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New York State’s “Enhanced” Excelsior Pass Plus Program

As a way to travel more freely from business to business, state to state, and even country to country, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the Excelsior Pass Plus program. This new pass option is being recognized by businesses, states, and countries that are looking for digital certified proof that customers and travelers have been vaccinated, or have been given a negative test result. The program builds upon the successes of the New York State’s Excelsior Pass, which has already been accessed by 3 million people*.

The SMART Health Cards Framework makes interstate and international travel, and commerce experiences safer, contact-less, and more seamless.

Excelsior Pass Plus allows people to access a secure, digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record using the SMART Health Cards Framework, which has been developed by an international consortium called VCI (a voluntary coalition of 570 public and private organizations). Via a partnership with VeriFLY by Daon, users can now avoid many of the hassles that that they would otherwise face, in addition to increasing travel/access restrictions due to the pandemic and the worrisome Delta variant. 

Currently, more than 50 countries globally are allowing U.S. travelers entry with proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

“Excelsior Pass has enabled New Yorkers to get back to the people and things they love, helping drive our economic recovery in the process” Governor Cuomo said. “Excelsior Pass Plus will advance this even further, and is part of our broad commitment to securely take our vaccination verification efforts to the next level. From Day 1, we have said that the question of ‘public health or the economy’ is a false choice – it is and must always be both, and as we continue to follow the science to remain ahead of the pandemic, we will continue to innovate our tools to ensure that New Yorkers and New York businesses thrive.”

Instead of carrying around a CDC Vaccination Card, people can now access the digital Excelsior Pass Plus program, which will allow them to get further faster, without worrying about losing their cards. The digital card offers more conveniences, by becoming an enhanced standard of assurance. At the same time, both Excelsior Pass and Pass Plus will be accepted as forms of proof.

“The adoption of SMART Health Cards and open standards in Excelsior Pass Plus is a tremendous step forward in the availability of trustworthy health information for all people,” said JP Pollak, co-founder of The Commons Project, senior researcher at Cornell Tech, and a co-leader of VCI. “And as a New Yorker, I’m grateful to be able to demonstrate my health status reliably wherever I go, without sacrificing my privacy. This is one more critical step towards the safe reopening and recovery of our fair state.”

You can print your Excelsior Pass Plus directly from the web portal and/or store the Pass Plus to the New York State Wallet App on your smartphone.

Interested New Yorkers can learn more about Excelsior Pass Plus—including how to retrieve a Pass through the NYS Excelsior Wallet app—by visiting

About Excelsior Pass Plus:

  • Excelsior Pass Plus is a secure, digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record and users’ data is kept confidential and secure.
  • Excelsior Pass Plus provides safe access to vaccination information, and includes vaccine type, site, and date of vaccination, just like your paper CDC Vaccination Card for a verifiable record of your COVID-19 vaccination history at your fingertips.
  • Excelsior Pass Plus is built using the SMART Health Cards Framework and open, interoperable standards for New Yorkers to have safe, secure usage where SMART Health Cards are accepted.
  • Excelsior Pass Plus is available to be retrieved for those who have received their COVID-19 vaccine in New York State or New York State residents who have provided their vaccination information to their New York State healthcare provider to enter into the secure New York State and New York City immunization databases.
  • Excelsior Pass Plus contains cryptographic signatures to prove to verifiers that it is a genuine credential issued by New York State and has not been tampered with or altered.
  • Just like Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus can be accessed via the Excelsior Pass Web Portal or through the free NYS Wallet App, but requires a valid phone number or email for 2-factor authentication.
  • Excelsior Pass is accompanied by a Help Desk with extensive resources and is able to be printed for those who may not own smartphones.
  • Currently available in English, additional languages will be rolled out in in mid-August.
  • The Excelsior Scanner App will be updated in mid-August to accept all Excelsior Pass types, including Excelsior Pass Plus.
  • Individuals can retrieve and hold as many Passes as they may be eligible for, including the Excelsior Vaccination Pass, Antigen Pass, PCR Pass, and/or now, their Excelsior Pass Plus, and can visit to get started.
  • Just like Excelsior Pass, you choose when, if, and how to present your Excelsior Pass Plus – you can think of presenting your Excelsior Pass Plus as sharing your CDC Vaccination Card. Individuals always have the option of using alternate forms of proof, such as their paper CDC Vaccination Card.

*Over 75.7% of New York adults have received at least one vaccine dose, and more than 68.8% of adults are fully vaccinated (CDC)and Excelsior Pass solutions will support reopening shared spaces, such as offices, while protecting the public health of those returning to these settings.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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