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How to get a Library Card

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Eligibility for a Library Card

Library cards are free to:
  • all people who live or own property in the City of Vancouver
  • all people who live within the InterLINK area

Some non-resident cards are available for a fee and some are free. Non-residents include persons who live on the University Endowment Lands (UEL) and at UBC, which are not incorporated into any municipality. However, some BC residents and some UBC residents may be eligible for free service. (Card for UBC residents who have Community Service Cards)

Internet Access Card (allows access to the regular and wireless Internet networks only)

Applying for a library card

To get a library card everyone must fill out and sign an application form in person.

Adult cards Please apply at any branch of the Vancouver Public library.*
Online

The online registration form is for first time card-holders only.

To replace a lost card, go to any branch of VPL. Each person is entitled to only one active library card.

After submitting the online form, you will be given a temporary library card number to place requests on library material or to access licensed databases through the VPL website. This account will expire in 30 days unless validated. A permanent card is required to pickup requests and for Internet access at the library. To validate and receive your permanent card, please go to any branch of VPL with personal identification and proof of current residential address (see below).

To access the online registration form go to the "My Account" page and click the "New User" button.

Children's cards Children under the age of fourteen (14) do not require proof of address but must have the application form signed by a parent or legal guardian. Adults may not borrow material for their own use on a child's library card. Parents are responsible for activity on a child's card until the child is 19 years of age.

* If you already have a library card from one of the InterLINK public libraries, you may be able to register your home library card if acceptable identification is provided.

Acceptable identification

All identification must be original documents.

Preferred personal identification (name, signature and current address)

  • B.C. Driver's licence
  • B.C.I.D. (issued by ICBC Driver Licensing Centres for non-drivers)

If this identification does not have the current address, then one of the proof of residential address documents must be shown.

If the preferred identification is not available, the applicant must provide one piece of identification from each of the following lists, one of which must show the applicant's signature and one of which must show the current residential address:

Other acceptable personal identification

  • Credit card
  • Bank card
  • B.C. Care Card
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Social Insurance Number card
  • Status Indian card
  • Canadian Citizenship card
  • Permanent Resident card
  • Cheque cashing agency card
  • Student card from accredited local university or college
  • University Neighbourhoods Association Community Services card (UBC)

Proof of residential address

  • Automobile registration
  • Rental agreement (officially signed) Bank statement or personalized cheque
  • Utility bill
  • Personal mail with current postmark**
  • Moorage fees (licence)
  • Hotel receipt(s) (must be stamped by hotel and show a stay of at least one month)

** mailed items must be dated and no more than one month old.

High School students need only show their student I.D. cards issued by high schools.

Applicants who have address identification for the eligible areas but no Canadian issued I.D. may get a library card by showing a Canadian visa that has been issued for 6 months or more.

Library card holders' rights and responsibilities

You can use your library card at any branch of the Vancouver Public Library or to access any InterLINK library.

New borrowers may have a maximum of 10 items on loan at one time during the first 4 months after getting a card.

You are responsible for all the materials borrowed on your card and for any charges on items that are overdue, lost or damaged (see Loan Periods + Fines for details). Unpaid fines and fees may be turned over to a collection agency.

Your library card provides Internet access in the library and personal access to licensed databases from outside the library. Your card cannot be used by another person, group or institution to access licensed databases. These databases (or electronic resources) are restricted by license agreements to Vancouver Public Library card holders.

If you lose your library card, report it immediately to any branch of VPL. We will make a note in the computer so that no one can use it. There is a $2.00 charge to replace a lost card.

If you change your address or other personal information, fill out the change of address form or contact any branch of VPL and we will update your record.

If you supply an email address, you will receive email notification for requests ready for pickup and overdues. Otherwise, you will be contacted by phone or mail.

james.bond@vpl.ca