The incident happened around 6 a.m. at an external checkpoint, the Secret Service said. The driver, whose identity has not been made public, tried to tail an official vehicle through the gate.
The Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers stopped the vehicle and immediately took the driver into custody, the agency said. D.C. Police and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team also responded.
Investigators were seen searching through a black Mercedes-Benz SUV with a Texas license plate. They emptied out what appeared to be large amounts of clothing and luggage into piles on the ground.
It was unclear whether anything suspicious was discovered inside the vehicle.
The SUV accumulated $1,355, in parking violations from streets around the White House since Oct. 10, ABC7 reporter Sam Sweeney tweeted. The 17 tickets included several illegal parking citations.
Further details weren’t immediately available.
Investigators had closed the surrounding roads to vehicle and pedestrian traffic due to the security alert.