The ‘Excelsior’ COVID-19 Vaccine Pass: Your Questions Answered

Man giving thumbs up with nurse after COVID-19 vaccination

Christopher Choudhry, Director of Environmental Services at MSK, gives a thumbs up after getting vaccinated against COVID-19 by nurse Brianna Zappi.

You may have heard about getting a “vaccine pass” as a way to prove that you’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccine or have tested negative for COVID-19. It’s called an Excelsior Pass, and it’s different from the paper vaccine card you were given after receiving your shot(s). Like a mobile airline ticket, each Excelsior Pass has a unique, secure QR code that venues or businesses can scan to confirm a person’s COVID-19 vaccine status before allowing them entry.

Below, learn the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Excelsior Pass, including who is eligible and how to get one.

What is an Excelsior Pass?

The Excelsior Pass is a “digital passport” that is a free and secure way to present proof of your COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result.

There are three types of passes:

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Pass — for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • COVID-19 PCR Test Pass — for people who have tested negative for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Antigen Test Pass — for people who have tested negative for COVID-19 using what is commonly called a “rapid test”

Who is eligible?

Anyone who was vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 in New York State can register for the Excelsior Pass.

How do I get the Excelsior Pass?

In order to get an Excelsior Pass, you will need to provide your legal name, date of birth, and a

a few other pieces of information for the program’s system to verify your vaccine status, including:

  • Your home zip code
  • Date of vaccination
  • County where you received the vaccination
  • Type of vaccine: Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty®), Moderna (Spikevax™), or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

Once you have that information handy, there are two ways to get an Excelsior Pass:

  • Download the Excelsior Pass Wallet app to your smartphone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Register for a pass on the Excelsior Pass website. From there, you can print a paper pass, take a screenshot of it, or save it to the Excelsior Pass Wallet app.

Learn more about the different passes »

How long is the pass valid?

It depends on the type of pass.

  • The COVID-19 Vaccination Pass is valid for 365 days.
  • The COVID-19 PCR Test Pass is valid until midnight on the third day after your test. After that, a new test is required for a new pass.
  • The COVID-19 Antigen Test Pass is valid for six hours after your test. After that, a new test is required for a new pass.

I was vaccinated, but I can’t find a record of my vaccination. What should I do?

If you are having trouble retrieving your Excelsior Pass, try to register again using these tips:

  • Do not include your middle name or initial in either the First or Last Name fields.
  • Include suffix(es) without punctuation in the Last Name field (e.g., Smith Jr, Smith MD). Also try searching without the suffix(es).
  • Try searching under both your current and previous last name(s).
  • If your current home zip code does not work, try searching with a previous home zip code. Do not enter the vaccination site’s zip code.
  • If you requested a New York City or New York State record to be updated, you must wait 24 to 48 hours for the update to take effect before you retry setting up your Excelsior Pass.

If you are still having trouble, you can fill out the Excelsior Pass support form or reach out to the Excelsior Help Desk at 844-699-7277 from to daily.

June 3, 2021

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