Fines and suspensions

What items attract overdue fines?

Overdue fines apply to the following items:

  • Overdue High Use items (overnight, 2-hour, and 3-hour loans)
  • Items that are requested by other patrons and that are overdue

Fines do not apply on overdue 7-, 28-, and 90-day loans unless they are requested by other patrons and are returned late.

Fine Rates

You will incur fines at the following rates if you do not return items that attract overdue fines by the due date.

Loan type First fine rate Second fine rate Maximum fine possible
2-3 hour $2.50 per hour for the first two hours Then $1.00 per hour


Overnight $5.00 per day n/a $100.00
2 day $1.50 per day n/a $15.00
7 day (only if overdue and requested by other patrons) $1.50 per day n/a $15.00
28/90 day loans (only if overdue and requested by other patrons) $0.50 per day n/a $15.00

Viewing the amount of fines you owe in My Library Account

The amount shown in 'unpaid fines and bills' doesn't include partial fines for books you still have on loan.

To work out the amount you owe so far, add together the amounts listed next to each item further down the screen. Then add that to the total in 'unpaid fines and bills'.

Viewing the amount of fines you owe in my.unimelb

Fines are only shown in the student portal once overdue items have been returned. It does not show the amount of fines accruing on overdue items.

Long overdue library items

Once a loan is overdue for a long time the item will be considered lost and a replacement fee of $125 will be added to your Library Account. You will also be emailed an invoice with this replacement fee

  • 7-day loans are considered lost 21 days after the due date
  • 28/90-day loans are considered lost 36 days after the due date

Replacement fees will be waived when these items are returned.

Please see our Replacing a lost or damaged book webpage for further details.

Fine transaction requirements

  • You must keep your fines under $25 to avoid library suspensions and student administration restrictions.
  • Transactions must be $1 or more.
  • Each fine is itemised and must be paid in full.

Tip: You can select individual fines within your account which will reduce your balance to under $25. The minimum transaction is $1. For example, if you have $26 in fines, you can select multiple small fines that total $2 to bring your remaining fines to $24. This brings your fines under the $25 threshold, allowing you to borrow again.

Where and how to pay

Pay in the library

You can pay your fines by EFTPOS or credit card at the service desks in the Baillieu, Law, Giblin Eunson, ERC and Southbank libraries. Please note that we do not accept American Express, Diners Club cards or cash.

It is not possible to pay fines at Burnley, Creswick, Dookie or at the Architecture, Building and Planning library. Users at these libraries can either pay online or visit one of our other branches.

Pay online

Log into your account and pay your fines using your credit card (we do not accept American Express or Diners Club).

Log in to your Library Account

Special circumstances

If you were sick or there were other special circumstances related to the accrual of your fines you can contact us and we may be able to waive your fines.  We require you to submit a medical certificate or other documentation to support your claim. If you do not have any other documentation we also accept statutory declarations.


Your borrowing rights will be suspended if you have:

  • An overdue library item (including Inter-library Loans)
  • A fine or library item replacement fee of $25.00 or more
  • Fees owed to the University

CAVAL borrowers will be suspended at their home library until overdue items are returned and fines paid.

To avoid suspensions you need to keep the total amount of your fines below $25 for the duration of your study, academic or professional career at the University.

Student system sanctions

If you have a long overdue item or unpaid fines or replacement fees of over $25 you will incur a sanction in the student system which may prevent you getting access to your results, transcripts, graduating or re-enrolling. The sanction is cleared when you return the overdue items and/or pay the fines.

Library fines and suspensions FAQs

  • What has changed?

    From 4 July 2024, the library no longer charges overdue fines on overdue 7-, 28- and 90-day loans (with some exceptions - see the 'What items still accrue fines' heading below).

  • What items will still accrue fines?

    To ensure items needed by other patrons are returned on time, High Use (excluding 7-day loans at ABP) items and items with hold requests will incur fines if returned late.

  • Why do some items still have fines?

    To ensure equitable access to essential reading, items in High Use collections (two hour and overnight loans) will incur fines if returned late.

    Similarly, any items which another user has requested (placed on hold) that are not returned on time will also incur a fine.

  • If there are no fines on most library items, what will encourage people to return overdue items?

    It’s important that library items are returned so others can access them. As soon as an item is overdue you will be:

    • blocked from borrowing until all overdue items are returned to the library
    • unable to pick up holds or Interlibrary Loans
    • unable to enrol/re-enrol
    • unable to graduate
    • unable to request a transcript.

    The previously applicable grace period of 7 days no longer applies, so it’s important to return items by the due date.

    Once an item has been overdue by more than a month, you will be sent a $125 invoice for replacement. If the overdue item/s are returned, the fee will be waived

  • What happens if I lose or damage a library item?

    Lost or damaged items will incur a replacement fee.

  • I recently paid my fine before the new library fine policy came into effect. Can I get a refund?

    Unfortunately not, as the previous fines policy still applied until 4 July 2024. To make things a little easier, we cleared all existing overdue fines incurred before this date on all borrowing accounts, but we are unable to refund any fines paid before this date.

  • What happens if someone requests a library item I have on loan?

    You will need to return the item to our libraries by the due date to ensure you do not incur a fine. You will not be able to renew or extend your loan on any item requested by another patron.

  • Can I borrow if I have an overdue item?

    No, you will need to return any overdue items before you can begin borrowing again. If you have an existing fine total of over $25, you will also need to pay these before you can borrow.

  • Can I borrow if I have fines or have been invoiced for a lost/damaged item?

    No, fines or item replacement fees which total over $25 will need to be paid before you can borrow again. You can pay online with your credit card, or in person at the Baillieu, Law, Giblin, ERC and Southbank libraries.

    Please speak to library staff if special circumstances impacted you returning items on time.

  • Can I re-enrol/graduate if I have overdue items on loan or fines?

    No. You will need to return any overdue items and pay any fines over $25 before you can re-enrol or graduate.

  • I had fines on my account from before the new library fines policy was introduced? What happens to those?

    On 4 July 2024 all existing overdue fines incurred before this date were cleared on all borrowing accounts.