1. COVID-19 NOTICE: How will the current COVID-19 pandemic affect the retrieval of my record?
Most record facilities are open, but are experiencing delays due to significantly reduced staffing. The government processes DD214 requests in the order they were received on a first-come, first-served basis. The processing queue is getting longer by the hour. The longer you wait, the longer it will take them to send you your DD214 (possibly by weeks or months). The sooner you order your DD214, the sooner you will receive it. Secure your place in the queue by ordering your DD214 today.
last updated - 2021-02-20 14:49:16
2. I need my DD214 in a hurry, yesterday if possible. Can ezDD214.com help me?
We will submit your Request to the appropriate government records repository quickly, efficiently - and to the right facility, first time. However, it is the Government that does the processing of your request and once they have finished, they'll ship your records to you.
While the Government usually provides copies of service records - after several weeks or months - as a free service, you may find that you require prompt return and/or more extensive research assistance. You may want to hire an independent researcher. For this personal service, most of the research companies charge about ninety bucks. But, if you need your record fast, for a job, VA Guaranteed Loan or other benefit, an expedited service may be well worthwhile.
A qualified, experienced researcher will physically go to the record center and, with your written authorization in-hand, and acting as your agent, retrieve your records for you in person. That’s the BIG difference, and the service that you’ll definitely want when you need your DD214 promptly.
So far, we have identified only two (2) prominent firms on the National Archives Independent Researcher List that specialize in acquiring DD214s and 201 files from multiple records repositories nationwide, acquiring these records in person with researchers based at or near the respective research facilities.
Our Choices, In Order of Preference:
Touchstone Research Group (click here) (HINT, if your record is at NPRC Although they also provide same day, overnight and 2nd day service, if you're not in a hurry, order their one week option. Since, apparently, they process all their DD214s on receipt and to use their own words, they deliver "over 95% ... within 7 business days," most are delivered within one week anyway.) Incidentally, Touchstone is our parent company.
last updated - 2021-01-06 04:24:51
3. How can ezDD214.com help me to obtain a copy of my record faster than if I were to submit to the Government directly?
First, you have to know which records facility will maintain your record. Your record may be held at any one or more of more than a hundred different records centers. Then you'll have to acquire a copy of the Government's Standard Form 180, print it out, complete it, sign and mail or fax it to the appropriate facility.
ezDD214.com knows where your record is located. We submit your request to the correct facility first time. Certain records may be held at different locations during "transitional years." For these records, we'll immediately submit to multiple records repositories. With ezDD214, there's no need to print out, mail or fax your request. With our Patent Pending eSign technology, you can submit your request entirely online with one push of the button - and you'll receive a time-stamped receipt of your request's submission. All of this saves you time, money and worry.
last updated - 2010-02-15 16:39:52
4. How does ezDD214.com secure my personal information?
Identity theft is when your personal information is stolen and used illegally, to open accounts in your name. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America.
We know you have questions about how, internally, we keep your information safe. After all, we’re requesting your most personal information including your Social Security number. We understand, too, that completing an online transaction requires a great deal of trust. We take this trust very seriously and make it our highest priority to ensure the security and confidentiality of the information you provide. ezDD214.com uses industry-standard SSL (secure socket layer) technology to protect every interaction you have with us. For example, our competitors say they’ll email you your documents; we would NEVER send your information over the Internet in an unencrypted form. This is just one example of how we go the extra measure to protect your personal information.
ezDD214.com also uses strict physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard the confidentiality and security of the Personal Information you provide to us. ezDD214.com is certified compliant under the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards, and is tested daily for security vulnerabilities by ConrolScan. We conduct background checks on all of our employees.
Your personal information is stored on our servers and heavily guarded, both physically and electronically. All data is stored offsite in a secure data center. All of our facilities are built with the latest biometric security access as well as state-of-the-art surveillance and alarm systems. To further shield your information, we do not directly connect our firewall-protected servers to the internet.
Several of our competitors claim that they use PayPal as their credit card processor for “your” security. While we, too, accept PayPal payments, we can also process your payment directly and securely through our own merchant account. Almost anyone can establish a PayPal account, but the standard of credit-worthiness, reputation and trust is much greater in order to establish a merchant account.
