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Kokua Line: Do I have to upload my CDC card again for Hawaii’s SMART Health Card?

Question: On Wednesday, Gov. Ige announced the Hawaii SMART Health Card. Those of us who have been vaccinated in Hawaii can upload our vaccination cards to and use that instead of our physical cards. That site is the same as the one for Hawaii Safe Travels. I already uploaded my card and used that to reenter the state after traveling out of state in August. Do I have to do it again?

Answer: Yes. You would log into your Safe Travels account, click on the SMART Health Card logo and upload your vaccine document there, according to the state Office of Enterprise Technology Services. The department says it is working on automatically providing SMART Health Cards to people who were vaccinated in Hawaii against COVID-19 and have already received the vaccine exception in Safe Travels, but for now, users will have to re-upload the document themselves in the SMART Health Card section.

The SMART Health Card, which is optional, can be used in lieu of a hard-copy vaccine card to patronize restaurants and other establishments that will soon require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

Q: Can this new card be used for everything?

A: No. The travel function is separate. “The Hawaii SMART Health Card QR code cannot be used for traveling to Hawaii. Travelers arriving in Hawaii are required to use the Travel Exemption/Exception feature on the Safe Travels Hawaii Digital Platform to receive a travel entry QR code,” according to ETS, which covers this on its website. Read more at

Q: I saw an ad for Oahu Back to Work and wondered whether that counts as college credits.

A: You are referring to the free job-training program for Oahu residents whose work was disrupted by the pandemic. Courses in business, technology, health care, human services and skilled trades are offered through the University of Hawaii system, according to the website,

These courses are short-term, noncredit training classes that do not award college credits toward a degree, according to the website. However, although they don’t award actual credits, some “may provide an opportunity to advance toward a college degree,” it says.

People interested in pursuing a college degree can email for more information about degree programs and how to apply for the spring semester, which starts Jan. 10. The deadline to apply for a community college campus is Dec. 15, the website says.

Q: Can I claim unemployment from Hawaii because I had to quit my job due to my husband’s PCS?

A: By PCS you mean permanent change of station, the military order transferring your husband to a new assignment outside Hawaii.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations says military spouses in your situation generally are eligible to claim unemployment insurance benefits. “However, this is not always the case, as individuals may have additional issues that may result in their disqualification, such as not being able and available for work” wherever you move.


Auwe to the cruel individual who hit a cat on Lunalilo Home Road and did not stop to see whether the animal could be saved. I am sure he did not mean to hit it and it likely was a feral cat, but it was still callous not to stop. — Animal lover


Thank you so much to the kind and generous person who paid my bill at the Wendy’s Pearl City drive-thru on Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. I was buying dinner for my family, so the bill was not cheap ($46). People like you make Hawaii a special place. You inspired me to pay the bill for the car behind me. Bless you! — Mahalo, Cheryl U.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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