No shots were fired and no law enforcement personnel were hurt, the Secret Service said in a series of tweets.
"This minivan came and crashed into the barricade and tried to push through the barricade and his tires were burning rubber and a lot of smoke was coming up," eyewitness Chris Bello, 50, of New York, told reporters near the scene.
"And then about 30 seconds after that the two security guards that were in the booth, you know, ordered him to stop doing what he was doing and he didn't listen," Bello said.
The White House was put on lockdown following the crash, which occurred shortly after a meeting there between President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was still at the White House.
Streets surrounding the White House were cordoned off, snarling local traffic.
Reuters video showed the minivan with an American flag emblem on the back and with both its rear window and a side window smashed. The video showed a law enforcement officer checking the underside of the van with a mirror.
CNN, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said the woman intentionally drove into the barricade. She was known to the Secret Service, CNN reported, but the action of driving into the barricade was not directed at the president or anyone at the White House.
Mental health issues may have been a factor, CNN said, citing the sources.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)