How to Get a DD Form 214

Many variables affect the process of getting a DD 214 or a replacement copy. This process can become complicated, so we have outlined the proceedings of getting a DD 214 form for a veteran affairs claim whether it be for disability or mesothelioma endured on duty.

Veteran doing paperwork on computer get DD 214

Infographic showing what's on your DD 214, including Grade, Rank, or Rate, Entry Active-Duty Location, Last Duty Assignment, Primary Specialty, Decorations, and Remarks

What is a DD 214?

A DD 214 military form is issued to veterans by the Department of Defense to identify the condition of discharge such as honorable, general, other than honorable, dishonorable, or bad conduct. This form can become necessary documentation when filing or appealing VA claims. Veterans, their next of kin, and other authorized representatives can obtain a copy of a DD 214 form in several different ways. The military records report typically contains service member’s information, such as:

  • Date and place of entry into active duty
  • Date and place of release from active duty
  • Last assignment and rank
  • Military job specialty
  • Military education
  • Decorations, medals, badges, citations, and campaign awards
  • Total creditable service
  • Separation information

The DD 214 form is essential to verify military service. For instance, a DD 214 form is required when filing wrongful death claims, VA loans, school enrollment, and many other things. There are two types of DD 214 discharge forms, short form and long form, with the main difference being that long form has information about the service member’s character of discharge.

  • Short form – the deleted Form of Separation or edited Form of Separation
  • Long form – the undeleted Form of Separation

What Does a DD 214 Look Like?

Sample DD 214 formThe top section of the DD Form 214 is where basic information can be found, such as the veteran’s name, date of birth, and department. Within the midsection of the form, viewers can find information on a veteran’s service information, such as time of active service, date entered, and separation date. Towards the bottom of the document is information specific to the veteran’s separation, such as type of separation, separation code, and mailing address after separation.

When Do You Get it?

Typically, the Department of Defense issues the form at the final out-processing appointment before a service member’s retirement or separation. Veterans utilize the DD 214 document to verify their time in service, making it an essential piece of documentation used for VA disability benefits and retirement.

How to Get a Certified Copy of the DD 214 Form

There are several methods to request a certified copy of the DD 214 form.

  • The veteran can request a copy online by visiting the National Archives website.
  • Mail the DD 214 form request with the Standard Form 180 to

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Ave.
St. Louis, Missouri, 63132-5100.

  • Request a DD 214 copy from the veteran’s losing unit’s orderly room or command support staff.
  • Request information through the veteran’s VA fiduciary.
  • Request an electronic copy from the VA eBenefits website.
  • Fax the DD 214 form request with the Standard Form 180 to the National Personnel Records Center (314) 801-9049.

Can I Get Mesothelioma VA Benefits Without a DD 214?

Additional documentation will be required when filing for military benefits due to asbestos exposure. For example, a veteran will likely need the DD 214, private medical records, and VA treatment history. There is legal compensation for survivors of veterans who died due to service-related mesothelioma. If the veteran had not filed a VA disability claim before the passing, the survivor must include the DD 214 form alongside the benefits request. If the veteran had filed for a disability claim, the claim form only needs the death certificate.

Fastest Way to Get Your Form

The time to receive a DD 214 will vary as there are thousands of requests a day. Therefore, the National Archives has a DD 214 expedited service. The National Archives states that there is no promise to accept the expedition, but they may give the application precedence if the case is justified. When submitting a replacement form, veterans should mention special circumstances that require faster processing. Particular circumstances could include documentation needed for schooling, health issues, or legal claims for veterans.

How to Replace Your Form

Veterans can request a replacement DD 214 form by going to the National Archives Veterans’ Service Records site or by sending the following information to the National Archives via mail or fax:

  • The current date
  • Service Request Number as shown on the website for the request
  • A signed declaration that reads, “I declare, certify, verify, or state under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the information that I provided on the website eVetRecs related to the service request number listed above is true and correct.”
  • State whether you are the veteran or next of kin and how you are related
  • Print and sign your name

How to Get a DD 214 for a Deceased Relative

If a veteran is deceased, the next of kin can request a DD 214 form through the National Archives website. There is an online order form on the website that the next of kin should fill out with their signature and other required documents. Steps to obtain a deceased relative’s DD 214 include but are not limited to:

  • Go to the National Archives Website and click “Start Form Online.”
  • The next of kin should fill out the three drop boxes accordingly.
  • Detail the veteran’s service details and personal information.
  • Show proof of the death of the veteran, i.e., a copy of the death certificate
  • When the form asks you what type of documents you request, type in “DD 214.”
  • Print out the form. Then, sign and date in the verification section.
  • Fax the signed and dated form to the National Personnel Records Services at (314) 801-9195 or mail the form with your return address to:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Ave.
St. Louis, Missouri, 63132-5100.