Library Cards


Free if you:

  • Live, work, own property or attend school in the City of Bellingham or Whatcom County, or
  • Live in Washington State and show your home public library card when applying for a Bellingham Public Library card.

May be purchased if you:

  • Visit Bellingham and would like to enjoy limited, short-term access to materials and services, or
  • Live out of state, or
  • Reside in Washington State and are not a member of your home library system.

$1 to replace a lost card.

All borrowers are responsible for materials checked out on their cards. Please call (360) 778-7323 if your card is lost or stolen.

How to Apply


  • Complete our online application for a Temporary Library Card. You will need a valid email address.
  • Once the form is submitted you will receive an email within 2 business days with your temporary card number. This provides access to online research tools and lets you place 3 holds on library materials.
  • Your temporary library card number will be valid for 45 days.
  • To complete the application process and gain a full-access card, please bring your temporary card number to any Bellingham Public Library location, along with photo ID and proof that you live, own property, attend school or work in Whatcom County. A full-access card is required to check out library materials and to download eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines.
  • If you are under 18 years old, a parent or guardian must be present, show valid picture ID and proof of residence or property ownership in Whatcom County when you come in to receive your permanent card.

Apply Online

In person

  • Applications are accepted in person at any of our locations. If you prefer, you may print out an application to complete in advance and bring with you.
  • Please bring your photo ID and proof of your current address.
  • If you are under 18 years old, a parent or guardian will need to be present when you apply.

What You Need to Obtain a Card

Adult applicants will need to provide photo ID and proof of current address.

Youth (under 18):

  • A parent or legal guardian must be present to provide photo ID and proof of current address.
  • The parent/guardian will sign the application and assume responsibility for materials borrowed on the card.
  • Young people are welcome to use the library’s entire collection, subject only to the parent’s guidance.

An organization or agency:

  • The applicant will need to be present to sign the application, provide photo ID, and will assume responsibility for the account, and should be an individual who is legally authorized to enter into contractual obligations.
  • A maximum of two cards will be allowed per agency.
  • A card must be present to borrow library materials. The Library will assume the cardholder is authorized by the agency to borrow materials.

Whatcom County Library System Cards

Whatcom County Library System cards are valid at all Bellingham Public Library locations. Bellingham Public Library Cards are valid at any branch of the Whatcom County Library System. (Exception: access to some online services is limited to resources available at the library system that issued the card).