Excelsior Pass: Frequently Asked Questions
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Excelsior Pass Frequently Asked Questions

Please continue reading to find frequently asked questions regarding Excelsior Pass. For frequently asked questions regarding Excelsior Pass Plus, please click the button below.

Excelsior Pass Plus FAQs

About Excelsior Pass

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What is Excelsior Pass?

Excelsior Pass is a free, voluntary platform that provides secure, digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results.

Excelsior Pass can be accessed and stored through the NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet app, or through the Excelsior Pass Web Portal and printed. The NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet app can be downloaded at no cost from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Excelsior Pass is currently available in more than 10 languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Russian, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Bengali, Arabic, Italian, Polish, and Yiddish.

Are there different Excelsior Pass types?

There are currently three Excelsior Pass types:

  • Excelsior Vaccination Pass (available 15 days after the final dose of the vaccine was administered: valid for 365 days)
  • Excelsior PCR Pass (valid until midnight on the third day after a test)
  • Excelsior Antigen Pass (valid for 6 hours from the time of a test)

Retrieving an Excelsior Pass

How do I know if I am eligible to retrieve an Excelsior Vaccination Pass?

You are eligible to retrieve your Excelsior Vaccination Pass if:

  • You are eligible to retrieve your Excelsior Vaccination Pass if:

  • It has been 15 days or longer since you received the final dose in your vaccine series and you have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days; and

    • You have been fully vaccinated in the State of New York OR
    • You are a New York resident who has been fully vaccinated in the state of New Jersey or Vermont
    • You are a New York resident and your New York State healthcare provider has entered your out-of-state immunization information into the New York State and/or New York City databases.

Please note that you must have received a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in the United States in order to retrieve an Excelsior Vaccination Pass.
 

If I was vaccinated outside of New York State but meet the eligibility requirements for an Excelsior Vaccination Pass, how do I retrieve my Excelsior Vaccination Pass?

For New York State residents who were fully vaccinated outside of New York State, New Jersey or Vermont, your New York healthcare provider must input your vaccination information into the secure New York State and/or New York City immunization databases, and that provider must be administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that when you attempt to retrieve your Excelsior Vaccination Pass from the Excelsior Pass Web Portal, you will need to enter the county where your New York healthcare provider is located, NOT the county where you received your COVID-19 vaccine.

 

How do I know if I am eligible to retrieve an Excelsior PCR Pass?

You are eligible to retrieve your Excelsior PCR Pass if your PCR test was conducted in the State of New York, administered within 3 days of attempting to retrieve your Excelsior PCR Pass, and your results came back negative. An Excelsior PCR Pass is typically available within a few hours of receiving your negative test results from your testing laboratory.
 

How do I know if I am eligible to retrieve an Excelsior Antigen Pass?

You are eligible to retrieve your Excelsior Antigen Pass if your antigen test was conducted in the State of New York, administered within 6 hours of attempting to retrieve your Excelsior Antigen Pass, and your results came back negative. An Excelsior Antigen Pass is typically available within a few hours of receiving your negative test results from your testing laboratory.

 

I have children under 18 years old. Do they need an Excelsior Pass? How can they get an Excelsior Pass?

Anyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine or negative test result in the State of New York is eligible for an Excelsior Pass, including children under 18 years old. You may retrieve and store Excelsior Passes on behalf of your children.

 

Can I access and retrieve an Excelsior Pass if I am not a New York resident?

You do not have to be a New York resident to retrieve an Excelsior Pass. However, if you are not a New York resident, you must have received a COVID-19 vaccine or negative COVID-19 test results in the State of New York.

 

What information do I need to provide to retrieve my Excelsior Pass?

To retrieve your Excelsior Pass, you will need to provide basic personal information, including your first and last name, date of birth, ZIP code, and phone number. You will also need to verify your information with three "challenge questions", which are unique to you. You'll need to enter this information every time you retrieve an Excelsior Pass.

 

How is my Excelsior Pass generated?

Your Excelsior Pass is generated based on data provided by your vaccine administrator or testing laboratory to the secure New York State and/or New York City immunization and COVID-19 testing databases.

