Library Card Registration & Eligibility Policy

The Anne Arundel County Public Library is dedicated to free access to the universe of information for all the people it serves. A library card opens the door to all the services the Library offers to enrich, educate, and inspire a life expanded.


  1. Eligibility. Free library cards are offered to:
    1. All full- and part-year residents of Maryland
    2. Anyone employed by a Maryland organization or business
    3. Students of any Maryland university, college, school, or learning institution
    4. All federal employees working in Maryland
    5. All military service members on active duty in Maryland and their families
  1. Application. To obtain a library card, a person submits a library card application, either on-line or in person, and establishes identity.
    1. To establish identity, a person may present any one of the following credentials. The credential must be current (unexpired) and have a permanently affixed photograph of the person.
      1. U.S. or foreign state driver’s license or identification
      2. Government-issued ID: Military, Passport, Permanent Resident Card, Department of Corrections, or Certificate of Citizenship/Naturalization
      3. Student Identification Card
      4. Employee Identification Card
    2. If the customer is unable to provide identification from the list above they can provide two proofs from the following list. Both identifications must have the person's name.
      1. Birth Certificate
      2. Current lease or rental agreement
      3. Voter registration
      4. Utility, telephone, credit card, or bank statement (electronic versions are acceptable)
      5. Vehicle registration card or title
      6. Social Security Card   
    3. To establish a work address, you must present any one of the following items (electronic versions are acceptable):
      1. Paystub issued within the past 30 days showing your name and the address of a Maryland work location.
      2. Business card with your name and address of a Maryland work location.
    4. Branch Managers and Circulation Supervisors have the discretion to accept alternate forms of identity verification from persons who are unable to present valid credentials due to hardship or other circumstances. Branch Managers may delegate this authority.
  1. Types of Library Cards. Library cards are issued with varying borrowing privileges, conditions, and expiration dates based on liability for fines and fees.
    1. Patron Cards
      1. May borrow any circulating item and access all electronic resources
      2. Issued to all persons
      3. Cardholder is responsible for all fines and fees. If the cardholder is a minor, the cardholder’s parent or adult guardian is responsible for all fines and fees
      4. Expire after 24 months of inactivity
    2. Limited DVD Cards
      1. May borrow access all electronic resources any circulating item except for DVDs rated “R” by the Motion Picture Association of American and “TV-MA” by the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board.
      2. Issued to persons who are less than 17 years of age upon request of the parent or guardian
      3. Limited DVD Cards are converted automatically to Patron Cards when the person reaches 17 years of age
      4. Expire after 24 months of inactivity
    3. Virtual Cards
      1. May borrow and access electronic resources only
      2. Fines and fees do not accrue to Virtual Cards
    4. Educator Cards
      1. May borrow circulating items for extended periods and access electronic resources to support curriculum needs
      2. Issued to educators teaching in Anne Arundel County
      3. Card holder is responsible for all lost or damaged items
      4. Additional credential requirements, conditions, and expiration date are set in the Educator’s Library Card Policy
    5. Student Access to Improved Learning Cards (SAIL Cards)
      1. Available to students of educational institutions who have entered into a partnership with the Library to support student success through access to library resources. This partnership must be formalized by a letter of agreement between the educational institution’s chief administrator and the Library Chief Executive Officer.
      2. May access all electronic resources and borrow up to three circulating items, except for entertainment DVDs, 7-day Express items, Playaway Views, Playaway Launch Pads, Londontown and Garden Family Passes, and  Interlibrary Loan items
      3. Fines and fees do not accrue, but borrowing privileges may be suspended if borrowed items become lost or damaged.
      4. Expire annually unless renewed per the terms of the controlling letter of agreement.


Revisions approved by the Anne Arundel County Public Library Board of Trustees on March 19, 2020.

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