Library cards for non-UCB patrons

Content section: 

There are a variety of options (both free and fee-based) for obtaining Library borrowing privileges based on your academic affiliation. Please review application details at the bottom of this page for further details on obtaining your card.

California residents

  • May purchase a one-year Library card.
  • The fee is $100.
  • A current government-issued ID such as a driver's license or passport must be presented as proof of California residence.
  • Library information for Visitors has additional information and application details.

Students, faculty, and staff from other UC campuses

  • Students, your current UC ID and current semester's proof of registration are required to obtain borrowing privileges.
  • Faculty and staff, your current UC ID and a departmental letter of introduction will allow you to establish or renew borrowing privileges.
  • Apply for a Library card at the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor1, or contact Privileges Desk staff in advance for additional information regarding required documentation.

University of California Alumni Association Members

  • Members of any of the ten UC campus-sponsored alumni associations holding an active membership card may obtain a Library card.
  • Library information for Alumni has additional information and application details.

UC Berkeley visiting scholars and postdoctoral scholars

  • Borrowing privileges and other services are offered to the Cal community of visiting scholars.
  • After registering with Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs, take your valid registration card to the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1 to obtain a Library card.
  • Library information for Visiting Scholars has additional information and applicable details.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL or LBL) staff

Your LBNL photo ID card serves as your library card for borrowing materials and for access to the Gardner (MAIN) Stacks, Moffitt Library, the Media Resources Center and other areas requiring a Cal ID.

  • If you have a dual UCB appointment, continue to use your Cal 1 Card to access library services.
  • Most LBNL borrowers have the same level of privileges as campus staff, although LBNL scientists may present documentation in person to the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1 to have their patron record upgraded to faculty status.
  • LBNL longterm guests/visitors are no longer charged a per person fee for access to the library. Their privileges will expire on the end date of their visit as recorded in the LBNL Human Resource system.
  • LBNL retirees need to present their UC Retirement Center card at the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1 to obtain a borrowing card.

UC Extension faculty

  • UC Extension faculty are eligible for a borrowing card.
  • Proof of eligibility is a letter on UC Extension letterhead that confirms your current affiliation. Present proof of eligibility at the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1 to obtain a borrowing card.

UC Extension students

  • UC Extension students may purchase a six-month borrowing card by presenting proof of current registration at the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1.
  • The fee is $25. Please review application and privileges details at the bottom of this page.
  • Note: UC Extension students who are concurrently enrolled in UC Berkeley are accorded the same privileges as UC Berkeley students, and therefore do not need to apply for a UC Extension Library card.

UC Berkeley unregistered undergraduates or graduate students on filing fee status

Proxy Borrowers for UC Berkeley faculty and academic staff

  • Proxy borrowers may check out library materials in the name of authorizing faculty or academic staff.
  • The proxy borrower application form includes eligibility requirements and a statement of responsibility.
  • The authorizing faculty or academic staff must complete and submit the online application that will be received by the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1.

Stanford University faculty, academic staff, and graduate students

California state university and community college students

  • You must be currently enrolled to purchase a six-month borrowing card.
  • Proof of eligibility is your current student ID, and proof of current registration.
  • The fee for a six-month borrowing card is $25.
  • Present proof of eligibility, and pay the fee, at the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1.
  • Please review application and privileges details below.

California state university and community college full-time faculty

  • You may obtain a borrowing card by presenting a letter on school letterhead, signed by your department Chair, confirming your full-time affiliation with your school, and a California driver's license.
  • Present proof of eligibility at the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1.
  • Please review application and privileges details below.

California K-12 public school full-time teachers

  • You may obtain a borrowing card by presenting a letter on school letterhead, signed by your principal, confirming your full-time affiliation with your school, and a California driver's license.
  • Present proof of eligibility at the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1.
  • Library information for K-12 Teachers has additional information and applicable details.
  • Please review application and privileges details below.

California K-12 private and parochial school teachers

  • You may purchase a one-year borrowing card.
  • The fee is $100.
  • Please present a current California driver's license, or California state ID card at the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1.
  • Please review application and privileges details below.

Other Institutional Affiliates

Privileges Desk staff are responsible for determining eligibility and coverage for:

  • Spouse or domestic partner of a full-time University of California employee.
  • Adult children (18 years or older) of UC Berkeley faculty who reside at their parent's address.
  • Graduate Theological Union faculty, students and staff
  • Mathematical Sciences Research Institute members
  • Miller Institute members
  • Howard Hughes Institute members

Contact the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1 for more information.


Application and privileges

  • One-year and six-month Library cards grant borrowing privileges and access to the Gardner (MAIN) Stacks, Moffitt Library, and most subject specialty libraries.
    • Privileges do not extend to Interlibrary borrowing services, or access to course reserves.
    • Access to special collections and services may be restricted.
    • Cardholders may have a maximum of twenty books checked out at any given time.
  • All applicants must provide proof of California residence by presenting a current government-issued ID such as a driver's license or state issued ID.
  • Applicants who use a PO BOX for mail will be obligated to provide proof of California residence address for record purposes.  
  • Payment for borrowing cards may be made by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, bank debit card, personal check or money order, made payable to "UC Regents".
  • The Library cannot accept cash for payment.

Renewal of already existing borrowing card

Bring your original library card, a current California driver's license or California state ID card, and payment (if required) to the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, floor 1 during business hours to renew your borrowing privileges. Some extra documentation is required for specific cohorts of borrowers:  

  • UC Alumni members must also bring their current Alumni Association membership card.  
  • K-12 public school teachers (CA) must also bring a letter on school letterhead, signed by your principal, confirming your full-time affiliation with your school, for the current year.
  • UC Extension, California State University and CA Community College students must also bring proof of current registration.
  • CSU, UC, UC Extension and Community College faculty and staff must present your Campus ID and a letter on school letterhead affirming full-time employment with your respective school, annually.  

If your affiliation was not listed above and/or you have questions regarding documentation requirements, please contact the Privileges Desk in advance of your visit.

Questions? Ask Us!