Some entities that are not under the regulatory authority of the State of New York (e.g., federal entities, first nations, and jurisdictions outside of New York State) may not report into these systems, which may make an Excelsior Pass unavailable at this time.


What do I do if I am not able to retrieve an Excelsior Pass?

First, be sure to review the different Excelsior Pass types to ensure you are eligible. If you are still having issues after confirming eligibility, please make sure that the information you are entering matches the information (e.g., name, date of birth, and ZIP code) from your CDC Vaccination Card or test results, as you will need to accurately match to retrieve your Excelsior Pass.

 

I am still unable to retrieve my Excelsior Pass, what should I do?

If you are still unable to retrieve your Excelsior Pass, please submit a record review, and our team will provide you with steps to take to get the issue fixed. Be sure to describe the problem and correction needed (e.g., first name spelled incorrectly) in the “Describe Your Situation” field.

You are also encouraged to reach out to your vaccine administrator and/or testing laboratory directly to ensure the information entered is accurate. Please know that per New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidance, all New York State vaccine administrators must submit vaccination data to the secure New York State and/or City immunization databases and have staff available to both review and correct the data they input, if data entry issues are identified.

Using Excelsior Pass

How do I show my Excelsior Pass to participating organizations?

You can present your Excelsior Pass on your smartphone, through the NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet app, or you can print your Excelsior Pass from the Excelsior Pass Web Portal and present the printed version.

Organizations who accept Excelsior Pass will use the NYS Excelsior Pass Scanner app to prove that the QR Code on your Excelsior Pass is valid.

If you are an adult aged 18+, you will also need to present a photo ID with name and date of birth alongside each unique Excelsior Pass. Adults can hold Excelsior Pass for children under 18 years old.

 

Am I required to use Excelsior Pass?

No, participation is voluntary. Excelsior Pass empowers you to be in control of your health information. Even after retrieving an Excelsior Pass, you decide if, when, or how to use and show it.

 

How much does it cost to use Excelsior Pass?

Excelsior Pass is free.

 

Can I show more than one type of Pass on the same device?

Yes. You may retrieve, store, or show as many Passes as you may be eligible for. This includes:

  • Excelsior Vaccination Pass
  • Excelsior PCR Pass
  • Excelsior Antigen Pass
  • Excelsior Vaccination Pass Plus
  • Excelsior PCR Pass Plus
  • Excelsior Antigen Pass Plus

 

For more information on Excelsior Pass Plus, please visit the Excelsior Pass Plus FAQs.

 

Can I show Excelsior Passes for more than one individual on the same device?

Yes, multiple Excelsior Passes for adults aged 18+ and children under 18 can be stored on the same device.

 

My Excelsior Vaccination Pass expired. Can I get another one?

Your Excelsior Vaccination Pass is currently valid for 365 days after the final dose of the vaccine was administered. For a secure, digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record, please visit the Excelsior Pass Web Portal to retrieve your Excelsior Vaccination Pass Plus, which does not expire. 

 

My Excelsior PCR or Antigen Pass expired. Can I get another one?

After an Excelsior PCR or Antigen Pass expires, you will need to follow the requirements for retrieving a new Excelsior PCR or Antigen Pass:

  • Excelsior PCR Pass: Valid until midnight on the third day after your test. After your Excelsior PCR Pass expires, a new test is required to retrieve a new Excelsior PCR Pass.
  • Excelsior Antigen Pass: Valid for 6 hours after your test. After your Excelsior Antigen Pass expires, a new test is required to retrieve a new Excelsior Antigen Pass.

 

Can I get a refund if I bought a ticket to an event, but my Excelsior Pass is not valid?

Refund policies are unique to the organization you are visiting. It is recommended that you consult with the organization directly as to their refund policies.

 

Can I use one Excelsior Pass in multiple places?

Yes. Each Excelsior Pass can be used for as long as it remains active, at as many places as you would like.

Accessibility

How can I retrieve an Excelsior Pass if I don’t have access to a smartphone?

Participation in Excelsior Pass is voluntary and designed to be inclusive of all New Yorkers, regardless of access to a smartphone. You can easily print your Excelsior Pass via the Excelsior Pass Web Portal.

