What documentation to bring to register as a Reader

Readers at desks in a British Library Reading Room

To get a Reader Pass and access content from our collection and publisher’s platforms, you’ll need to show us some ID.

To get a new pass or to renew or replace a pass, please bring along either:

  • a state-issued photo ID, printed with your photo, name and address (driving licence or national ID card)
  • two separate documents, one showing your name and one showing your home address.

Types of documents we can accept include:

  • State-issued documents e.g. passport
  • Bills and financial documents
  • NHS documentation e.g. NHS appointment letters and prescriptions
  • DVLA documentation or correspondence
  • Residency e.g. tenancy agreements.

Please note:

  1. We can accept original documents, photos, online versions or scanned copies of the documents above. Please ensure all text is legible
  2. Some driving licences and national identity cards do not show your address. If yours doesn't, we can't accept it as your sole ID
  3. All documents need to be valid, or the paperwork issued within the last 12 months 
  4. If necessary, it's up to you to provide official translations for foreign documents
  5. If you would like to bring a guest aged over 18 into our Reading Rooms they will also need a Reader Pass. If you require a carer or have an adult dependant, they will also need a Reader Pass.
  6. If you are under 18, see how to apply
  7. Unfortunately we can't issue a Reader Pass without seeing the ID listed above. Without a Reader Pass, you won't be able to use our Reading Rooms or view items you have requested in advance. 

Contact us

London Reader Registration

T: +44(0)20 7412 7676

Yorkshire Reader Registration

T: +44(0)1937 546060

Check our opening hours