Inauguration 2009
A view of President Obama's 2009 inauguration from the National Mall. Photo by Jeffrey Lowy/Flickr.

Some members of Congress have started to accept online requests for tickets to President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony, set to be held Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.

Each representative and senator who will hold office in 2013 receives inauguration tickets. The exact number of tickets available to the public was not immediately known; some representatives are holding raffles to determine who receives a ticket. Tickets are free and earn the ticket holder a spot within about four blocks of the stage.

Tickets are not required for those who want to watch the inauguration on the National Mall more than four blocks from the stage. The mall stretches 14 blocks from the Capitol, where the inauguration stage is being built.

There is more information about inauguration tickets Joint Congressional Committee for Inaugural Ceremonies website. Here is a step-by-step guide to getting tickets:

1. Use your zip code to find the website for your U.S. representative here. You also may want to check out the websites for Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, although neither has ticket information yet.

2. Look for a link that says “request inauguration tickets” or something similar. Here are links to the ticket request forms for some congress members from the Bay Area.

3. Enter your information to request tickets.

4. Keep your fingers crossed. Those picked to receive tickets most likely will receive notification by mid-December.

Of course, getting an inauguration ticket does not guarantee you a hotel room in D.C. If you’re looking to stay in the area, you may want to reserve a room soon – The Huffington Post reports that some hotels already are sold out.

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