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HCPL offers a variety of library cards. The Knowledge Card and Kids Know It Card are full-service cards. The iKnow Card offers instant access to nearly all of the library's online resources. We also offer library cards for active duty military personnel and TexShare Cards for use at partner libraries across Texas.

My Account

My Account Login
When you log in to the website using your library card and PIN, you can manage your account, register for events, place holds on books and DVDs, checkout eBooks, stream movies and much more!
Frequently Asked Questions: My Account
Everything you need to know about managing your library account.

Library Cards - Pick the card that's right for you!

Enhanced+ Library Card
Photo ID and Library Card in one!

Enhanced+ Photo ID Library Cards Available Starting Monday, March 14, 2022.

Sample of Enhanced+ Card

NEW!!! The Harris County Enhanced+ Library Card is a full-service library card and verified photo ID in one!

Enhanced+ cards contain your full name, date of birth, gender, address, library card number, expiration date and photo. Enhanced library cards can be used as a supplemental form of Photo ID. The Enhanced+ Library Card does not replace the HCPL full-service Knowledge Card. It is simply an additional option for library users who might benefit from another form of photo ID.

  • Only residents of Harris County TX are eligible for an Enhanced+ Library Card.
  • Enhanced+ Library Cards are available to library users of any age.
  • You must be present and have sufficient documentation in order to receive an Enhanced+ Library Card 

How to get a Harris County Enhanced+ Library Card 

Step 1: 
Complete the Harris County Enhanced+ Library Card Application.

Print Enhanced+ Card ApplicationImprimir solicitud de tarjeta Enhanced+

Step 2: 
Visit any Harris County Public Library branch or participating community partner location.

This service is currently NOT available at Baldwin Boettcher, Harris County Law Library and Texas Medical Center Library.

Step 3: 
Present documents that prove your identity and residence. See below for information and a full list of acceptable documents. 

Step 4:
Your Enhanced+ Library Card will be made while you wait.

Have Questions? Visit Enhanced+ Library Card FAQ

Documents for Proof of Identity and Residency

Proof of Identity

Identity document(s) must equal 3 points. Consult the chart below for document point values.
Original documents must be presented. Photocopies are not accepted.

Print Proof of Identity and Residency Document Lists

Listas de documentos para prueba de identidad y residencia

Documents Worth 3 Points:
Must be the original document, expired for one year or less, with a photograph, full name, and date of birth.
Documents Worth 2 Points:
Must be the original document, unexpired, with the applicant’s name.
Documents Worth 1 Point:
Must be the original document, unexpired, with the applicant’s name.

Adults and Minors:
U.S. Documents:
•    U.S. Driver’s License
•    U.S. State ID
•    U.S. Passport
•    U.S. Military ID 
•    U.S. Veteran ID Card or Veteran Health ID Card
•    U.S. Tribal Photo ID Card
•    U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
•    Certificate of Naturalization (w/photo)
•    Municipal/Local Government ID, including METRO ID cards
•    Employment Authorization Card
•    U.S Accredited Educational Institution Photo ID
•    Released Offender Photo ID (Issued by federal, state, or local criminal justice agency)
•    U.S. State Department Visa (including Border Crossing Card)

International Documents
•    Consular Identification (CID)
•    Foreign Passport
•    Foreign Driver’s License
•    Foreign National ID Card
•    Foreign Military ID (incl. Veteran ID Card)
•    Photo identification card with name, address, date of birth, and expiration date issued by another country to its citizens or nationals as an alternative to a passport for re-entry to the issuing country

Renewal of Adult Enhanced Library Card:
Previous Enhanced Library Card (accepted up to one year after expiration).

