Get a Library Card

Information on How to Obtain 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 may obtain a library card for free. As part of an initiative to provide more access to our users, Library staff is currently waiving the lost card fee and is issuing free replacement cards.

Applications are available at the Main Library and all branches and are to be submitted in person. Online applications are also available. Those completing applications online need to visit any library to complete the registration process and pick up a card. 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").

See also Privacy Policy

When Your Card Expires

There are four ways for you to renew your expired card:

  • In person: present either the original card or current identification at any of our libraries or bookmobiles.
  • By telephone: 415-557-4400
  • By email: When emailing, please include your full name, library card number, current residential address and phone number.
  • Online with the SFPL Text & Chat service.

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