Hawaii residents can now upload their COVID-19 vaccination card to their smartphones and carry a digital proof of their immunization with the Hawaii SMART Health card.

As of Sept. 10, vaccinated individuals in the state can upload a photo of their vaccination card to the Safe Travels Hawaii website to create a digital record. Any individual who has completed the 14-day waiting period after receiving a vaccine shot in Hawaii will be eligible for the SMART Health card.

The SMART Health card makes it easier for vaccinated residents to present evidence to restaurants, businesses, and other venues without carrying a physical document. “[And] it’s another step toward protecting the health and safety of our residents and visitors, while also balancing the need to support local businesses and Hawaii’s economy,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige.

Once individuals have verified their vaccination status, businesses will be able to authenticate that data with a validator app that scans the digital card’s QR code and cross-references the state’s databases. And while the program aims to make it easier and more convenient for patrons to present proof of vaccination at organizations that require it, participation in the SMART Health Card program is purely voluntary.

The state’s announcement comes as more public and private organizations require proof of vaccination. Other states have also developed verification apps. In March, New York unveiled its QR-code generating app, the Excelsior Pass, and vaccination passport initiatives in California, Louisiana, Colorado, and Illinois have ramped up in recent months.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.