Visiting Sandia/California

Our location and hours of operation

Sandia/California is located at 7011 East Avenue in Livermore, Calif., a suburban community about 45 miles east of San Francisco. Positioned at the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area, Sandia is within easy commuting distance of many affordable housing communities in San Joaquin County and the Central Valley.

The official hours of operation at Sandia/California are from 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday. General inquiries can be made by calling (925) 294-1358. See our contacts page for additional information.


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Getting here

All three major airports in the San Francisco Bay Area provide access to Sandia/California. Oakland International Airport is the closest airport to Sandia, followed by San Jose International Airport and then San Francisco International Airport. Traffic on Interstate 580 — used when traveling to Sandia from either Oakland or San Francisco — can be quite heavy, so be sure to allow for extra time when driving during rush hour.

Public transportation to Sandia is available from the San Francisco and Oakland airports via the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Wheels bus system. In addition, you can rent a car from any AVIS rental location — including the airports — and return the car at Sandia. AVIS cars are also available for pickup at Sandia with a prior reservation at least 24 hours in advance of the pickup date and time.

Sandia’s contracted rental car provider is National / Enterprise. Currently, Sandia does not have on-site rental cars available at the Sandia Livermore site and there is no provision for drop-off of one way rental cars of any brand on the Sandia Livermore site. 

If you choose to travel by rental car from Oakland or other airports we recommend a round trip rental car reservation, returning the vehicle to the same place you picked it up. This avoids very high one-way trip charges. If you choose a one-way rental, National’s nearest drop-off point is at 2111 Research Drive, Livermore, CA 94550, 0.93 miles from the Lab. The nearest drop-off for Enterprise cars is 3569 1 st St. Livermore, CA 94551, 2.9 miles from the Lab. We recommend Uber, Lyft or taxi for the remaining distance to the Lab.

Employees are required to use the contracted rental car providers for business travel. Renting other than contracted providers is not permitted; insurance for non-contracted provider rental cars is unallowable and not reimbursable.

Sandia employees make rental car reservations through Concur, We recommend you join the National Emerald Club in order to have the best vehicle selection from both National and Enterprise.

See maps and directions to Sandia/California.

Visitor badges

Access to Sandia’s California site is limited to those with authorized badges. If you do not have an authorized badge, be sure to make arrangements with your Sandia point of contact ahead of time so that you can pick up a visitor badge at Sandia’s Visitor Badge Office (Greenville and East Avenue) before entering the site.

Visitors to Sandia/California should also note the following:

  • Sandia/California does not offer public tours and generally limits site visits to individuals with an explicit business purpose.
  • U.S. citizens must make arrangements at least 3 days prior to visiting. Foreign nationals must make arrangements 4-6 weeks prior to visiting.
  • To apply for a visitor badge, U.S. citizens must provide the following: social security number, birth date, citizenship, home address and phone number, and business address and phone number. Because of additional access requirements, foreign nationals should make arrangements as soon as possible.
  • To receive a visitor badge, visitors must present a valid picture ID (driver’s license or passport) at Sandia’s Visitor Badge Office (Post 17).
  • You must wear your badge at all times while on-site at Sandia. Badges should be worn above the waist (prominently displayed) on your outer clothing at all times while you are on Sandia premises. Your badge should not be worn off Sandia premises or used for personal identification.
  • Visitor badges must be returned to Sandia at the end of your visit. You can give your badge to your host or bring it to a Sandia badge office. Do not put your badge in the badge return boxes near the guard posts upon exiting.
Security measures

Because Sandia/California is a Department of Energy national laboratory, the following special security measures apply to everyone on-site:

  • All drivers who enter Sandia/California are subject to random car searches. If you are selected, a protective force officer will ask you to pull over to the curb; open the hood, trunk, and glove compartment; and step out of your car. Follow these directions, and in most cases, you will soon be on your way again.
  • Personally owned laptop computers and stand-alone cameras are not allowed in most areas of Sandia. Please leave these items locked in your car.
  • Personal cell phones (all types — including iPhones, BlackBerry devices, and other smartphones), MP3 players, PDAs, pagers, GPS devices, handheld video games, and electronic book reading devices are allowed only in Sandia’s unclassified areas, known as property protection areas. These devices may not be connected to any Sandia equipment and cannot be used to take pictures, record audio, or shoot videos.
  • Sandia is a smoke- and tobacco-free facility. Please do not bring cigarettes or tobacco of any kind on-site.
  • Other prohibited items include alcohol; explosives; dangerous weapons; controlled substances (e.g., illegal drugs and associated paraphernalia); hazardous radiological, chemical, or biological materials; and technical surveillance equipment.

If you have any questions about prohibited or controlled items at Sandia/California, please contact your Sandia host

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