Thousands enroll in Hawaii’s SMART Health Card, but it doesn’t work for everyone

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The state launched its new digital vaccination verification program Friday, Sept. 10. So far the Hawaii SMART Health Card seems to be working smoothly, but not everyone is able to get verified online.

Starr Yoza signed up for her SMART Health Card first thing Friday morning. She said it was quick and easy — similar to the process you go through if you are going on a trip.

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“Actually, it’s almost exactly the same,” she said. “It will ask you, step-by-step, what you need to input.”

First, take a photo of your COVID vaccination card on your phone. Log in to or create a Safe Travel account here. Then click on the Hawaii SMART Health card logo and follow the prompts.

The verification process should take about a minute and will generate a QR code.

But it does not work for everyone.

Bernicea Worrell, who recently retired from the military, said it could not verify her coronavirus vaccination.

“I put my information in and though my information would clear in other travel apps, it didn’t work for me,” Worrell explained. “So, I’ll carry my vaccination card.”

The information must be in the State’s database for verification. The Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and selected Federal Agencies do not submit vaccination data to the state.

According to the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, 19,125 people successfully created their digital cards as of Friday afternoon — a success rate of 75%.

In a statement, they said “the roll-out was the first iteration of the application” and they are “continuously working to improve the application and its features.”

People can still use their physical card as proof of vaccination if they cannot verify it online.

Many businesses are gearing up for the start of Safe Access Oahu Monday, Sept. 13, and plan to use the SMART Health Card Verification application to check vaccination cards.

Danny Dolan, owner of J Dolan’s downtown said he will be looking into it this weekend.

“I’m hoping it’s going to help,” Dolan said. “I’m not sure, we haven’t done it yet. Nobody really knows, but we’re hoping it will speed up the process.”

Dolan had one request for customers.

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

“It’s not the staff — the restaurants — that’s asking this,” he explained. “Take it easy on them…None of us wants to be doing this. It’s difficult for everybody.”

Correction: A previous version of this story had an incorrect statement regarding the QR code. The story has been updated.

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