NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the presidential race over, planning for President Obama’s inauguration is under way.

Rather than just watch the historic event happen on television, you could be a witness to history on inauguration day.

Senator Charles Schumer is the chair of inaugural ceremonies and said his office will be giving out hundreds of free tickets by lottery.

WEB EXTRA: Register For Free Tickets Here

“The lottery will ensure that not just the big shots get tickets but that everyone has a fair chance and see history be made,” Schumer told reporters including WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Residents who want a chance to attend must register online by December 13. The drawing will then be held on December 14, so winners of the lottery can have more than a month to make arrangements to travel to Washington, D.C.

But Schumer cautioned this should not be viewed as a good opportunity for ticket scalpers.

“If you win the lottery, you have to go. You can’t just do it and sell it or this or that. We want to make sure the people who go on this lottery generally want to go,” Schumer said.

Inauguration Day is Jan. 21, 2013.

The inaugural balls will go on through the evening after President Obama takes the oath of office marking the start of his second term as President.

Watch & Listen LIVE