WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GET A COPY OF DD214
So you say you can’t 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 (usually called a DD-214) through The National Archives.
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Requesting your Documents
All requests to get a copy of DD214 from discharges less than 62 years ago must be signed and dated by the veteran or next-of-kin. If you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.
DD-214s can be requested either on-line or by mail. You will receive your DD-214 from the Archives in about about three to four weeks. You must have a working printer attached to your computer if you use the online request form.
For a mail request, you can download the paper application here. Be sure that you mail your request to the proper location. The last page of the application has detailed instructions that will tell you which location is correct.
To apply online, visit this page, click ‘Launch the eVetRecs system to start your request Online’ and answer the questions. When you’re done, print, sign and either fax or mail the signature page to the address listed on the request form.
Emergency Requests (Funerals, Surgery, etc.)
The National Archives will expedite delivery of a DD-214 under certain circumstances, usually in 1 to 5 days.
If the reason you need the DD-214 is for burial at a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117 or visit the National Cemetery Administration website. They will work directly with the Archives to obtain the records necessary.
Otherwise, download the paper form and state the nature of the emergency in the "Purpose" section. Fax the form to the Archive Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764. The next morning, around 7am Central time, call the Customer Service Team at 314-801-0800. That line can be very very busy later in the day.
The request must be signed by the next of kin and be accompanied by a death certificate, published obituary or letter from a funeral home.
I need my records today!
If you need your DD-214 immediately but don't qualify for expedited service from the Archives, an company that has provided reliable service to Veterans and their families is the Aardvark Research Group.
This is not a free service but the turnaround time on your request is much shorter. Aardvark Research Group is located near the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.
They will provide certified copies of original DD214s, usually within a day or so, for $89. ARG has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been providing this expedited option to veterans since 2007. Records can be ordered online through their website www.aardvarkresearchgroup.com.
In 1973 there was a fire where military records are stored. If you were in the Army before 1960, there is a 4 in 5 chance that your records were destroyed. If you were in the Air Force before 1964 and your name comes after Hubbard, James E., there is a 3 in 4 chance your records are gone. 1973 fire is the web page at the National Archives that gives you the details.
If your service records were destroyed the Archives will try to provide proof of service based on other types of military records. They’re going to need the following information so you might as well include it on your first application:
- Place of discharge
- Last unit of assignment
- Place of entry into the service, if known.
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