Request A Dd 214 By Mail
Visit the following page on the National Archives website, download a copy of Military Personnel Records, SF-180, fill it out, then mail it to:
National Personnel Records Center
You can also write a letter of request. Be sure to include the following information:
- The veterans complete name used while in service
- Service number or social security number
- Branch of service
- Dates of service
- Date and place of birth may also be helpful, especially if the service number is not known
- If the request pertains to a record that may have been involved in the 1973 fire, also include:
- Place of discharge
- Place of entry into the service, if known.
What Happens After I Request My Military Records
Youll receive an email letting you know were processing your request. Youll receive a second email when your request is complete and your files are ready for you to view and download.
You can also check the status of your military records request by signing in to milConnect and going to the Personnel File tab within the Defense Personnel Records Information section. This is also where youll view and download your files once theyre ready.
Consider Registering It With Your County Or Town Hall
Your DD Form 214 can be registered with many town halls or county registrars, just like a land deed or vehicle title. You can consider doing this to maintain a record of your service because it will make document retrieval quick and easy.
Make sure state or local laws do not permit public access to your DD Form 214 before registering your DD Form 214 with any office.
Because it has your SSN, you may be exposing your private information to the world, making you an easy target for identity theft.
You may also consider getting your DD Form 214 registered or notarized with your town registrar to keep it on file for certain veterans benefits, such as property tax assessments.
Some counties offer veterans with disability ratings discounted property taxes. However, they usually require a copy of both your DD From 214 and your award letter from the VA stating your service-connected disability rating.
This is well worth the hassle if it saves you a significant amount of money on your property taxes.
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Can You Use A Dd Form 256 To Get A Dd Form 214
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Military and veterans benefits often vary from person to person. There are many factors that determine which benefits you may be eligible for, including when and where you served, how long you were in the service, and whether your were on active duty or in the Guard or Reserves. Our question today is from a former Reservist who received a DD Form 256, and wants to know if this can be used to obtain a DD Form 214 in order to qualify for certain Veterans Benefits.
Here is his question:
I am wondering if you have had any experience helping a veteran receive a DD214. I was in the USAFR from January 1967 through January 1973, Honorably Discharged. I received my DD256 but it is not sufficient to qualify for Medical Benefits. The requirement is to have a DD214. My question involves determining if there is a process to now secure a DD214. Any assistance would be appreciated.
Thanks for contacting me. This is a common question among former Guard and Reserve members. Lets define a couple common military discharge forms to better answer your question.
- DD Form 214: Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
- DD Form 256: Honorable Discharge Certificate
- DD Form 257: General Discharge Certificate
Request For Alabama National Guard Records
If you served in the Alabama National Guard you can request your NG records by visiting and providing the information requested. You can request the following documents: NGB 22, NGB 23, DD 214, Retirement Letter, Medical Records, Discharge Order, and DD 1883/2556-5 . Normally it takes three weeks to process your request.
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How To Get Your Dd Form 214 From The National Archives Web
Step 1: Visit the eVetRecs website.
Step 2: Select Veteran, or Next of Kin of Deceased Veteran, and your relationship if you choose the latter.
Step 3: Provide service information, including Branch of Service, Component , Officer or Enlisted, Type of RecordsRequest, etc. For a copy of the DD Form 214, select, Personal Military History.
Step 4: Complete the personal information section, including Full Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Social Security Number, Service Number , approximate date veteran left active duty service,
Note: Not all of this information is required. However, the more information you input into the system the more likely the information requested will be correct.
Step 5: Enter your Return Address so the National Archives can send you the information.
Note: If you do not do Step 5 you will not receive your DD Form 214.
Step 6: verify your information is correct and submit. You should receive a copy of your DD Form 214 within 1-2 weeks. However, according to the National Archives, it can take up to 90 days based on the workload of the archives at the time of your request. .
Now that you have a copy of your DD Form 214 make sure you have plenty of copies stored in a safe place.
Additional Tips When Requesting Military Records
Replacing your DD Form 214 is not the end of the world. But it can take some time to replace.