 

Adults and Minors:
•    Social Security Card
•    Voter Registration Card
•    U.S. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) authorization letter
•    Federal, State, or local government employee ID card (w/photo)
•    Employee ID Card (Issued by an employer located in the U.S.)
•    U.S. Union Photo ID
•    U.S Accredited Educational Institution ID without a photo
•    Prison/Jail Discharge ID or documents without a photo (incl. medical records or parole decisions)
•    School Enrollment Form for the Applicant (Issued by a Harris County school district, charter school, or private school)
•    Certificate of Age (Issued by Texas Workforce Commission)
•    Any of the following documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security (incl. ICE and USCIS):

  • Approval notice of an immigration benefit, (Form I-797; I-797A, B, or D)
  • Certificate of Naturalization (no photo)
  • Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
  • Order of Release on Recognizance I-220A Services (w/ photo and DOB)
  • Order of Supervision Form I-220B (w/ photo and DOB)

•    Verification of Release Form (Issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement)

•    Written verification issued by a hospital, health care provider, or social services agency located in Greater Houston Area verifying that the applicant’s identity (must be signed and dated on official agency letterhead).

Adults and Minors:
•    *Government Issued IDs from 3-point column if expired for 1-5 years
•    Certificate of marriage, domestic partnership, civil union, divorce or dissolution of marriage, domestic partnership or civil union. If from outside the U.S., with a notarized translation.
•    Birth certificate of applicant or applicant's child, issued by a State or Territory, a locality of a State or Territory, or by the U.S. State Department, listing applicant as birth parent
•    Birth certificate from outside of the U.S., with notarized translation.
•    Texas adoption record of the applicant or the applicant's child
•    Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card
•    Medical or Immunization Records (Certified by a medical provider)
•    Medicare Card or Medicaid Card, license, or other federal document (Texas Medicaid/Your Texas Benefits Card issued by Texas Health and Human Services)
•     Social Security Benefits Verification Letter or other official letter (Issued by the U.S. SS Administration or Harris County Assistance Office)
•    U.S. Military Discharge Forms (Issued by Dept. of Defense or National Personnel Records Center)
•    Transcript from a U.S. high school or post-secondary school 
•    Diploma from a U.S. high school, high school equivalency, or post-secondary school
•    Diploma from a non-U.S. high school or equivalent, or post-secondary school, with notarized translation.
•    Bank Card or Sam’s/Costco Club Card (w/name and photo)
ID cards issued by Greater Houston Area community or social service agencies.

 

Proof of Residency

All applicants must present ONE of the following documents. The applicant’s name and Harris County residential address must be on the document.
 
Digital/electronic residency documents are accepted.

The following must be current and unexpired:
•    Applicant’s Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 Proof of Identity document that displays their current Harris County address (Example: current Texas Driver’s License or State ID)
•    Current Texas vehicle title or registration with address on it
•    Current residential property lease or sublease that includes the lease term, rent amount, utilities terms, and lessor/sublessor contact information

The following must be dated within 60 days:
•    Utility bill: gas, electric, garbage, water, internet/cable/landline.
•    Insurance bill: homeowner’s, renter’s, health, life, or automobile insurance
•    Local mortgage payment receipt 
•    Bank account statement 
•    Employment pay stub 
•    Jury summons or court order issued by a federal, state, or municipal court
•    USPS Change of Address confirmation (dated within the 60-day period prior to the application submission)
•    Written verification issued by a homeless service agency within Harris County confirming residency (original, signed copy on official letterhead)
•    Written verification issued by a hospital, health clinic, social services agency, or faith-based agency located within Harris County verifying residency (original, signed copy on official letterhead)
•    If a certified copy of a marriage certificate is presented at the time of application, an applicant may prove residency using documents bearing the name of their spouse.

The following must be dated within 1 year:
•    Federal income tax or refund statement
•    Letter or document issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service addressed to the applicant regarding the applicant's personal tax status (dated within the 12-month period prior to application submission)

The following must be dated within the current school year:
•    Proof that the applicant has a minor child or is a minor* currently enrolled in a school located within Harris County 
•    ​Letter or record addressed to the applicant at an address within Harris County from a school, college, or university located in Texas that the applicant or the applicant's child attends

*Note: If a minor is unable to provide residency documents, a parent or legal guardian may verify the minor’s residency, provided the parent/guardian would be eligible for an HCPL Photo ID Library Card themselves.

