Get a Library Card

Step 1

Submit an application

Step 2

Provide identification online or via curbside

Step 3

We email your new card number to you

Step 4

Enjoy the Library!

How to Apply for a Library Card Online

  • Patrons should begin by clicking Apply for a Library Card.
  • After completing the online application, either submit copies of your identification (driver’s license, state identification etc.) through our secure upload form or bring them to curbside pickup service at one of our locations.
  • If the address on the identification is incorrect, please include in your submission or bring with you to curbside service 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 or by check through the mail once your account is set up.
  • Once you receive your library card number via email, you can start checking out items. Physical cards can also be picked up through curbside service. Please call your library ahead of time to ensure your card is available for pickup.

How to Apply for a Student Library Card

  • If you are a virtual student or currently do not have a school librarian, please email for instructions on how to get a student card.

How to Apply for a Library Card in Person

If you cannot register online, you can pick up an application for a library card through curbside pickup service or at any Chattanooga Public Library branch location when we reopen to the public. When you turn in your completed application make sure to include your 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 ( Learn More )

Please Note

Parts of several other municipalities share Chattanooga ZIP codes and mailing addresses. In addition, many area subdivisions not within the border of the City of Chattanooga include the word ”Chattanooga” in their names. If you are unsure, you can check your address here.

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

  • Each account may check out up to 100 items at a time with no yearly limits.
  • 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

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