Be patient. Standard requests for a copy of your DD Form 214 normally take at least 10 days or longer, but it can take several weeks to get it replaced in some circumstances. This is common if the records were involved in the fire of 1973.
You can check the status of your request via e-mail or by telephone at NPRC Customer Service Line: 1-314-801-0800.
Note: this is not a toll-free number.
Avoid military records scams: Most military records are provided by the National Archives free of charge for veterans, next-of-kin, and authorized representatives. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified by a representative from the National Archives.
There are some companies out there who charge exorbitant fees to do research which can be done by you for free. Keep in mind you must also provide these companies with sensitive and private personal information including your social security number.
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How To Request A Dd Form 214 Copy Electronically
Today, military members and recently retired/separated veterans have more options to request a copy of DD Form 214s. You can request a DD Form 214 copy via milConnect.
Using milConnect requires a Premium DS Logon account. The Department of Veterans Affairs advises you cannot use My HealtheVet or ID.me credentials to access milConnect. The VA advises the following process when trying to get a DD Form 214:
You can access many more records than the DD 214 alone using this process. The records you can select include but may not be limited to:
Why A Dd Form 214 Is Important
As alluded to in the reader question, a DD Form 214 is often required by the VA and other benefits organizations to qualify for veterans benefits. It is the key to proving military service and qualifying for a variety of veterans benefits. Because of this, a veterans DD Form 214 is probably his or her most valuable military document.
The instructions the veteran receives with the DD Form 214 are simple: Dont lose it! .
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Once Ive Signed In To Milconnect How Do I Request My Dd214 Or Other Military Records
Follow the steps below to submit a military records request.
How To Get A Dd214 For A Deceased Relative
If a veteran is deceased, the surviving next-of-kin may request a copy of the DD214 using the online order form that can be filled out on the National Archives Website. The form must bear the signature of the next of kin and mailed in along with any other required documents.
Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to obtain a deceased relatives DD214:
National Personnel Records Center
Alternatively, you can fax it to the National Personnel Records Center at 801-9195.
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Obtaining A Dd Form 214 From The National Archives
If you need to obtain a copy of your Form DD 214 from the National Archives, you should contact them directly. It is free and easy to request a copy of your separation paperwork and other military records. There is no need to pay a company to do this on your behalf.
Note: The National Archives is the repository for all military service records. However, the National Archives Fire of 1973 resulted in the permanent loss of many pre-1973 military service records, including some veterans separation paperwork and other military service records. You can learn more here.
You can obtain a copy of your DD Form 214 Online or via Mail.
Why Your Ds Login Is Important
If youre filing a claim, applying for a loan, trying to get pension benefits, you name it Youre going to need your DD214, at the very least. Depending on how organized your board file is and how kept up to date it is, you may be able to find a lot of this information on the HRC website with your DS logon. This can save you a lot of time and gives you the option to track down everything you need on your own time.
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But What If You Never Received A Dd Form 214
All active duty servicemembers are issued a DD Form 214 when they separate from active duty. If you didnt receive a DD Form 214 when you left the service, you should contact your last unit if you separated recently. You can also contact your branch of service admin headquarters . Each branch of the service maintains personnel records for about 5-10 years before sending them to the National Archives. If your branch of service no longer has these records, then you should contact the National Archives, where military service records are permanently maintained.
Members of the Reserve Corp only receive a DD Form 214 when they served on active duty usually after initial training, and after separating from active duty after serving at least 90 consecutive days. If you served in the Guard or Reserves, but were never activated, you may not have a DD Form 214. This is the case even if you successfully and honorably served your term. Guard and Reserve members who complete their term of service are issued a DD Form 256 or DD Form 257 upon completion of their term.
If you were activated while part of the Reserves, then you should have a DD Form 214. However, some older Guard or Reserve members have reported they dont remember receiving a physical form. If you believe you should have received a DD Form 214, then you will need to contact your unit, your branch of service, or the National Archives to obtain a copy of your DD Form 214.