Furthermore, your transactions with ezDD214.com are Bonded and Insured through BuySafe. BuySafe provides, also, an identity theft program as a part of your purchase – to further ease your concerns.
None of our competitors offers this level of protection.
Finally, ezDD214.com and our parent company Touchstone Research Group, LLC, processes more military record requests per week than all of our competitors combined. We have grown through our care and concern for our clients, satisfying our clients’ needs for the security of their personal information, and the efficient, expeditious delivery of their military records.
last updated - 2010-05-13 12:20:45
5. How quickly can I get my DD214?
Your records will be kept at one or more of well over 100 different government records repositories, each of which will have its own processing procedure - and processing times. The time in which the Government will process your request will vary by facility.
One difference in records facilities which will affect the amount of time in which your record is returned is the type of record maintained by that facility. More recent military records are kept in digital format and these facilities can generally return the record much faster, in only a week or two.
Older records are kept in physical format, i.e. paper, microfilm and microfiche. The request has to first be entered into the Government's computer system, and then a "puller" assigned to retrieve the record off the shelf. Depending on how quickly the request can be entered into the system (are there few or a lot of requests to be entered that day), the efficiency of the data entry clerk, how quickly a "puller" is assigned to retrieve the record, the "puller's" workload and efficiency, the record's physical location within the facility, and how thick the chart in which to manually locate the separation document, and then to copy it - all are variables that will effect retrieval times. And, since only one person can access one physical record at one time, if the record is off the shelf, it cannot be accessed until its return.
There are many reports on the Net that the Government is taking many weeks to perform record retrievals, with a backlog of two hundred thousand (200,000) requests. At this facility's stated receiving rate of 4,000 to 5,000 requests per day, you're talking a 40+ day backlog.
ezDD214.com will submit your request immediately to the appropriate Government records repository. The Government, however, may take from four (4) to six (6) weeks or longer to retrieve and ship you your record.
Other Delay Issues.
There are other issues that may make the location of your record difficult and possibly add delay to the retrieval of your records:
If you had a Service/Serial Number as your military ID, rather than your Social Security Number, and did not provide it, this will sometimes delay our retrieval of your record. Social Security Numbers began their use as military ID only in the late 1960s to early 1970s. If you had a Service/Serial Number as your military ID, generally there is no cross-reference from your Social Security Number. A Service/Serial Number becomes particularly important when your surname is not uncommon. A Service/Serial Number number will greatly increase the likelihood of a successful record retrieval.
The NPRC, the single largest records repository, suffered a catastrophic fire in 1973. For more on the fire, visit: http://dd214.us/nprc_73fire.html. If your record was affected by the fire, additional time will most likely be required to locate your record, if it can be found at all. If your record cannot be found, NPRC will attempt to do a reconstruction of your record based on other available sources - all of which will add time, possibly months, to your record's retrieval.
If your record is at NPRC, a physical record facility (generally pre-1995 separations), if you've placed a prior order with that facility, the retrieval of your record will most likely be delayed. When your record is removed from the shelf, it becomes inaccessible to anyone else until its return. After the NPRC has finished with the chart, it will be placed in a re-shelving area where it may languish another week or two before it can be reprocessed.
Again, for records at NPRC, a government agency may have requested the chart. If the you have filed a VA claim, for example, the chart may have been pulled. Again, your record cannot be accessed until it is re-shelved.
The information provided by you may have been incomplete and/or incorrect.
last updated - 2016-07-27 01:00:37
6. Can I access my DD214 Online?
Your DD214 is NOT a “public record,” and therefore it is NOT available through any public records search, service or database. Your DD214 is a private record, protected by the Privacy Act. As such, the facility which holds your record will REQUIRE your written authorization before releasing this document. Unfortunately, the online “public” records search database services fail to make this fact clear, and you’ll pay them for a service which cannot access or acquire your DD214 for you.
But, once we have your signed Request Form and submit it to the appropriate Government records repository - the Government will process your request and - barring any difficulty - ship you two certified hardcopies.
last updated - 2010-02-15 15:19:24
7. What is a DD214?
DD-214 - Department of Defense Form 214
Your DD214 is perhaps the most important document you can acquire. It substantiates your military service and is used to establish your eligibility for benefits such as VA Home Loans, tuition assistance, VA medical care, employment preference, retirement, spousal benefits, additional Social Security payments, membership in veterans' organizations, and many others.
