Fines Don’t Fly: CPL Eliminates Most Overdue Fines

Fines Don't Fly at Chicago Public LibraryWe’re no longer charging overdue fines on most materials! And, we’ll automatically renew materials for you up to 15 times as long as no one else has placed them on hold.

As part of these policy changes, we've made additional changes:

  • Unreturned materials will be marked lost 7 days after their due date. At that time, a fee for the replacement cost will be added to your account. Replacement fees for lost materials will be automatically removed from your account upon return of the materials. 
  • If you have an outstanding balance exceeding $30 on your account, you will be unable to renew materials or check out additional materials.

As a reminder, you can have up to eight holds pending at any one time. This does not include hold requests that are in transit or ready for pickup.

Please Note

  • Fines will still be charged on Kids Museum Passports and interlibrary loan items returned late.
  • Kids Museum Passports and interlibrary loan items cannot be renewed.

For more information, go to

Why We're Doing This

At Chicago Public Library, we’re committed to removing barriers to using the library. Fines disproportionately impact those who most need library services. Reflecting a growing movement in the library community, this decision is part of Mayor Lightfoot’s initiatives to reform Chicago’s fines and fees systems to increase equity.

Like other libraries that have eliminated overdue fines, we look forward to welcoming home new and returning library patrons.