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California digital vaccine card: how to get it

California unveiled a digital vaccine card that will allow users to present a backup of their paper immunization card they received but it's not a passport.

California unveiled a digital vaccine card that will allow users to present a back-up of their paper immunization card they received but is not a passport.

California became the latest state to offer residents a way to prove that they’ve been vaccinated without having to carry around a piece of paper. The state's Departments of Public Health and Technology launched the Digital Covid-19 Vaccine Record, an online portal where users can get a QR code to verify their vaccination status.

Currently, businesses don’t have the technology to verify the QR code and Governor Newsom has said that it is not a passport. Use of the technology and requiring customers to show proof of vaccination is voluntary except for large indoor venues. Sometime in the coming weeks businesses that choose to verify a client’s vaccination status will be able to scan the QR code or review the in information on the paper Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine card that Americans receive when they get a Covid-19 vaccination.

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How to get the California digital vaccine card

The new system is not available as a phone app, users will have to go the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record (DCVR) website in order to obtain their digital vaccine card. Users will have to enter their name, date of birth and contact information associated with their vaccination. After which they will have to create a PIN to access the online card.

While CDPH recommends that vaccinated Californians keep their paper CDC card in a safe and secure place, we recognize that some people might prefer an electronic version

California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan

The digital version will display the same information that is on the paper CDC vaccine card: name, date of birth, date of vaccinations, and vaccine manufacturer. It will also include a QR code which users will need to take a screenshot of with their phone and save the file, either in a special folder or on the camera roll. This will allow individuals to control their personal health information as well as who they share it with and how.

Nearly all Californians are in the database but if a user has a problem they can find tips at the DCVR troubleshooting page. Users can also call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays 8 am to 5 pm.

“Some people might prefer an electronic version”

Using the new digital system is voluntary but it will give Californians the ability to keep their paper CDC vaccine card safe and provide a backup should it get lost. Businesses around California have the right to verify that a customer has been vaccinated and large indoor venues are required to check. Proof a vaccination or a negative test is still mandated in California for indoor events with more than 5,000 attendees.


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