B.C. Vaccine Card: What users, businesses need to know

We now know how what B.C.'s vaccine passport program will look like and how it will work for customers and businesses. While the pass requirement starts Monday there will be a couple weeks to transition entirely to the QR code system. Liza Yuzda reports.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Less than a week before B.C.’s Vaccine Card comes into effect, the province has now revealed more details into how businesses will be using it.

People will be required to show they’ve had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to access some non-essential businesses and settings as of Sept. 13. By Oct. 24, people will need to be fully vaccinated to go to places like the movies or restaurants.

There is a grace period. Between Sept. 13 until Sept. 26, people will still be able to use the paper record issued at a vaccine clinic. After Sept. 27, the B.C. Vaccine Card will the only accepted form of proof.

Anyone found to be violating the order could be ticketed $230 or $575, depending on the violation.

How to get your vaccine card

If you already downloaded the BC Services Card app earlier this month, your vaccine status should automatically be updated to include your new vaccine passport.

A double vaccinated card will be green, a single dose will be blue, and unvaccinated cards will be grey.

The card will have your name and include a QR code.

If you don’t have the BC Services Card app you can sign up through the Health Gateway portal, or through the government’s website.

The website will ask users to enter their personal health number, date of birth and date of vaccine.

If you’re fully vaccinated, enter the date of your second dose.

If you’ve only received one vaccine, enter the date of your first dose.

You will then get an image with a QR code, your name, as well as the status of your vaccination.

You can print out a photo of your digital card as an alternative if you wouldn’t like to use your smartphone. You’ll be able to show the paper copy of your vaccine card, so when enter certain settings, it can be scanned.

Another option for smartphone users is to save the card (using a screenshot) which allows users to simply call up the image in the phone’s gallery, and then can show that image each time it’s required.

Offline options:

Another option is to call the Provincial Vaccine Line at 1-833-838-2323 to get your printed card mailed to you. The province urges callers to be patient, as they are expecting high volumes.

You can even go in person to one of 64 Service BC Centres and a card can be printed out for you if calling or the computer are not options.

Out-of-province proof:

People from other Canadian provinces or territories must show a recognized vaccine record and valid government photo ID. International visitors must show proof of vaccination they used to enter Canada, like the ArriveCan website, as well as a valid passport.

Anyone who may have been vaccinated out of B.C., such as students or returning B.C. residents, should update their vaccination records through the provincial website. Submitting information to update those records and receive a Vaccine Card is expected to take less than five minutes and should be updated within a week.

Where you need to show your card:

  • Indoor and outdoor restaurants with table service, pubs, bars, and lounges (not including fast food restaurants)
  • Organized indoor events with 50 or more people – like weddings, parties, conferences, workshops, etc.
  • Discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities
  • Indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events
  • Fitness centres, gyms, and indoor adult sports. Indoor group exercise activities are also included – youth recreational sport is not included
  • Nightclubs, casinos, and movie theatres
  • Indoor ticketed sporting events


If attending a setting where vaccine cards are required, people are urged to have a digital or paper BC Vaccine Card ready. You will then be asked to show it, and staff will either scan the card or visually confirm the vaccine status, and show ID. People between 12 – 18 do not need to show ID.

What businesses need to know:

There are two options for businesses to check if customers are vaccinated. Staff can either scan the QR code on the B.C. Vaccine Card, or visually verify the status.

Starting Sept. 13, the B.C. Vaccine Card Verifier app will be available for mobile Apple, and Google Android devices. Once downloaded, businesses can continue to use the app without an internet connection.

The app can be used to scan the paper or digital copy of the BC Vaccine Card QR code at the door of places like BC Lions games, gyms, or a bar.

Staff will then be required to check proof of the vaccine and validate name and photo ID if the customer is 19-years-old and older.

Information from the QR code will be the absolute minimum information required to verify a vaccination record – and are not connected to other health records.

Any event organizer, or business owner found to be in violation to the new vaccine card could face a $2,300 fine.

Violation tickets of the “Gatherings and Events Food and Liquor Serving Premises” orders can be issued by: police officers, community safety unit, liquor and cannabis inspectors, gaming investigators, or conservation officers.

Businesses can print out posters in order to educate their patrons and staff surrounding the new rules.

Technical Issues

Just moments after the website went live, some people began receiving messages that the site was experiencing a high level of traffic.

“You’re in a virtual queue, thank you for waiting,” reads the message, adding, “Please only continue to wait if you have all registration information.”

According to the Ministry of Health, the system went live Tuesday morning as part of a “soft launch to test capacity in the system.”

“Any issues identified during the soft launch will be worked through,” the ministry said in an email.

With files from Hana Mae Nassar

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