on.

You will have to read and sign your visitors pass which by signing you agree to be subject to a vehicle search, that you will wear your seat belt, not carry any firearms, and several other things.

Civilian Law Enforcement

Civilian law enforcement may be allowed to come on base to serve court papers, make an arrest of a civilian dependant, attend meetings, or to use certain facilities such as the PX, Commissary, or gym. Some law enforcement are retired military and will have their retiree ID on them. Some times they come to use the naval hospital. Certain bases may even allow certain police officers or sheriffs to use the gym even if they are not prior military.

Civilian law enforcement have no authority on base and may not pull anyone over, write tickets, or make any arrests. Even if they are in a pursuit of a military member off base and he drives on base. Once he drives on base they must cease their pursuit. They can however alert the Military Police of what happened if the offense is serious enough. When a civilian police officer is making the arrest of a civilian dependent he must be escorted by a military police officer.


 NCIS members work on Marine Corps and Navy Bases and are allowed on with their ID/Badge and do not need decals.


Taxicab company go through a process so that they are allowed to come on base. They will have a taxi decal on their windshield and a cab driver ID. Everyone who is riding in the cab needs to have a military ID or sponsor present.

Prohibited Individuals

 The following people are prohibited from entering base.

1. People with a felony within the past 2 years.

2. Anyone not allowed near children or schools.

3. Anyone on parole.

4. Anyone on a prisoner work release.

5. Anyone on a national terrorist watch list. (obviously)

6. Anyone with wants or warrants.

7. Anyone illegally in the country.

8. Anyone that the base Commanding officer says is not allowed on base.


 This information is intended for people legally and legitimately trying to get on base for the right reason. Everyone entering base going to be thoroughly checked to ensure they are there for the right reason and are not intending to hurt anyone or damage property. If you try to cheat the system or get on base using false information of fake credentials you will be caught. I have done time as a military police officer. MPs are highly trained and know what to look for. There is state of the art equipment being used at the gates and around the perimeters of the bases that can find and detect information about you. Equipment so high tech you would never be able to imagine it. If you try to get on base to cause trouble or commit a crime you WILL be caught and you WILL be punished I promise.


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    • melissae1963 profile image

      Melissa Reese Etheridge 2 years ago from Tennessee, United States

      I grew up on military basis. I remember going through the checkpoints.

    • profile image

      CEJR 3 years ago

      What kind of warrants do they check for. Is a warrant for a speeding citation valid? This warrant is in Montana Deer Lodge County, any information is greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      Virginia Lawrence 4 years ago

      Thanks for posting. This is really interesting. I was just reading about government contracted vehicles (mostly here: ) and I stumbled on this. It was a good read, thanks for sharing. :)

    • profile image

      al 5 years ago

      calm down guy. geez