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Library Cards

Applying for a Library Card - Adults

Having a Hartford Public Library card is an important tool.  You can apply for a library card at any Library location or online. To apply online, please click here, our next available card will be right with you. 

With your library card you will be able to:

  • Borrow books, audio-books, CD’s, videos and DVD’s at the Downtown Library and at all 9 branches.
  • Gain full access to the Library’s e-Resources and other web services.
  • Renew items and check the status of your library account online.
  • Gain access to the collections and services of every public library in Connecticut.

Am I eligible for a Library card?

  • If you live, attend school or pay property taxes in Hartford you are eligible to receive a Hartford Public Library card free of charge. You must be age 14 or older to receive a full service card.

What will I need to apply for a Library card?

  • When applying for a Library card in person, you must show proof that you live, work, attend school or pay property taxes in Hartford.
  • Only one form of identification is necessary if it is one of these current and unexpired forms of identification:
  1. Connecticut driver’s license
  2. State of Connecticut ID card

If the identification types listed above are not available, you may provide any two of the following forms of identification - one must have a photo and the other your current address:

  • Valid passport
  • Check cashing courtesy card
  • School ID card with photo
  • Employee ID with photo
  • Green Card
  • Current month utility bill
  • Mail postmarked within the past 30 days
  • Printed personal check
  • Lease or rent receipt (within past 60 days)
  • Tax bill or receipt
  • Valid car registration or car insurance

PLEASE NOTE: Any rent receipts or statements from a homeless shelter used for verification of your identity must be dated no more than two months prior to your application.

Without a photo ID you are not eligible for a full service library card. If you have a photo ID but cannot verify your address, we can send a postcard for proof of address to your home/residence. When you receive the postcard, bring it back to the Library with your photo ID and we will issue you a new card.


Applying for a Library Card - Youth

For youth under the age of 15 to receive a library card, a parent or guardian must sign the application form attesting to the validity of the information and accepting responsibility for materials borrowed on the card.

A youth application form must be signed by a parent or guardian. If a parent/guardian is not present, the library card application must be taken home for completion and signature. 

Parents/guardians are responsible for the lost or damaged materials borrowed by their children.

Although parents or guardians may register their children for library cards without the children being present, the Library recommends that parents and guardians bring their children to the Library to participate in this important event in the lives of their children.

PLEASE NOTE: As protection against identity theft and to facilitate the renewal process, the Library will include your photo in your confidential record.  If you provide us with your e-mail address, the Library will keep you updated with the latest information on Library programs and services, special events, announcements and other note-worthy news.

You can apply for a Hartford Public Library card at any Library location or online. To apply online, please click here, our next available card will be right with you.

PLEASE NOTE: When you apply for a card online you will be issued a temporary e-Card. This card will give you immediate access to the Library’s online resources only. To borrow books and other materials with your new card, you must complete the process by bringing photo identification and proof of residency to any Hartford Public Library location to complete the process. You will receive a full service card at that time.



If you are unable to provide photo ID or verify your address, you can receive an e-Card that provides access to the Internet and the Library’s online resources. You can apply for an e-Card at any Library location or online.  Without a full-service card, however, you will not be able to borrow books or other materials.  The E-Card must be renewed every two years.

Last Updated: Tue, 08/15/2017 - 3:27pm