Faking a COVID-19 Vaccine Card in New York Can Now Get You a Year in Jail

Originally published in NBC New York

Falsifying a COVID-19 vaccination card is now a class A misdemeanor in the state of New York, and tampering with computer records related to vaccinations is now a class E felony, after Gov. Kathy Hochul signed new legislation late Wednesday.

The bill clarifies that "a COVID Vaccination Card shall be considered a written instrument for purposes of the forgery statute," which makes faking one a crime punishable by up to 1 year in jail or 3 years' probation.

That bill also created the felony of computer tampering in the third degree for "intentional entering, alteration or destruction of 'computer material' regarding COVID-19 vaccine provisions," according to a statement from the governor's office.

Class E felonies can be punished with up to four years in prison.

"The 'Truth in Vaccination' law will serve as a strong deterrent to prevent people from lying about their vaccination status, protecting public health, and ensuring our economic recovery can move forward," state senator Anna M. Kaplan said in a statement.