Library Card Registration Policy

Individuals seeking to establish full borrowing privileges at the Palo Alto City Library must apply for a Palo Alto Library Card and provide the following two forms of identification:

Current Photo ID:

  • Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent) for the sole purpose of identification.
  • U.S. passport.
  • U.S. passport card.
  • U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and Department of Defense civilians).
  • Permanent resident card.
  • Border crossing card.
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver's license.
  • Native American tribal photo ID.
  • Foreign government-issued passport.
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card.
  • School-issued student photo ID.
  • Employee photo ID.


Proof of current California address or California P.O. Box:

  • Current Driver’s License or state photo identity card with current address.
  • Mail postmarked within the last 30 days.
  • U.S. Postal Service change of address confirmation form or postmarked U.S. mail with forwarding address label from the past 30 days.
  • Current deed, mortgage statement, homeowner’s insurance policy or bill, or residential rental/lease agreement.
  • Receipt for personal property taxes or real estate taxes paid within the last year.
  • Utility bill, bank statement, car insurance or registration, not more than two months old.
  • Payroll check stub or Leave and Earnings Statement issued within the last two months.
  • U.S. or California income tax return receipt or W-2/1099 from the previous year.
  • Annual Social Security Statement for the current or preceding calendar year P.O. Boxes will be verified through a process in which the library sends a post card to a patron.

P.O. Box. The patron then must return the post card within in one month of receipt, verifying the validity of the address, in order to establish full library privileges. Until the P.O. Box address is verified, the patron will only be allowed a one-time check-out of 2 items (excluding electronic devices such as iPads, Chromebooks, etc.).

Library Card Registration for Children under the age of 18

Children without acceptable forms of identification and all children under the age of 14 must have a parent or guardian capable of meeting the above requirements at the time of library card sign-up in order to establish borrowing privileges. Children over the age of 14 with acceptable photo identification and proof of address do not need a parent or a guardian in order to establish library privileges.

Access for Non-California Residents

Visitors from outside of California are not allowed to register for full privilege library cards. Non-California residents have access to library facilities, use of the libraries free Wi-Fi, and may register for a one-time 30 minute internet terminal visitors pass. Non-California residents may also register for an Internet Only library card, should more than 30 minute computer access be needed.

Approved by: Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, Library Director (Date: October 2014)
Approved as to form: Albert S. Yang, Deputy City Attorney