What are the fines for overdue materials?
Fines Per Day and Maximum Fines for all Items
Card Type Fine Amount Per Day Per Item Maximum Per Item for Each Loan Period*
Adult $0.35 $14.00
Adult Under 25 (18-24) $0.15 $6.00
Teen (13-17) $0.15 $6.00
Child (birth-12) $0.10 $4.00
*Maximum you will be charged per item for each loan period.
When do I get charged fines?

Overdue fines are charged for any material that is not returned on or before the due date. Fines were established as an incentive for prompt return of materials so that they will be available to others. Fines begin accruing the day after the item is due.

Items continue to accrue fines until they are returned, renewed or marked as lost. You cannot pay for items that are still outstanding and accruing fines.

How will I know if I have fines?
  • When you borrow material using self-checkout, as soon as you scan your library card a message will display indicating whether you have fines owing and/or items overdue
  • If you have an item or items overdue, you will be notified by phone or email:
    • 7 days after the item is due, and
    • 21 days after the item is due
  • If an item is overdue for 40 days, you will receive a billing notice in the mail for the cost of the item
  • If the amount of your overdue fines exceeds $10.00 you will receive a billing notice in the mail for the amount of the fines

You can also check your account online.

If you would like to check whether the library is currently contacting you by phone or email, here's how.

If you owe anything, it will display in the Account Summary section.

Select the Charges tab to see an itemized list of all payable fines.

Screenshot of your fine balance

Overdue items that are still accruing fines will show in the Checkouts section.

Charges for overdue items cannot be paid for until the items are returned or renewed.

Screenshot of your checkouts
What happens if I have fines?

Fines under $10.00 will not affect your account privileges.

As stated in the Circulation and Collection Use Policy, the library prevents customers from taking out books or other materials if they have

  • more than 15 items overdue, or
  • more than $30.00 in fines or charges, which includes both unpaid fines on returned materials and fines accruing on items not yet returned, or

If this happens, your account will be blocked and you will be prevented from accessing some of the library's services.

If your account is blocked you can:
What Yes/No
Check out library materials No
Place a hold Yes
Renew a checked-out item (online or in-branch but not by telephone) Yes
Check out and download an eBook or eAudiobook through OverDrive No
Place a hold through OverDrive No
Access eBook services and research databases other than OverDrive Yes
Reserve a computer Yes

To unblock your account, you need to return any overdue materials and pay any outstanding fines.

How do I pay my fines?
What happens if I don't pay my fines?
  • Toronto Public Library uses a collection agency (for customers 18 years of age and older) to assist in the timely retrieval of fines and materials to ensure fair access to all customers. Accounts with long overdue unpaid fines will be referred to the collection agency.
  • If you have outstanding materials or fines totaling $40.00 or more, your account will be referred to the collection agency after 70 days. Any further notification regarding your fines will come from the collection agency. A $15.00 administrative fee will be added to your account.
  • If you have outstanding materials or fines over $10.00 and less than $40.00, your account will be referred to the collection agency after 120 days. You will receive a letter from them and a $5.00 administrative fee will be added to your account.

If your account has been referred to the collection agency, your library privileges will be suspended until the account is cleared.

Call or visit any branch to speak with staff if you have questions or concerns about your fines and/or your account status.

How can I avoid fines?

Renew your items

To avoid fines, renew items where possible if you require them longer than the due date of the item.

Sign up for email notification

You can opt in to receive due date reminder notices two days before your items are due.

Return your materials on time

Library materials can be returned to any library branch or bookmobile stop. Many branches have 24-hour book drops for your convenience.

Note: Any unreturned materials that are overdue continue to accrue fines - renewing your items and returning them on time are the most effective ways to avoid fines.

Pick up (or cancel) your holds before they expire

To avoid the Holds Not Picked Up fine, cancel your holds or pick them up by the pickup date. Find out how to do this by managing your holds.

What happens if I lose something I borrowed?

You'll have to pay the purchase price of the item. The library doesn't accept a replacement copy or an item of equivalent value.
If something is overdue by more than 40 days, the library considers it lost.

What happens if I find a lost item that I have already paid for?

Keep your receipt! If you find the item within 6 months of paying the replacement cost you can get a refund, minus any overdue fines.

What happens if the library says I haven't returned something that I know I have?

If you return an item on the weekend (or Mondays in the case of some branches), staff might not check it in until later in the day so it may still be showing on your account.

If enough time has gone by and the item is still on your account, you can speak to library staff and they can mark the item as "reported returned". Branches get a list of items marked reported returned and search for them regularly. If the item is not checked in or out within 90 days, it is marked lost and a replacement charge will be added to your account.

Does the library charge any other fines or fees?

Not picking up a hold or interlibrary loan

There is a $1.00 fine for each hold or interlibrary loan you do not check out or cancel by the pickup date.

Lost or stolen library card

The following replacement charges apply to each age category:

  • Adult $2.00
  • Teen $1.50
  • Child $1.00

For more information, please refer to the Toronto Public Library Circulation and Collection Use Policy.