You can also show alternate proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results, like a paper form, directly at an organization.

 

Is Excelsior Pass available in multiple languages?

Yes. Excelsior Pass and its companion apps are available in more than 10 languages including English, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Russian, Haitian Creole, Korean, Bengali, Arabic, Italian, Polish, and Yiddish.

 

Is Excelsior Pass accessible to people who may have hearing or vision impairments?

Yes. The application has gone through thorough accessibility testing to ensure it is easy to use for those who may have hearing or vision impairments.

Policies

What is the difference between a PCR test and an antigen test?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), PCR tests are molecular tests that detect the virus’ genetic materials, and antigen tests detect specific proteins from the virus. You can read more about testing in the FDA’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Testing Basics.

 

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

Testing for COVID-19 is widely available throughout New York State. Individuals who have questions about COVID-19 testing should call the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit NYS Find A Test Site Near You.

 

If I tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, can I retrieve an Excelsior Pass?

At this time, Excelsior Pass is only available for COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 diagnostic test results in accordance with New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidance.

Security and Privacy

Is my data private and secure?

Your data is private, secure, and only used to retrieve your Excelsior Pass. Your personal data will not be used for sales or marketing purposes or shared with a third party, other than for the sole purpose of validating COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results.

Excelsior Pass gives you the ability to maintain control of your personal data and share it in a manner that is secure, verifiable, and trusted. Your Excelsior Pass contains cryptographic signatures that ensure that it is genuine and that no data tampering has occurred.

If you choose to use the NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet app, only the Excelsior Passes you save will be stored on your mobile device. You may delete an Excelsior Pass at any time.

 

What health information can Excelsior Pass access?

When you receive a COVID-19 vaccine or test in the State of New York, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) receives a copy of your records from your vaccine administrator, provider, or testing laboratory. Using the information you provide, Excelsior Pass searches the New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) records for your COVID-19 vaccination or COVID-19 negative test results and then provides you an Excelsior Pass showing your name, date of birth, Pass type, and Pass expiration. No other information is accessed or stored.

 

Will my personal information be stored on the NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet app?

If you choose to use the NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet app to store your Excelsior Pass, the only personal identification information saved on your Excelsior Pass is your first name, last name, and date of birth. You may delete an Excelsior Pass at any time.

Answers to the “challenge questions” used to verify your identity will not be stored, which is why you need to verify your identity every time you retrieve a new Excelsior Pass.

When your Excelsior Pass is scanned, the NYS Excelsior Pass Scanner app collects analytics about the type of Excelsior Pass and the result of the scan. No personal information from an Excelsior Pass is collected or stored.

 

What personal information can organizations see when they scan my Excelsior Pass?

The only information the organization can see when they scan your Excelsior Pass is your name, date of birth, Pass type, and Pass expiration date. Additionally, the NYS Excelsior Pass Scanner app lets an organization know if your Excelsior Pass is valid.

A valid Excelsior Pass indicates that you have either been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that you had a recent negative COVID-19 test. An invalid or expired Excelsior Pass is not an indication that you have COVID-19.

 

Will those who scan my Excelsior Pass be able to save or store my personal information?

No. The NYS Excelsior Pass Scanner app does not download or store your information, which is why your Excelsior Pass must be scanned again if you leave and return to a participating organization.

 

Does Excelsior Pass track my location?

No. Excelsior Pass does not track your location.

 

Will New York State or anyone else be notified if I attempt to retrieve an Excelsior Pass after a positive COVID-19 test result?

No. Excelsior Pass does not share your data with anyone. And, an Excelsior Pass cannot be retrieved if you receive a positive test result.

 

Can I use this app to see if someone else has been fully vaccinated or tested negative?

No. Excelsior Pass is intended for personal use only.

 

Where can I read the Excelsior Pass Privacy Policy?

You can read the Excelsior Pass Privacy Policy by visiting the Excelsior Pass Privacy Webpage.

Technical Support

What are the basic requirements for using Excelsior Pass applications?

Excelsior Pass applications are compatible with smartphones running iOS 13.0+ or Android 7.0+.

