Library of Congress >> About the Library >> Especially for Researchers
Public users of the Library's public reading rooms, the Computer Catalog Center, and Copyright Office public service areas where copyright resources are used are each required to have a Reader Identification card issued by the Library. The cards are free and can be obtained by presenting a valid driver's license, state-issued identification card, or passport at the Reader Registration Station in Room LM 140, on the first floor of the Madison Building near the Independence Avenue entrance.
The Reader Registration Station's hours are:
Researchers must register in person at the Reader Registration Station; the Library cannot accept registrations via mail, telephone, or the Internet.
Upon completion of a simple computerized self-registration process, the station attendant will check the information, take an identification photo, have the reader provide a digitized signature, and issue the printed plastic photo card to the reader. A Reader Identification card is good for two years and must be renewed in person when it expires.
Those planning to bring large groups of new users to the Library for registration should contact the supervisor of the Reader Registration Station in advance at (202)707-5278 to ensure expeditious processing of the group. Researchers with questions about reader registration may call the Reader Registration Station at (202) 707-5278.
Possession of a valid Reader Identification Card is a minimum requirement for public users of the Library's reading rooms. Some reading rooms have supplemental registration procedures and/or conditions of use. For more information about the requirements in a particular reading room, one should contact that reading room. (Click here for links to the Library's reading rooms.)
The Library's reading rooms are available to researchers above high school age. High school students are admitted under certain conditions. (Click here for more information.)