How to prove COVID-19 vaccination status in California

California

As California sees coronavirus case numbers creep up and the highly contagious delta variant continuing to spread, more businesses and government officials are requiring that residents show proof of vaccination to enter certain spaces.

Where is vaccination proof required?

Most recently, the state announced it will begin requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result to attend indoor gatherings of 1,000 or more people, starting next month. That applies to events like concerts, sports games and parades.

Several other new mandates have come this month, including one that requires all California health care and long-term care workers to be fully vaccinated.

And everyone visiting a loved one at a hospital or nursing facility will need to provide vaccine proof or a negative coronavirus test.

California also became the first state in the U.S. to require school employees to either show proof that they are vaccinated or be subject to weekly testing. Employees of state agencies are also under a vaccination-or-testing policy.

The University of California and the California State University systems are both requiring students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated before returning in the fall.

A sign saying that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required is displayed outside of Langer's Deli in Los Angeles on Aug. 7, 2021. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
A sign saying that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required is displayed outside of Langer’s Deli in Los Angeles on Aug. 7, 2021. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

San Francisco started requiring proof of full vaccination on Friday for people dining inside restaurants, working out in gyms or attending indoor concerts.

In Los Angeles, officials have also been moving toward requiring residents to show proof at least one dose of the vaccine to enter the indoor public spaces like restaurants, gyms and stores.

Some restaurants, bars and event organizers have already started requiring customers to show proof that they are vaccinated, or present a negative coronavirus test if they’re unvaccinated.

Goldenvoice, the music events company that puts on Coachella and Stagecoach, will require proof of full vaccination for concertgoers and event staff at all of its clubs, venues and festivals.

How to prove your COVID-19 vaccination:

Here are some options for what you can show to prove you’re vaccinated if someone asks, according to the state’s health department:

  • The white Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 vaccination record card you got when you were vaccinated
  • A photocopy of the vaccine card
  • A photo of the vaccine card on a phone or any other electronic device 
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider 
  • A digital record that includes a QR code that when scanned by a SMART Health Card reader displays your date of birth, vaccine dates and vaccine type
  • Documentation of vaccination from contracted employers who follow these vaccination records guidelines and standards
  • The World Health Organization Yellow Card

Where can I get a copy of my vaccination record?

Everyone who gets vaccinated in the U.S. should get the paper CDC card.

All vaccination data in the state is entered into California’s Immunization Information System, and people can request a copy of their record by phone, email or through an online form on the state’s website.

The immunization registry’s website says it’s seeing a high volume of calls and emails, so the online form might be the fastest option. Once you fill all your information, you can choose whether to have the record emailed or texted.

A vaccine record with a QR code arrives right away, and people can save it on their electronic devices.

Those who got vaccinated at a hospital or doctor’s office can request copies of their records directly from the health care provider. 

People who got vaccinated at a U.S. Department of Defense, Indian Health Services or Veterans Affairs facility will also need to contact the location directly to get the vaccine record. Those sites are federally run and don’t submit data to the state’s database.

For those who got vaccinated in L.A. County, Healthvana has been texting people links to download digital copies of their COVID-19 vaccine records to their Apple wallets.

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