05.01.a Library Card Registration Policy - Revised 5-22-19.pdf

Issuing Library Cards:

Patrons residing in the City of Richmond and surrounding counties (see list below) are eligible to register for a library card free of charge upon furnishing the required identification. The library card may be used interchangeably at all public libraries in the City of Richmond.

  • The library provides the initial library card free of charge. If a card is lost or stolen, the customer must show a picture ID and pay $1.00 replacement fee for another library card.
  • The Library Card does not expire, but information is checked for accuracy at least once yearly.

By completing a registration each adult and/or child's guardian/parent acknowledges he/she is responsible for the use of his/her card, for materials charged upon it, for all fines incurred, and for the loss, processing fee, and damage of the materials charged upon it.

Every registration for a library card is to be signed. Acknowledgement and responsibility of all library policy for lending is confirmed on the electronic application or by signature of the back of the library card.

Eligibility for Free Library Cards:

Residents of the City of Richmond, and residents of the following additional jurisdictions are eligible to register for a free library card at Richmond Public Library:

Charles City County Henrico County Powhatan County
Chesterfield County Hopewell City of Prince George County
Dinwiddie County King William County Williamsburg City
Goochland County New Kent County
Hanover County Petersburg City

Employees of the City of Richmond are also eligible to register for a free library card, regardless of residence, upon showing their current City of Richmond photo identification badge.


When a customer applies for a library card, he/she is entered as an Adult, Young Adult, or Juvenile customer in the circulation system.

Adult Registration: Adult registrants must present proof of residency in the City of Richmond or in the jurisdictions indicated above at the time of registration. One form of identification must be provided: (1) Picture identification card with current address must be provided, OR (2) Picture identification card plus another document with the current address on it (one example is a utility bill) is required for adults.

The following are examples of acceptable documents:

Photo identification from an official source:

  • Valid Driver's License or Valid Virginia ID Card
  • Military Identification
  • Passport

Proof of residential address:

  • Checks with names and address printed on them
  • Utility bill in your name
  • DMV Address Verification Postcard
  • Virginia Voter's registration card
  • Cancelled mail in your name and address dated within the last 30 days
  • Employment or Insurance ID with address

Registrants who use a Post Office Box as a primary address must still show proof of a current home address.

Youth Registration : Children and young adults age 17 and under are eligible for a library card.

Young Adult Registration: Ages 14 and older can apply for their own card if they have a current photo ID, such as a current Virginia Driver's license or learner's permit, provisional license or school-issued ID. Otherwise, a parent or guardian 18 years or older must accompany them and present current photo ID and sign the library card to accept the responsibility for materials borrowed or any charges incurred on a young adult's card.

Juvenile Registration: Ages 13 and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guarding 18 years or older to apply for a library card. The parent or guardian must show a current photo ID, sign the library card to accept the responsibility for materials borrowed or any charges incurred on a child's card.

Additional Library Card Types:

PC Guest Card:

PC Guest user registration is designated only for those individuals not eligible for a free library card and is only for use of public access computers. PC Guest card expires in ninety (90) days, and are renewable. PC Guest Users must present a current photo ID.

Fee Card:

Temporary cards issued to nonresidents who live outside the City of Richmond and surrounding counties at a cost of $15.00. The duration of a fee card is one year.


An e-Card is for Richmond residents and surrounding counties who have never had a library card and only want to use online services. The e-Card allows users to borrow electronic books, magazines, audiobooks, videos, online resources, and computer workstations in the library. An e-Card may place materials on hold remotely. In order to check out an item, the e-Card will be converted to a regular library card.

Business Card:

Cards issued to companies or organizations that would like to register for a library card. The request must be submitted in writing on company/business letterhead and must include the names of the individuals in the organization who are authorized to use the card.

One person must be designated as responsible for library materials, and this individual must sign the letter of request and will be required to fill in the standard library registration. That designated person is also responsible for any and all use who use the business card. Established circulation procedures will be followed. Businesses or Agency appointee will be responsible for transport of materials to and from the library.

Temporary Cards (for Residents of Temporary Shelters):

Residents of temporary shelters may apply for library cards. Verification of residency must be presented in the form of a letter, on agency letterhead, from the director of the shelter in which the applicant resides. A card will be issued with a limit of two (2) items checked out at any one time for as long as this patron is registered at this address. Add note in borrower record: Temporary resident/2 Item Limit.

Youth Card (Fine-Free):

  1. No overdue fines will be incurred once materials are returned.
  2. All Youth cardholders will be responsible for never-returned and damaged items. Charges for never returned or damaged items will be calculated at list price. Collection Recovery fees will still be charged, as will fees for missing chargers, damaged security cases, lost power cords, etc.
  3. Youth cardholders who owe $10 or more for never-returned or damaged items will have their borrowing privileges blocked until their charges have been paid or reduced below $10.
  4. Youth Cardholders who have items overdue will have their borrowing privileges blocked until items are renewed or returned.
  5. Collections Recovery Agent: the Library uses the services of a collection recovery company to collect money for never-returned and damaged items when the obligation equals or exceeds $25. If an account is referred to a collection recovery company, an additional non-refundable charge of $10 is applied.


Approved: April 20, 2005

Revised: January 2006

Revised: September 2006

Revised: May 2007

Revised: March 2009

Revised: April 2011

Revised: February 2012

Revised: May 2014

Revised: January 24, 2018

Revised: February 27, 2018

Revised: May 22, 2019