If preferred, you may also retrieve your Excelsior Pass via the Excelsior Pass website and print a paper copy.

 

What should I do if my vaccination or test information couldn’t be confirmed?

For an Excelsior Vaccination Pass: Please check that you entered your information exactly as it appears on your CDC Vaccination Card, as you will need to match that information accurately to retrieve your Excelsior Pass. This includes:

  • The county where you received your vaccine (for New Yorkers vaccinated outside of New York State, New Jersey or Vermont, this is the county in which your New York healthcare provider who is entering your information is located).
  • The date you received the last dose of your vaccine series (one dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccination series or the second of the two dose Pfizer or Moderna series).
  • The type of vaccine you received.

 

For an Excelsior PCR or Antigen Pass: Please check that you entered your information exactly as it appears on your test results, as you will need to match that information accurately to retrieve your Excelsior Pass. This includes: your first name, last name, the location where you received your test, the date you were tested, and the type of test you received.

 

If you still can’t get your Excelsior Pass, you can:

  • Contact your vaccine administrator or testing laboratory to confirm your correct information was submitted. All vaccine administrators must have staff dedicated and available to correct these issues. Once a testing laboratory has submitted test result information to the State, it cannot be modified.
  • If you were vaccinated at a city-run site within New York City and require a change to a vaccination record, you can call 311 from within the City or 212-639-9675 from outside New York City or email [email protected] Additionally, if you are a New York City resident and fully vaccinated but lost your CDC Vaccination Card, you can request a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record by calling 311.
  • Submit a record review request form. Please note that this form is for vaccination records only, not test result records.
  • Call the Excelsior Pass Help Desk at (844) 699-7277 for general inquiries/to receive support in submitting a record review request to help resolve the issue.

In the meantime, you can always present alternate proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results, like a paper form, directly to an organization.

 

How do I remove an Excelsior Pass from the NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet app?

Please review how to remove an Excelsior Pass in these step-by-step instructional guides:

 

What do I do if I have questions about Excelsior Pass?

For general questions or technical inquiries about Excelsior Pass, including how to navigate the website or retrieve an Excelsior Pass, you can fill out the support form or reach out to the Excelsior Help Desk at 844-699-7277 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST daily.  Note that the support team does not have access to any personal health records and will not be able to provide specific details about personal eligibility for an Excelsior Pass. 

 

How do I submit feedback about the app or Excelsior Pass?

If you have feedback about Excelsior Pass, please share it via our support form.

 

If you are having trouble, please consult one of our helpful, step-by-step instructional guides:

 

If you are still unable to solve your problem, you can always use an alternate form of proof, like a paper form, of your COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results.

For Providers

As a provider, what COVID-19 vaccination data am I responsible for providing?

You are responsible for reporting complete and accurate COVID-19 vaccination data to the appropriate data system (CIR for New York City providers, NYSIIS for all other providers) within 24 hours of vaccine administration. All required and critical fields must be completed at the time the data is entered. For more information on data reporting guidelines, please visit the NYSIIS and CIR Requirements for Providers.

 

As someone who administers COVID-19 vaccines, what do I do when customers/patients tell me they are having trouble retrieving an Excelsior Pass?

The provider who administered the vaccine is responsible for entering all vaccine data correctly into NYSIIS (or CIR if provider is located in New York City). If one of your customers/patients is having trouble retrieving an Excelsior Pass, your first action should be to check their information in NYSIIS/CIR (don’t just look in your system/electronic medical record). For more information on what to look for and how to fix data errors, please visit the Excelsior Pass Fact Sheet for Vaccine Providers.

 

If I am a New York State healthcare provider, can I submit COVID-19 vaccination information for patients who are residents of New York State, but received their vaccine outside of the State?

If you have patients who were vaccinated outside of New York State who can show proof of vaccination, you should enter those patients’ immunization records into the secure New York State and/or New York City immunization databases. You will submit these as historical doses to reflect that you did not administer the dose to the patient. If you are a New York State provider, please visit the NYSIIS and CIR Requirements for Providers for more information on COVID-19 vaccination data entry.

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