Health

How do I get my vaccine passport? Where will I need to show it?

A province-by-province guide to obtaining proof of vaccination, when you'll be asked for it and who is exempt

This post was originally published on Sept. 8 and last updated on Sept. 16, 2021

Card, certificate or passport: call it what you want. Just as driver’s licences are required to get behind the steering wheel of a car, more and more provinces are requiring proof of vaccination for those wanting to work out at an indoor gym or eat a meal inside a restaurant. While essential activities such as buying food or voting in the federal elections are exempt, many regular activities will be off limits for those without vaccine passports.

By Sept. 16, all 10 provinces had announced they would enact some form of vaccine passport system. So be sure to have proof of vaccination and valid ID if you’re travelling to those provinces from elsewhere. Provinces without passport programs, such as Alberta, allow their residents to obtain records of vaccination through their websites or toll-free phone lines.

READ: Typical ‘vaccine hesitant’ person is a 42-year-old Ontario woman who votes Liberal: Abacus polling

And a reminder: being “fully vaccinated” starts either seven or 14 days after your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine (yes, it varies by province).

What’s more, their terms and conditions vary, so don’t assume that what works in one province applies to another. For instance, B.C. isn’t allowing medical exemptions while Ontario is offering a “provide a recent negative test” exemption for those attending weddings between Sept. 22 and Oct. 12.

Here are the key questions and answers about the current vaccine passport programs in applicable provinces, as well as how to get a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination information in provinces without such passport systems.

Jump to your province:


British Columbia Vaccine Card

When does it start? 

The province is rolling out its vaccine card system in two phases:

  1. Sept. 13: to enter designated non-essential locales (see list below), you must have a card certifying that you’ve received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Post-secondary students in housing had to have one dose by Sept. 7.
  2. Oct. 24: to enter the designated locales, you must be fully vaccinated. For the purposes of certification in B.C., that means seven days after the second dose

Who needs one?

Everyone 12 and older. And make sure you bring valid government identification (driver’s licence, health card, etc.)

Are there exemptions?

Yes, those under 12 can enter. There are no medical or religious exemptions, said Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, when she unveiled the system.

How do I get my vaccine passport?

You will need a digital or paper vaccine card that contains a QR code. To register for the digital version, you can go to the BC Vaccine Card portal (you’ll need your health card number, date of birth and the date you got either dose one or two) or call 1-833-838-2323. If you have a Health Gateway account, then log in with your BC Services Card App. You can print a paper copy at that time or at a Service BC office.

If online ordering a copy of your vaccine isn’t an option, then call 1-833-838-2323.

Where is it needed?

Patrons will need proof of vaccination at the following locales:

  • Indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs and bars
  • Nightclubs and casinos
  • Gyms, pools and recreation facilities, including high-intensity group exercise (not including youth recreation)
  • Indoor organized gatherings such as weddings, parties, conferences, meetings and workshops (50 people or more)
  • Indoor ticketed concerts, theatre, dance, symphony and sporting events; movie theatres
  • Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities like pottery and art (not including K-12 school and “before and after school programs”)
  • Post-secondary on-campus student housing.

Alberta Restriction Exemption Program

When does it start?


The province’s Restriction Exemption Program (REP) was announced on Sept. 15 along with other public health restrictions. It is a voluntary system for non-essential businesses and events. However, if those locales don’t implement REP, then they must follow the other public health restrictions, including capacity limits. For example, restaurants that do not use REP cannot offer indoor dining.

REP starts on Sept. 20. Under it, participating businesses and events will may demand either: a.) proof of vaccine or b.) a privately-paid negative COVID-19 test completed within 72 hours.

The province is rolling out the system in two phases:

1. Sept. 20 to Oct. 25: to enter locales using REP, you must provide proof of at least a single dose, as long as it was given more than two weeks earlier, or the aforementioned proof of a negative COVID test.

2. Oct. 25: Proof of full vaccination is required or the negative COVID test to enter locales using REP. For Alberta, full vaccination means 14 days after the second dose.

Who needs one?

Everyone 12 or older.

Are there exemptions?

Yes, those under 12 can enter. As well, there will be medical exemptions.

How do I get my vaccine passport?

Albertans need to have a hard or electronic version of their COVID-19 vaccination records. If they don’t have the proof offered at time of vaccination or wish a simplified version, then they need to go through MyHealth Records, either by phone (1-844-401-4016) or through the website. To create an online MyHealth Records account, you’ll first need a MyAlberta Digital ID using a driver’s licence or identification card and following the directions.

