Get a Library Card

We are temporarily processing new library cards online

  • Patrons should begin by clicking on Apply for a Library card
  • After completing the online application, patrons will need to email copies of their identification (driver’s license, state identification etc.) to
  • If the address on the identification is incorrect, please include in your email something showing your name with the correct address such as a utility bill, a lease agreement, or a tax bill. 
  • If you are a non-resident, the $50.00 non-resident fee can be paid online once your account is set up. 
  • Once the library resumes normal operations, you will be able to come in and pick up your physical card.

Applying for a library card

Click here to apply for a library card.

You can pick up an application for a library card at the circulation desk of any Chattanooga Public Library branch location. Turn in your completed library card application at the circulation desk of any branch along with photo ID and proof of current residence. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

A Full Access library card is free for:

  • City of Chattanooga residents
  • City of Chattanooga employees
  • Nonresidents who own property inside the city limits
  • Nonresidents who own a business inside the city limits
  • All Hamilton County public school students
  • College students who live on campus within the City of Chattanooga
  • Active volunteers who donate 20 or more hours of service to the library each year

For residents outside of Chattanooga: Full Access card: $50 per year

  • Unlimited checkouts of both physical and digital media (books, DVDs, CDs eBooks, audiobooks, digital music and magazine services)
  • Access databases from library or home
  • Non residents can also qualify for a free card by becoming an active volunteer who donate 20 or more hours of service to the library each year

For all Hamilton County public school students: Full Access card is free

  • Through a partnership with the Hamilton County Department of Education, all students currently enrolled in a Hamilton County public school can receive a free, full access library card
  • Full access library cards are issued through their public school library
  • Cards are good for a year and automatically renew each year during school registration

What you need to apply for a library card:

» Photo I.D.

  • Driver’s License (temporary Tennessee license acceptable, learner’s permit also acceptable with additional photo ID)
  • Tennessee Department of Public Safety ID
  • Passport
  • Military, school, or employee ID
  • International Driver’s Permit

» Proof of your current residence

  • Driver’s License (temporary Tennessee license or learner’s permit also acceptable)
  • Tennessee Department of Public Safety ID
  • Personal check, savings passbook or bank/credit union statement
  • Utility receipt/bill
  • Credit card bill (current)
  • Voter registration (notarized temporary voter registration also acceptable)
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle liability insurance record
  • Rent receipt/agreement/contract/lease
  • Mail postmarked within last 30 days

Children (17 years and younger)

There is no age requirement for a library card. The child applicant must be present during application process, and the parent or guardian must sign the child’s application form.

Business Cards

Library cards will be issued in the name of an organization or business located in the City of Chattanooga, upon request by the entity’s executive director or owner. This card allows the entity to designate employees who may use the card. The card request must be made in person, and the executive director or owner must provide proof of his/her position in the organization. Responsibility for this account, and all materials checked out on it, rests with the applicant. An out-of-city business may acquire a Business Card for $50 per year.

Residents of shelters

Residents of shelters or temporary housing facilities in Chattanooga may apply for a Temporary Resident card, upon showing a photo ID and a letter from the housing facility director that states the individual is currently residing in the facility and able to receive mail at that address. 

Temporary Resident card

  • Only three items may be checked out at a time.
  • Card expires in three months and may be renewed for an additional three months with the receipt of another letter from the housing facility director.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Click here to apply for a library card