Information Services

Proof of identity

For the purposes of safety and security of our users and collections, before we can issue a library card to anyone who is not a member of the University of Edinburgh or registered as an official visitor, we have to see proof of identity (ID) and confirmation of address.

Visitors to Edinburgh University Library

So we can register you as as a Library member, we ask to see two documents: one which includes a recent photograph (such as a passport or driver's licence), and one which includes your name and current address that you have received within the past 3 months. (For SCONUL Access applicants-see Section below titled ' Students and Staff from other institutions).

Photographic ID:

  • Current full UK driving licence
  • Current signed passport
  • National identification card
  • Institutional ID

Name and current address (maximum of 3 months old) :

  • Bank or credit card statement 
  • Utility bill 
  • Payslip with address 
  • Police registration document 
  • Letter of introduction or personal introduction from the University of Edinburgh
  • Building society passbook (with recent updates)

Edinburgh Libraries Passport (ELP) holders do not need to bring proof of address in order to register with the Library. School students whose school participates in the Edinburgh Libraries Passport scheme (ELP) should approach their school librarian in the first instance to get an ELP card. This card should be stamped with the school stamp and taken to any University of Edinburgh Library site when joining. 

Edinburgh Libraries Passport


Please note: we need to see original documents that have been posted to you. We do not accept photocopies or printouts.  If you no longer receive paper bank statements or utility bills, we can accept online verification on the condition that you are able to log into your account whilst at the Helpdesk. We do not accept screenshots or photographs of account details.

We do not accept leases/tenancy agreements as proof of address.


Students and staff from other Institutions (Inc. SCONUL Access)

 Students from member institutions joining under  reciprocal access schemes  (such as SCONUL Access) should present the relevant scheme e-mail/card as part of your ID as well as your Student ID card only. No proof of address is required. 

If you are not joining through the SCONUL Access scheme or another reciprocal access scheme  then  full ID (as listed above) will be required.


Information on reciprocal access schemes

Guidance for those in short term temporary accommodation

If you stay in short term temporary accommodation (hotels, hostels, guest houses etc.) and you would like to join the Library, you must present a letter from your place of accommodation confirming that you have been resident there for a minimum of 4 weeks. On production of this letter, along with acceptable photographic ID, a library reference card may be created for a duration of one month. If you wish to renew membership at the end of this period, a new letter from the place of accommodation must be provided to the library.