As well, the province is working on providing such proof of vaccination via a QR code.

Where is it needed?

Again, the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) is a voluntary system, so the government has only stated where it does not apply:

  • Businesses or venues that need to be accessed for daily living
  • Employees of businesses participating in the REP

Saskatchewan Proof of COVID Vaccination

When does it start?

Starting on Oct. 1, residents will need proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter designated non-essential businesses, services and event venues (see list below). In Saskatchewan, full vaccination means 14 days after a second dose. The negative COVID-19 test has to be performed by a certified provider.

Who needs one?

Everyone. As well, as of Oct. 1, all provincial, Crown and government agency employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination or negative test “on a consistent basis.”

Are there exemptions?

Yes, those under 12 can enter. As of Sept. 16, there is no information as to whether the government will offer medical exemptions.

How do I get my vaccine passport?

Residents will need a “verifiable vaccination record.” Details about how to access such records will be released prior to when they will be available during the week of Sept. 20.

Where is it needed?

Patrons will need proof of vaccination at the following non-essential locales:

  • Indoor dining areas of restaurants
  • Nightclubs, bars, taverns, etc.
  • Event and entertainment venues, including casinos, movie theatres, live-music venues, museums, and indoor facilities hosting ticketed sporting events
  • Indoor gyms

Manitoba Immunization Card

When does it start?

Now. For the purpose of certification, full vaccination means 14 days after the second dose.

Who needs one?

Everyone 12 and older will need a vaccine passport for designated non-essential locales.

Are there exemptions?

Yes, those under 12 can enter if accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult. As for medical exemptions, a government spokesperson told Maclean’s, “There are an exceedingly small number of medical conditions that would exempt someone from being immunized. The province is developing a process and criteria to address these rare situations, and more information will be shared with Manitobans as soon as possible. However, to be clear, a doctor’s note will not be considered an exemption to proof of immunization requirements.”

How do I get my vaccine passport?

The immunization card with a QR code can be digital—on your phone or through the government app—or hard copy. Go to the government portal (you’ll need your date of birth, health-card registration number and personal health information number) or call 1-844-626-8222.

Where is it needed?

Patrons will need proof of vaccination at the following locales:

  • Indoor and outdoor ticketed sporting events and concerts
  • Indoor theatres, movie theatres, dance and symphony events
  • Indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants
  • Nightclubs and all other licensed premises
  • Casinos, bingo halls and VLT lounges
  • Fitness centres, gyms and indoor sporting and recreational facilities (not including youth recreational)
  • Organized indoor group recreational classes and activities, and indoor recreational businesses

Ontario Vaccine Certificate

When does it start?

The province is rolling out its system in two phases: 

  1. Sept. 22: everyone wanting to enter designated indoor public settings (see list below) will need to prove they are fully vaccinated, which means 14 days after the second dose. Ontarians 12 and older can use paper or electronic copies of their vaccination receipts.
  2. Oct. 22: to enter those settings, Ontarians will need to show an upgraded proof of vaccination that includes a QR code. By then, the government promises to have an app that consumers and businesses can download and use. So Ontarians can show a hard copy, PDF or use the app.

Who needs one?

Everyone 12 and older will need a vaccine passport for designated non-essential locales. And make sure you bring valid government identification (driver’s licence, health card, etc.)

Are there exemptions?

Yes, those under 12 or people with medical exceptions. For those medically exempt: bring the doctor’s note unless it is in your electronic passport.

How do I get my vaccine passport?

As of now, if you need a copy of your vaccination receipt, go to the provincial vaccine booking portal or the vaccine booking hotline at 1-833-943-3900. Public libraries are also helping to print out copies.

And remember that the temporary receipt proof will have to be upgraded to include QR codes by Oct. 22. They can be hard copy, PDF or through an app. The government has yet to reveal those how-to instructions.

Where is it needed?

Patrons will need proof of vaccination at the following indoor locales that are deemed “higher-risk”:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas)
  • Meeting and event spaces
  • Sports and fitness facilities (not including youth recreation)
  • Sporting events
  • Casinos, bingo halls etc.
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres etc.
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs
  • Racing venues

Quebec Vaccination Passport

When does it start?


Now, though there are no penalties during a grace period that ends on Sept. 15. For the purposes of certification, fully vaccinated means seven days after the second dose (or one dose if you’ve had COVID-19 more than 21 days previously).