*Homeschooled Children: The parent/legal guardian will need to provide residency documents according to the Note above.

 

HCPL Knowledge Library Card
The HCPL Knowledge Card is our full-service library card. It is free to Texas residents. The HCPL Knowledge Card gives you access to all HCPL materials in-library and online.
iKnow Digital Access Card
The HCPL iKnow Digital Access Card gives you instant access to digital resources.

The HCPL iKnow Digital Access Card allows instant access to:

NOTE: If you have an HCPL full-service library card, you do not need to get an additional digital access card. Your full-service card grants you access to these same services.

iKnow Digital Access Cards are valid for three years and are restricted to residents of Harris County.

Get your iKnow Card now.

Military Library Card
Active duty U.S. military personnel can take HCPL with them wherever they are stationed

If you are active duty military personnel, you can access downloadable media and our databases. If you do not already have a library card but are still in the Harris County area, you can get a library card by visiting one of our branches. For active duty military personnel, a military ID may be used for the purpose of obtaining a library card even though military IDs do not show a mailing address. APO addresses supplied by the applicant are acceptable on library accounts for military personnel. Library cards are free for everyone. If you are not currently in the Harris County area, you can get a library card online using our Military Library Card Application.

Go to Military Library Card Application

TexShare Library Card
TexShare Card allows you to checkout materials from participating public and academic libraries across the state

Harris County Public Library participates in the TexShare Library Card Program sponsored by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The TexShare Card Program provides free reciprocal borrowing privileges to registered borrowers of member libraries, academic and public.

The TexShare card allows HCPL cardholders to borrow materials from other participating libraries in the State of Texas. Only currently registered HCPL customers in good standing (no overdue or lost books, and no library fines) may get a TexShare card from Harris County.

TexShare Cardholders visiting from another library system will be asked to provide proof of mailing address, issued HCPL library cards, and allowed full HCPL borrowing privileges with the exception of Interlibrary Loan.

Only HCPL customers registered for 90 days in good standing (no overdue or lost books, and no library fines) may get a TexShare card from Harris County.

For complete information on this State Library program see the TexShare Home Page at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/texshare/index.html.

Kids Know It Card
Kids know that having fun is not hard when you have a library card!

Parents or guardians must sign and accept financial responsibility on library card application for children under 18 years of age.

Fill out and print the application below or get one at the library.

Kids Know It Card Application Save a tree and swipe your ID at the kiosk in branch

Solicitud de tarjeta de biblioteca infantil en Español

Collections

From online research tools to the latest bestseller, Harris County Public Library provides information and resources to enrich lives and strengthen communities within and beyond our walls. The shelves of our 26 branches are stocked with over 1.5 million books, DVDs and CDs and our digital media catalog of downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, and streaming movies contains over 150,000 items and still growing.

Use the Explore tab at the top of the page anywhere on the website to access our collection.

Our Collection Development Team researches each title, listens to input from customers like you and ultimately decides what materials go onto our libraries' shelves and into our digital media catalog. Clck on Collection FAQ to learn how we make purchasing decisions, how to suggest a title we might have missed, what we do with worn-out or damaged books and answers to many other collection-related questions.

Collections FAQ

Digital Media

Learn all about the free eBooks, audiobooks, digital magazines & streaming movies. 

Read, Listen, Watch on your Mobile Device

Digital Media Support & FAQs

 

Interlibrary Loan & TexShare

Don't see what you're looking for in our catalog?

ILL or a TexShare Card might be the answer.

HCPL Apps

Learn more about the HCPL mobile app

Library Services Blog View HCPL Blog >

Here at the Harris County Public Library, we truly believe that the library is for everyone, which is why we are proud to participate in the Research by Mail program. When we aren’t running programs and helping you find the information you need, HCPL librarians receive reference questions by mail from people incarcerated in Texas prisons, and we answer them just the same as we would answer reference questions from anyone who would come up to our desks here at the library.