The term "DD-214" is often used generically to mean "separation papers" or "discharge papers," no matter what form number was used to document active duty military service. The term has, also, a specific technical meaning: it is a Report of Separation from Active Duty. For non-active duty, Reservists are issued either an Order of Separation or a Letter of Separation. The NGB22 is the standard National Guard separation document.
The report of separation form issued in most recent years for separations from active duty is the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Before January 1, 1950 (the creation of the Department of Defense, August 10, 1949), several similar forms were used by the military services to denote military separations including the WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, and the NAVCG 553. WD - War Department. AGO - Adjutant General's Office. NAVPERS - Navy Personnel. NAVMC - Navy - Marine Corps. NAVCG - Navy - Coast Guard.
last updated - 2020-11-06 10:11:42
8. Who can obtain a copy of a veteran's DD214?
A veteran's military records are protected by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a (the Privacy Act or the Act). During the veteran's lifetime, only the veteran can access his or her records - unless, of course, you have a Power of Attorney, Legal Guardianship, Executorship or other legal appointment.
If the veteran is deceased, then the law permits the next-of-kin to access the veteran's records. Next-of-kin is statutorily defined as father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter or un-remarried surviving spouse. You will also have to provide proof of death such as a copy of the death certificate, an obituary or a letter from your funeral director.
If the veteran is incapacitated, the records facility will require a copy of your Power of Attorney, Legal Guardianship or other legal authority which authorizes you to act on the veteran's behalf.
If you are not the next of kin of a deceased veteran, or the veteran him/herself, you can still obtain certain information concerning a veteran under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). You should provide as much information regarding the veteran and indicate on the Request Form that you are requesting the information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.
If the separation occurred more than 62 years ago, the record falls into the public domain and no specific permission is required in order to access the record. However, even if a file meets archival dates, if the record is to be used for "Benefits", the signature of the next-of-kin will be required.
last updated - 2010-02-15 14:00:00
9. Can I get a copy of Member 4?
We get this all the time. There are eight (8) original DD214s. Member 1 (the short or deleted form) and Member 4 (the long or undeleted form) are offered to the service member at separation. Generally, once they are issued, they are gone forever.
If the service member requires another copy, then he/she can acquire a copy of only one of the other remaining originals, usually a copy of the original maintained by the service branch itself, usually a copy of Service 2, Service 7 or Service 8. Rarely will the service branch keep a Member 4 or Member 1 copy, since they have their own copies. If it's there, that's the copy we'll provide.
All of the eight original DD214s are identical, except for Member 1 - the "short" or "deleted" form. The remaining seven long forms includes another 1.5 inches at the bottom which provides information concerning the service member's characterization of service, narrative reason for separation, legal reference (authority) for separation, separation and re-entry codes. The short form does NOT contain this important information - hence employers want the long form (which are all identical original DD214s EXCEPT for Member 1).
For more detailed information on DD214 issuance, the DoD and Army Regs can be found at http://dd214.us
The eight copies are distributed as follows:
Copy 1 – Service Member
Copy 2 – Service Personnel File
Copy 3 – United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Copy 4 – Member (if initialed in Block 30)
Copy 5 – United States Department of Labor
Copy 6 – State Director of Veteran Affairs
Copy 7 & 8 – Distributed in accordance with Military Service Dept directions
Anyone who has worked with DD214 for any appreciable amount of time knows this. If a member loses his Member 4 for whatever reason, or never received it in the first place, what is he to do? Well, he comes to us and we get him a certified copy of one of the other remaining originals. These copies have the full legal force and effect as the original Member 4.
last updated - 2010-02-15 14:07:18
10. Can I get a deleted DD214, the short form?
The only difference between the undeleted and deleted version of DD214 is the bottom 1.5 inches of the long form. The DD214 is designed so that all you have to do is move that section, the bottom 1.5 inches, off the copier (or cover it over with a blank piece of paper) - and you have the deleted DD214 (the short form).
