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  • Getting a Library Card

  • To apply for a library card, please visit either the Main Library, Montana Avenue or Pico Branch Libraries during operating hours. Please have the required documentation as noted below.

    California residents may apply for a Santa Monica Public Library card at any of our locations. For children under age 12, both the child and the parent/guardian must be present at the time of application, and the parent/guardian must present the required documents. Find more information for parents in the Parent Handout  (version en español). 

    1. Complete an Application Form. Print out and bring to the library.

    Qualified L.A. County residents may apply for a library card online.

    2. Show the required documents. Expired documents are not accepted. Photocopies or photographs of IDs are not accepted. Electronic versions of address verification documents are acceptable.

     One primary valid document from the list: 
    • California ID with current address 
    • Consular card with current address  
    • Middle school or high school photo ID   
    Or two alternative valid documents, one from each of the following lists 

    Alternative photo ID: 
    • California ID without current address 
    • Out-of-state Photo ID  
    • Government-issued Passport  
    • Government-issued Permanent US Resident Card (Green Card)  
    • Consular card without current address 
    • Military Photo ID  
    • College or university Photo ID 

    Alternative address verification:
    • Current auto registration  
    • Proof of current auto insurance  
    • Utility bill issued within the past 90 days 
    • Bank statement issued within the past 90 days  
    • Credit card bill issued within the past 90 days  
    • Rent receipt issued within the past 90 days  
    • A current lease issued within the last year  
    • Valid Voter registration card or pre-printed voter balloting materials   

    3. Use your library card to borrow items, reserve study rooms, access computers, and more. Keep your account in good standing.

    Renewing Your Library Card

    Library cards are valid for a 2-year term. Cards for adult residents of Los Angeles County will be automatically renewed 31 days prior to expiration. If there are any issues, an email will be sent and the card will need to be renewed in-person. All other cards must be renewed in-person. To renew a card, present valid photo ID plus address verification at the Main Library, Pico Branch, or Montana Branch. As a courtesy, an automated notice is sent four weeks prior to account expiration.

    Who May Use Your Library Card

    Any person who has your card may use it to check out items from the library. Keep your card safe and be aware that you are responsible for everything checked out on your account. Notify the library by phone or in person as soon as you notice your card has been lost or stolen. Cards may not be borrowed or shared to use Internet stations.  

    Replacement Cards

    The library can issue a replacement card to members with a valid photo ID. Issuing a replacement card changes the library card number associated with an account.

    Privacy of Patron Records

    In keeping with the American Library Association's Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records and Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information About Library Users and State of California Government Code Section 6267, Santa Monica Public Library staff will not respond to any informal request by a third party for personally identifiable information about any library user.

    Personally identifiable information may be released only to a law enforcement agency after presentation of an order by a court of competent jurisdiction issued in proper form (a court issued subpoena or search warrant) and/or under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. Under some circumstances librarians may be forbidden to disclose that certain records have been requested or obtained. 

    Except in cases of lost/stolen items or substantial unpaid fines, where we may use a collection agency, credit bureau, or law enforcement, client records will never be shared with private companies. 

    Library staff will collect only the information needed to contact library users, such as mailing address, email address, phone number, etc., in order to ensure the proper notification, lending, and return of library materials and the collection of fines. Records will be retained for the shortest length of time necessary to facilitate library operations. 

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