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Getting a Library Card

All Library Cards

  • Patrons must be present to obtain a library card, with the exception of *Homebound patrons.
    • Patrons who are Homebound may have a representative apply for a library card on their behalf with their government-issued photo identification and a doctor's note. 
  • Patrons may apply in person or online. 
  • The first library card is issued free of charge. 

Online Application

Online applicants must provide an address inside the jurisdiction of a Black Gold member library to receive a temporary number. The temporary number will allow you to place holds on items in the library catalog. It will also give you access to some of our digital audiobooks, eBooks, and resources: OverDrive, Hoopla, Kanopy, Enki, RBDigital, Mango Languages, and Please appear in person with identification and proof of mailing address to obtain your library card and access to all of the library’s services. Temporary cards are subject to regular deletion.

In compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, you must be 13 or older in order to complete this registration. 

Complete the online application here.


Adult Cards

  • To receive an adult card, you must be 18 years of age or older and have valid personal identification and proof of your current mailing address.
  • SBPL cards are available to California residents, or to anyone with valid personal ID and a California mailing address.
  • With valid personal ID and address verification, a borrower’s card with full privileges will be issued to you immediately.

Acceptable forms of personal identification are:              

  • Driver’s License or Identification card
  • Military ID
  • Passport
  • Resident Alien Card
  • Matricula Consular
  • International Student ID                                                    

Acceptable forms of address verification include any piece of mail with your name and address.                

If you do not have verification of your current mailing address, please come into any branch library to obtain an official proof of address postcard.  Once you have received this official SBPL postcard in the mail, you may obtain a library card with full borrowing privileges.

    • If you do not have acceptable proof of address, you may obtain an “Internet Only” library card.
    • Internet Only library cards require a valid picture ID with the applicant's picture and name and are issued for the sole purpose of accessing public computers within the library. There are no borrowing privileges associated with the Internet Only card.

Internet Only Cards

Internet Only cards are available for regular visitors to the Library who are unable to meet the requirements for an adult library card. A valid Internet Only Library cards may be obtained by showing personal ID which includes:

  • Name
  • Photograph                      

 Teen Cards

  • To receive a Teen card, you must be between 13 through 17 years of age.
  • Teens are not required to show identification.
  • Teens are not required to show proof of their mailing address.

Juvenile Cards

  • To receive a Juvenile card, you must be 12 years of age or younger.
  • You are required to provide the name of your legal guardian.
  • Your parent or legal guardian is required to be present, and show identification and proof of mailing address.                                    

Student Success Library Cards


While using services of the Santa Barbara Public Library please be aware of these regulations:

  • You are responsible for all materials checked out on your card, and for all fees associated with your account.
  • The Library is overdue fine-fee for all users. However, a replacement fee will be charged for materials not returned by their due date. 
  • In order to prevent improper use, Library staff should be notified immediately if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Library staff should be notified promptly of change of name or address.
  • Library cards are non-transferable.


Replacement Library Cards

To report a Lost or Damaged library item, call 805-564-5645 or your local branch library. 

To replace your card, visit your local library with valid personal ID and a replacement card will be issued to you immediately.

There is a $2.00 fee to replace a library card.

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2020
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