Be forewarned, though. Any employer who is familiar with DD214 will always request the undeleted report of separation (the long form). If you give them the deleted version, that will suggest that you are trying to hide something. If you do have something that you may wish wasn't noted, generally you'll be better off explaining the situation rather than trying to conceal it.
last updated - 2010-01-13 13:17:32
11. Can I get a DD214 for my Reserve Service?
DD in the term DD214 stands for Department of Defense Form 214. In addition, DD214s are issued for ELS (Entry Level Separation - "I was ELSed"), Basic Training, discharges for other reasons - see the Department of Defense regulations at:
I'm now quoting from the DoD regs:
"The term "Military Services," as used here, refers to DODI 1336.1, January 6, 1989 2 the Army, Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps and, by agreement with the Department of Transportation, to the Coast Guard."
"2.2. Its provisions include procedures on the preparation and distribution of DD Forms 214, 214-ws, and 215 (enclosures 1, 2, and 3) which record and report the transfer or separation of military personnel from a period of active duty."
DD214s are NOT issued, generally, for separations for reserve service.
Different branches of the military reserves issue separation documents that are titled something other than DD-214. Reserve separation documents are commonly in the form of either Orders of Separation or a Letter of Separation. The USMCR will issue a Points Summary to substantiate service. National Guard separation documents are called NGB22.
The Government will attempt to ship to you all of the documents you have requested.
last updated - 2010-02-15 14:09:37
12. What is a Certification of Military Service, and why did I receive that instead of my DD214?
The Certification of Military Service (NA Form 13038) is a legally valid equivalent and a perfect legal substitute for DD214 - for all purposes.
On July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at NPRC (MPR) destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. The affected record collections are described below.
Branch Personnel and Period Affected Estimated Loss
Army Personnel discharged November 1, 1912, to January 1, 1960 80%
Air Force Personnel discharged, September 25, 1947, to January 1, 1964 (with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.) 75%
No duplicate copies of the records that were destroyed in the fire were maintained, nor was a microfilm copy ever produced. There were no indexes created prior to the fire. In addition, millions of documents had been lent to the Department of Veterans Affairs before the fire occurred. Therefore, a complete listing of the records that were lost is not available. Nevertheless, NPRC (MPR) uses many alternate sources in its efforts to reconstruct basic service information to respond to requests.
To read more about the fire, visit: http://www.dd214.us/nprc_73fire.html
Your records may have been included in the affected group. NPRC will also issue a Certification of Military Service whenever the original record - for whatever reason - is unavailable or unusable and when the veteran's basic service information can be verified through other official sources.
In such circumstances, NPRC will issue the Certification of Military Service - the document which was provided.
last updated - 2010-02-15 14:10:35
13. What is an OMPF (201 File)?
The Official Military Personnel Files held by the Government, sometimes referred to as a 201 File or OMPF, hold the stories of millions of individuals who defended our nation throughout the many wars of the 20th century. The army calls its OMPF folder Form 201, which is now the popular term for all military personnel folders - "the 201 file."
The most common OMPF container is a stiff 12-by-9½-inch brown file folder. Many of the folders from the past quarter-century contain microfiche images of the personnel documents that were sent to NPRC either in place of the original paper records or with them. OMPFs held by NPRC, a physical records facility, reside in hundreds of thousands of cubic-foot cardboard boxes on 11-foot-high shelves in immense storage areas.
OMPFs will vary widely in their contents, sometimes containing information in minutia, other-times missing vital documents. It may contain medical records such as physical evaluations and outpatient records. It may also contain personal information such as home of record, and awards documents. They typically contain such documents as enlistment contracts, duty locations, performance evaluations, award citations, training records, and the especially important Report of Separation (DD Form 214 or earlier equivalent).
Typically, an OMPF contains one or more of the following:
A typical U.S. Air Force OMPF from recent years.
DA 1059s, Service School Academic Evaluation Reports
SGLV 8286, SGLI Election and Certificate
NCOERs and OERs, Evaluation Documents
Complete OMPFs are available for more than 34 million veterans, plus several million more partial files and supplemental records regarding individual military service. Most folders that were retired before the early 1990s also include records of routine physical exams and outpatient medical and dental treatment. Such health records now go directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Your OMPF is an important document for former service members to maintain, as the documents contained within it are important for access to benefits such as the VA Loan and the GI Bill.
last updated - 2010-02-15 14:12:33
14. Can I get a replacement DD256 (the Wall Certificate)?
Yes! Simply order it!