Who needs one?

Everyone 13 and older will need a vaccine passport for designated non-essential locales. (Yes, 13 and older.) And make sure you bring valid photo identification for everyone 16 and older (driver’s licence, health card, etc.)

Are there exemptions?

Yes. Those under 13 can enter. There are specific medical exemptions, including for those allergic to vaccine ingredients.

How do I get my vaccine passport?

The required QR code can be on paper, in a PDF on your phone, or through the province’s VaxiCode app. The PDF can be downloaded from a government portal (you’ll need date of birth, date of first vaccination and brand of vaccine, health insurance number). The QR code from your most recent dose can be downloaded and added to the VaxiCode app. Call 1-877-644-4545 if you have troubles or to have a hard copy mailed to you.

Where is it needed?

Patrons will need proof of vaccination at the following locales:

  • Team sports and everything involving “frequent or prolonged contact” such as doubles racket sports
  • Outdoor events and festivals with more than 50 people, including marathons, cultural shows, etc.
  • Indoor movie theatres, performance venues, stadiums
  • Indoor and outdoor dining in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, shopping mall food courts
  • Amusement parks, casinos, conventions, bowling alleys (but not libraries or museums)

New Brunswick proof of vaccination

When does it start?


Starting on Sept. 21, people will need proof of full vaccination to access certain non-essential businesses, services and events (see list below). For the purpose of certification, fully vaccinated means 14 days after the second dose. As well, anyone entering the province will have to pre-register their travel plans with the government.

People will need one?

Everyone 12 and older will need a vaccine passport for designated non-essential locales. And be sure to bring government-issued identification.

Are there exemptions?

Yes, those under 12 can enter designated non-essential locales. And those with medical exemptions will be required to show proof.

How do I get my vaccine passport?

You can show your immunization record, which was provided at time of vaccination, or a photo of that record.  An electronic version can also be obtained through the MyHealthNB portal (you will need your NB Medicare number) or call 1-844-462-8387.

The province expects to have a version that uses a QR code available in about a month.

Where is it needed?

Patrons will need proof of vaccination at the following locales:

  • restaurants, pubs and bars (indoor and outdoor)
  • indoor festivals, cultural and sporting events as well as movie theatres, nightclubs, bowling alleys, casinos, etc.
  • gyms and indoor recreation facilities; indoor organized group classes, activities and recreation
  • indoor organized gatherings including weddings, funerals and parties (excluding parties in private homes)
  • long-term care facilities (applies to visitors)

Nova Scotia Proof of Full Vaccination

When does it start?

The province requires proof of full vaccination to enter designated non-essential locales (see list below) on Oct. 4. For the purpose of certification, fully vaccinated means 14 days after the second dose.

Who needs one?

Everyone 12 and older will need a vaccine passport for designated non-essential locales.

Are there exemptions?

Yes, those under 12 can enter with a fully vaccinated adult. There will be medical exemptions, which will be explained in coming weeks.

How do I get my vaccine passport?

You will need to get a record of your vaccination, which can be accessed by sending an email or text through a government portal (you’ll need your health card number) or by calling 1-833-797-7772.

The intial government announcement doesn’t say whether a QR-code version will be required or whether a paper version will be offered.

Where is it needed?

Patrons will need proof of vaccination at the following locales:

  • Dining at restaurants, pubs and bars
  • Gyms, pools and recreation facilities
  • Movie theatres as well as concerts and sporting events
  • Other “discretionary, recreational or non-essential activities” may be added as further details are released

Prince Edward Island Proof of Vaccine Credential


On Sept. 7, the province announced that “preliminary discussions are now underway regarding the implementation of a proof of vaccine credential or a vaccine passport.” In a press release, it stated: “A vaccine passport program will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission at large events. Although at an early stage, events or venues that use a proof of vaccine credential may still be required to maintain other public health measures such as masking or cohorting. More details regarding a PEI Proof of Vaccine Credential will be available in the coming weeks.”

The current COVID-19 Immunization Record (hard copy or electronic) can be accessed through an online portal (you’ll need a health card number or phone number used for the vaccination) or by calling 1-844-975-3303.


Newfoundland and Labrador Vaccine Passport


On Sept. 7, the government announced it will introduce a vaccine passport based on the Quebec system in coming weeks. Details are not yet available.

As of now, COVID-19 vaccine records can be retrieved from an online portal (you will need your Medical Care Plan card) or get help through the HealthLine811 at 1-888-709-2929.