Get a Library Card
Who can get a card?
Anyone who resides, works, pays property taxes or attends school in the District of Columbia can get a card. Library cards expire after three years. Library cards can only be renewed in person at any DC Public Library branch. We ask you to renew in person to make sure that we have all of your current contact information.
Or, if you are a resident of one of the following counties or cities you can get a DC Public Library Card for free:
- Prince George's
- Prince William
- Falls Church
If you live elsewhere, you can apply and pay for a nonresident card.
Please note: The DC Public Library is not permitted to issue electronic download only cards to those outside our service area (as listed above - -D.C., Maryland and Virginia). If you live outside these areas, you may apply for a regular library card by visiting the Martin Luther King Library in person. The cost is $20, and the card is good for one year.
What do I need to get a card?
Adults must present current traceable identification, which gives both their name and address, such as a:
- driver's license
- rent receipt
- utility bill
- bank book
- apartment lease
- letter on letterhead from a shelter
We also ask for your e-mail address, which is used to provide you with library information ONLY, including notice of items on hold or due, and information about library services and activities.
What if I lose my card?
Please report the loss at once to any branch library, by phone or in person. You are responsible for materials taken out with the card until the card is reported lost or stolen. The library charges a small fee for a new card.