How SMART Health Cards work

Illustration of signing a paper SMART Health Card

Get it

You might receive a paper or digital SMART Health Card from any organization that has your clinical information, such as a pharmacy, doctor's office, or state immunization registry. If you haven't received one, you may be able to request it through that organization's website or a compatible app.

Learn more about getting a SMART Health Card

Illustration of interacting with a digital SMART Health Card on a mobile device

Save it

You can keep a SMART Health Card as a digital file on your phone, computer or anywhere you store digital information. You can also save a paper SMART Health Card and make copies for safe-keeping. If you are a parent or a caregiver, you can keep SMART Health Cards for others, just as you do with other clinical information.

Learn more about the benefits of having your clinical information on hand

Illustration of presenting a SMART Health Card to a person behind a desk

Share it

You can share a SMART Health Card with others if you choose. For example, you might share it to show your vaccine status for school registration or travel. You share a SMART Health Card by letting someone scan the 2D barcode (QR code) on your paper or phone screen. You may also send it as a file or through a phone app.

Learn more about sharing a SMART Health Card

The lifecycle of a SMART Health Card

There are several parties involved in the sharing of the information contained in a SMART Health Card, from its origin to its use in real-world situations where trustworthy, secure, verifiable clinical information is needed.


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The Issuer is the party that generates the SMART Health Card with secure clinical information

SMART Health Card

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The issuer provides an Individual with a SMART Health Card that contains a QR code

Digital or Paper Copy

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The Individual keeps their SMART Health Card where they wish—in digital format or as a paper copy—and shares when they choose to


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The Verifier verifies that the information they receive from an individual was generated by a trusted issuer

How verification works

There are hundreds of clinical and government entities in the United States and worldwide issuing SMART Health Cards.

For all of us to have confidence in vaccination credentials and test results, we need to be able to trust the issuing organizations. That's why the VCI coalition has created the VCI Directory as a publicly available list of approved issuers. The directory's sole purpose is to make sure organizations accepting SMART Health Cards have a reliable source they can trust when they are verifying these cards.

Each SMART Health Card contains tamper-proof information about the organization that issued it. Verifiers use a SMART Health Card verifier app, which automatically makes sure the information has not been changed and that it comes from an approved and trusted issuer.


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Verification starts with issuers. An issuer is any organization authorized by the VCI coalition to generate these cards, including pharmacies, hospitals, public health agencies, and more.


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Potential issuers must be vetted by the VCI Directory prior to receiving permission to issue SMART Health Cards.


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Each SMART Health Card contains tamper-proof information about the organization that issued it. This gives verifying organizations confidence the card was issued by a trusted source.


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Scanner apps read the QR code on the SMART Health Card to ensure the legitimacy of the card they're verifying.

Where might you use your SMART Health Card?

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Office desk with a computer

SMART Health Cards can help you easily share your clinical information with an organization that asks for it.

For example, some airports may ask to verify your clinical information, including vaccination status, for certain types of travel. You may also be asked to show your clinical information to register for school or at your workplace. Watch this video to learn how to add SMART Health Cards to a digital wallet for quick and easy access when needed.

SMART Health Cards and privacy

SMART Health Cards contain just the information required to display your vaccination history and/or test status, and the choice to share your Card is up to you. In most cases that means:

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They contain:

  • Your legal name and date of birth
  • Your clinical information
  • Tests: date, manufacturer, and result
  • Vaccinations: type, date, and location

Red X

They should not contain:

  • Your phone number
  • Your address
  • Your government-issued identifier
  • Any other health information