Get a Library Card

How Do I Get a Card?Who Can Get A Card? | What Do I Need? | What If I Lose My Card?
How Can A Library Card Help With School?
| Questions?

Get a card

How do I get a card?

To get a library card, you can:

  1. Apply online. (Strongly encouraged)
  2. Fill out a form at any District of Columbia Public Library location.
  3. Download, print and fill out your form and take it to any District of Columbia Public Library location. Click links to download:

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:


  • Montgomery
  • Prince George's


  • Fairfax
  • Loudoun
  • Arlington
  • Prince William
  • Falls Church
  • Alexandria
  • Frederick

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 any library location in person. The cost is $20, and the card is good for one year. (Cash is only accepted at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.)

What do I need to get a card?

Adults must present two current forms of traceable identification, one to prove identity and one to prove place of residency. Examples include:

  • 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. Back to School

How Can a Library Card Help with School?

A DC Public Library card can access everything you need to have a great school year. Take self-paced online classes. Get live homework help. Search databases to help with school projects and more. Read more

Use your Student DC One Card as a library card.