You might consider your DD256 as your Diploma, the item that you frame and hang on your wall, and your DD214 as your transcript - the document that indicates in greater detail what you've achieved in your military career.
The DD256s (the wall certificates) are no longer re-issued by the military.
However, if you never received your Discharge Certificate, it may be located within your 201 file. Originally your Discharge Certificate was mailed to you at your Home of Record. If the Post Office returned it, then the military may retire it, placing it with your personnel file. If you place an order for a DD214, or a copy of your complete file, we will also automatically send you your original Discharge Certificate, if it is within your file.
Unlike a DD214, the DD256 has no legal authority. Touchstone, however, will generate a new VERIFIABLE DD256 for you from the information contained within your DD214 including Rank, Grade, Discharge Date, and the name of the officer who signed your DD214.
Simply add it to your DD214 order.
last updated - 2020-11-06 10:13:12
15. Will I get a refund if the Government cannot find my record?
Once you have submitted your request, it will be automatically submitted to the Government records facility most likely to maintain the records you have requested. Our service, then, is complete so no refund is possible.
We do not issue your documents. We help you submit your Request as your authorized Agent, in an efficient manner. Please read our Terms of Service. In brief, ezDD214.com is not responsible for any delays, errors or omissions which may arise in both our delivery of your Request to the appropriate Government records repository(ies), and/or in the Government’s response. Likewise, we are also not responsible for any delays resulting from errors or omissions in the information which you have provided within your Request.
last updated - 2010-03-05 11:10:10
16. What do I do if I'm having some technical problems accessing my account?
Usernames and passwords are cASe SensITIve, a mix of BIG and small letters that must match exactly. A copy and Paste will usually correct any error.
Your username is your e-mail address including the @domain.com part, all lower case.
If you've forgotten your password, you can use the forgotten password feature and our system will send you a new password.
last updated - 2010-02-15 14:34:11
17. The copy quality is very poor. How can I get a better quality copy of my record?
We frequently get comments regarding the quality of the copies.
The military branches have microfilmed/microfiched the original documents. The records repositories send you a copy off that copy. If the quality of microfilm/microfiche is poor, the copy will be exact - a precise copy of a poor microfilm/microfiche. Since the records repository can NOT improve the original without administrative action, you are getting the best available copy.
The various records repositories are well aware of this issue but have no control over the quality of the documents provided to them by the military branches. The fact that your documents have been certified attests to the fact that they are, indeed, the best available copies.
last updated - 2010-02-15 14:56:47
18. How can I check on the status of my order?
ezDD214.com is a submission service only. Once we get confirmation of our submission to the appropriate Government records repository, we will note that on your Order. You can login to your account at any time and review our annotations on your case.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-579), Government records repositories cannot release personal information without the prior written consent of the individual to whom those records relate. Consequently, since we only submit your request for you, an employee of ezDD214.com cannot discuss the details of your Request with the Government records repository. Therefore, after ezDD214.com has submitted your Request, you must undertake any follow-up or status check directly with the facility(ies) itself/themselves.
For Records at NPRC
Here are NPRC's instructions on how you can check your order's status:
"Once you have allowed sufficient time for us to receive and process your request (about 10 days), you may check the status of your request by e-mail through our NPRC Customer Service Center at https://www.archives.com/st-louis/forms. Please provide the request number if you have one, the name, address and phone number of the requester, and the veteran's branch of service to aid us to finding your request in our system. You will receive a return e-mail from us with a projected completion date for your request.
You may also telephone the NPRC Customer Service Line (this is a long-distance call for most customers): 314-801-0800
Note: Our peak calling times are weekdays between 10:00 am CST and 3:00 pm CST. Staff is available to take your call as early as 7:00 am and as late as 5:00 pm cst.
This number will allow you to hold until a technician is available to help you."
Records at Other Facilities
For the same reason, you would have to contact the appropriate agency directly.
Thank you for choosing ezDD214.com for your document research needs.