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Get a library card


How do I get a library card?

A library card is available to all Waukegan residents. To get a card you need to bring:

  • Valid (non-expired) driver’s license or state ID with your current address
  • If you do not have a driver’s license or state ID with your current address, you must bring two pieces of identification with your name, one of which must include your current address, and only one may be a piece of mail. These include a valid (non-expired) passport (US or foreign), valid consulate ID card (Matricula Consular, etc.), employee or student ID card, pay stub, most recent federal or state income tax return, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter, lease agreement, utility bill (gas, cable, phone, etc.) or mail delivered within the last 90 days, vehicle registration, voter registration card, or personal check.

Library cards are valid for 2-year periods, and they’re free!

Click here to print the application

Can my child get a library card? 

Yes! Children of any age living in Waukegan are eligible for a library card.  Children below the 9th grade or under age 14 need a parent or legal guardian with ID to get a card. 

I don’t live in Waukegan; can my family and I still get a library card?  

You can also use virtually any Illinois public library card to check out materials in Waukegan. Just bring your library card to the front desk along with photo ID and proof of your current address if your photo ID does not already have it. Borrowing privileges will be extended to out-of-town patrons for 1 year.

How much does it cost to get a library card?

Library cards are free for Waukegan residents. A $2.00 card replacement fee is assessed for lost WPL cards. If you have a library card from another Illinois library, you may register it for use here for free. Waukegan Public Library is unable to replace library cards originally issued by other libraries. 

Do I need to bring my library card with me to use the library?

Yes. You must have your own library card with you to check out items and to use the computers.  Patrons may not borrow someone else’s library card. 

Do I need a library card to use the computers? 

If you have a library card, you must bring it to use a computer. Visitors and residents without library cards may be issued two guest passes during their lifetime. To obtain a guest pass, patrons over the age of 14 must present their photo ID to a staff member at the Reference and Computer Help Desk on the main floor of the library. Children may inquire about guest passes in the Children’s Department. If you would like to use the computers more often, we recommend opening a library card account with us.  

What can I do with my library card from home?

Through our website, you can access your account online where you can:

Patrons can also access a variety of library-sponsored online databases free of charge. Prepare for standardized tests, craft a great resume, work on homework assignments and more!

How much does it cost to borrow an item? 

Borrowing anything from the library is free with a few exceptions. Overdue fines vary and are applied to items returned or renewed after the due date.  Fees are also applied to damaged items and items that are not returned at all.  To see a list of overdue and damage fees for all items, click here

Why are my fines so high? 

We strive to help our patrons keep track of their accounts and the due dates of items by providing receipts with due dates at each check out.  Patrons can access their library accounts, review due dates and renew items from home via My Card.  Patrons can also call the library during library hours to check on due dates or renew items by phone.  We send email courtesy due date reminders and overdue notices by mail or email.   Ultimately, it is the patron’s responsibility to return items to the library on time and in good condition.  To ensure that you receive timely notices from the library, please keep the library appraised of any changes in your contact information. Contact information can be easily updated in person, by phone, or online