Information to help you apply for a library card :
Who can apply
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.
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
- Frederick County
- Prince William
- Falls Church
The DC Public Library is not permitted to issue cards online to those outside of our service area (D.C., Maryland and Virginia).
For Out of Area
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.
Educators in District of Columbia schools, childcare facilities or home settings can supplement their curriculum with an abundant, ever-changing supply of books and audiobooks on a range of subjects and reading levels.
After you complete the form
You will receive an email with your temporary library card number and PIN along with other library account information. We recommend you set up your library account as soon as possible so you can begin to use your card.
Once in your account, you can set a new PIN and set preferences for holds, notifications, language, and other account options.
Remember, you have 90 days to visit a library location with a current picture ID that shows proof of current address to transition to a permanent library card, which grants full access to all resources.
What you need to validate your account and transition to a permanent library card
Adults must present current identification, that shows your address in our service area. Haven’t updated your ID or Drivers License to your new local address? See below for examples of additional documentation we accept along with your photo ID:
- rent receipt
- utility bill
- bank statement
- apartment lease
- letter on letterhead from a shelter
We also ask for your email 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.
Renewing your 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.