What You Need To Know To Get A Copy Of Dd214
So you say you cant find your separation document and you need to get a copy of DD214? Or you need to find it for your relative?
You can obtain separation documents through The National Archives.
Receiving a copy of your DD214 doesn’t have to be a headache. Read on for more information and details. We’ve helped tens of thousands of veterans get their copy!
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About Ryan Guina
Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet’s founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.
Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.
Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.
Featured In: Ryan’s writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine , Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.
How To Replace Dd Form 214
Each member should receive a copy of their DD Form 214 on the day they separate from the military. Some veterans have reported that their DD 214 wasnt ready on the date they separated, so your mileage may vary. If you are going to separate soon, do your best to obtain a copy on the date you separate from the military this can save you a lot of hassle later on.
Note: This is not usually possible for members of the Guard or Reserves who are activated, then deactivated it often takes some time to process and create your DD 214, especially if you are coming off of a mass deployment and the personnel section needs to process dozens of DD 214s at a time.
Getting a copy of your DD Form 214 will depend on how long it has been since you separated or retired from the military. If you have recently separated, you will get a copy from your branch of service. If it has been a long time, you will need to contact the National Archives.
Im not sure what the cut off is for recent and long time, but I believe each branch maintains personnel records for about 10 years before sending them to the National Archives.
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Do I Need A Dd214 Ngb22 Or Dd256 And Can I Order My Records Online
Military veterans will often need to provide proof of service when applying for exclusive benefits and entitlementseverything from VA home loans to college applications. But problems can arise when they dont have the right forms in hand.
To help your search efforts go as smoothly and quickly as possible, the following is a simple breakdown of who needs what and when.
What If I Was Never Called To Active Duty
If you did not serve on active duty, or if you did not complete your service and were not formally discharged, you would not have received a DD214.
In some cases, Reservists who did complete their service will receive only a DD256 , indicating they were not called to active service but still fulfilled their service contract and were discharged under honorable conditions. This form will not be enough to apply for veteran benefits.
How Long Will It Take To Obtain A Copy Of My Dd For 214
The National Archives website states that they process 92% of records requests within 10 business days. You can also contact the National Archives if you need to place a rush order on your records request and they will try to move your request higher in the queue, if possible.
For more information, or to check on the status of your DD Form 214 request, contact the NPRC Customer Service Line: 1-314-801-0800. .
Remember, obtaining a copy of your DD Form 214 is free through the National Archives. You do not need to pay a company to do this on your behalf.
Do You Have To Serve In The Reserves After Leaving The Military
In some countries, for example the United States, reservists are often former military members who reached the end of their enlistment or resigned their commission. Indeed, service in the reserves for a number of years after leaving active service is required in the enlistment contracts and commissioning orders of many nations.
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National Guard Members And Reservists Are The Exception
Unlike active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members and Reservists are not full-time members of the Armed Forces. Instead, they typically work civilian jobs here at home and agree to be called to military duty when necessary.
In lieu of a DD214, National Guard members will receive an NGB22 and Reservists will receive a DD256 .
Like the DD214, the NGB22 provides all of the pertinent information about an individuals military career, including the nature of discharge. A DD256, on the other hand, is basically just a statement confirming the individual served and was discharged under honorable conditions.
Are National Guard And Reserve Members Eligible For Veteran Benefits And Do They Need A Dd214
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs , the majority of National Guard and Reserve members are eligible for some VA benefits, provided they were discharged or released under honorable conditions and meet certain eligibility requirements with regard to how long they served.
Typically, if an individual served in the Army National Guard, the Air Force National Guard, or as a Reservist for any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and was activated under Title 10 or Title 32 of the U.S. Code, that person qualifies for many of the same benefits provided to full-time military personnel.
Reservists in this case would receive a DD214 and National Guard members would receive an NGB22 , both of which can be used to show proof of eligibility when applying for veteran benefits. Like the DD214, the NGB22 provides a detailed account of an individuals military career, including the reason for and character of discharge.
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