Crowds gather to see the exhibitions and check out the gift shop at the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Free timed passes for admission to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture between January and March 2017 will be available online starting Oct. 3 at 9 a.m., museum officials announced Thursday.

Passes for the rest of the 2016 have already been distributed.

The three-month batch of passes will become available on the museum’s website, nmaahc.si.edu. Individuals can request up to six passes. They are distributed in 15-minute increments.

In addition to advance tickets,  same-day passes can be obtained in person on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visitors can get up to four passes per person starting at 9:15 a.m. at visitor services.

Large crowds have mobbed the newest Smithsonian museum since it opened Sept. 24. The timed passes are intended to help with crowd control and reduce wait times at the museum’s entrances. Museum officials have not said how long the timed passes will be required.