Pick a Library Card A library card gives borrowing and usage privileges at the Main Library and all branches and provides remote access to the Library's online resources. Library cards are required for checking out materials and for using many library services and materials. Residents of California with identification may obtain a library card for free, although fees are charged to replace lost cards ($.50 for children and young adults; $1.00 for adults and seniors). Applications are available at the Main Library and all branches and are to be submitted in person. San Francisco residents who are homebound may apply for library cards by mail (residents should first complete an application for homebound services (PDF 37K) and indicate interest in "Books by Mail").
To renew your expired card, present either the original card or current identification with proof of address at any of our libraries and bookmobiles. Once your card is verified, you may use it to borrow materials and access our online resources.
Most San Francisco Public Library cards expire after four years and must be renewed. Having cards expire helps us keep our database current and ensures that all contact information is up to date. The card itself does not need to be replaced, nor is there a fee for renewing your card.
A library card will be issued when one of the following is presented
- Valid California driver's license with your address
- Valid California ID with your address
- Valid San Francisco City ID with your address
OR, any item from EACH of the following two lists
Current Picture Identification (I.D.)
- Alien Registration Card
- Military I.D.
- School-issued student I.D.
- Consular I.D. card
- Employee identification card
- Out-of-state driver license
(must include name and California residential address. Current utility bill or ID verification may be presented in paper or on a digital device)
- Mail postmarked within the last 30 days
- An imprinted bank check or deposit slip
- Current rent receipt (confirming 30 day occupancy)
- Current utility bill dated within the last 30 days