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Veterans Records

Requesting Military Records

Military personnel records can include DD 214s/Separation Documents, service personnel records found within the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), and medical Records. Military personnel records can be used for proving military service or as a valuable tool in genealogical research.

Please note that NPRC holds historical Military Personnel Records of nearly 100 million veterans. The vast majority of these records are paper-based and not available online. Learn More

Learn more at https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records

Emergency Requests and Deadlines

If your request is truly urgent (for example, upcoming surgery, a funeral, etc.) tell National Archives the nature of the emergency and your deadline in the "Comments" section of eVetRecs or in the "Purpose" section of the Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records.

Fax your request to the Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764.

Call customer service staff at 314-801-0800 if you have questions or require same-day service. Due to the large number of calls we receive at this number, hold times are often long. However, once you reach a technician, he or she will be happy to assist you with emergency service.

If your burial request involves interment 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. We work directly with the Veterans Affairs staff to obtain records to verify service for burial benefits. If the veteran is not going to be interred at a National Cemetery, the requester may fax the SF-180 or signature page from eVetRecs (including signature of the next of kin and proof of death) to the Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764.

NOTE: The 1973 Fire at the National Personnel Records Center damaged or destroyed 16-18 million Army and Air Force records that documented the service history of former military personnel discharged from 1912-1964. Although the information in many of these primary source records was either badly damaged or completely destroyed, often alternate record sources can be used to reconstruct the service of the veterans impacted by the fire. Sometimes we are able to reconstruct the service promptly using alternate records that are in our holdings, but other times we must request information from other external agencies for use in records reconstruction. In some instances, therefore, requests that involve reconstruction efforts may take several weeks to a month to complete.

Public Disclosure of DD214 / How to exempt a DD214 from Public Disclosure in Washington State

History: The 2002 Legislature passed ESHB 2453, exempting veterans' records from public disclosure. The law made the following changes to Washington State Law:

Veterans’ discharge papers filed with county auditors after June 30, 2002, are no longer public records. Discharge papers filed with county auditors prior to June 30, 2002, that are not commingled with other records are exempt from disclosure.

Discharge papers filed prior to June 30, 2002, that are commingled with other records are exempt from release to the public provided the veteran files a "request for exemption from public disclosure of discharge papers" with the county auditor.

County auditors may charge a basic recording fee and preservation fee, not to exceed $7 in total, to veterans who file this request. The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the Washington State Association of County Auditors will develop and distribute to county auditors the exemption form.

Veterans’ discharge papers may be released to the veteran, the veteran’s next of kin, a deceased veteran’s properly appointed personal representative or executor, a person holding the veteran’s general power of attorney, or anyone else designated in writing by the veteran to receive the records. County auditors will develop a form for requestors of military discharge papers to verify that the requestor is authorized to receive or view the military discharge papers.

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF DISCHARGE PAPERS /  RCW 42.17.310

What Discharge Papers Are Public?

Military discharge papers filed at the office of the county auditor before July 1, 2002 and that have been commingled with other recorded documents

What Discharge Papers Are Not Public?

Military discharge papers filed at the office of the county auditor before July 1, 2002, that have been commingled with other recorded documents that the veteran has recorded a "REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF DISCHARGE PAPERS" with the county auditor.

Military discharge papers filed prior to July 1, 2002 that are not commingled with other recorded documents

Military discharge papers filed after July 1, 2002

Who Can Access Records After Filing?

Upon recording the "REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF DISCHARGE PAPERS", only the veteran, the veteran's next of kin, a deceased veteran's properly appointed personal representative or executor, a person holding the veteran's general power of attorney, or anyone else designated in writing by the veteran to receive the records. The next of kin of deceased veterans have the same rights to full access to the record.

Who Is Considered Next Of Kin?

Next of kin are the veteran's widow or widower who has not remarried, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, and sister.

What Is The Filing Request Cost?

RCW 42.17.310 allows the county auditor to charge a basic recording fee and preservation fee that together shall not exceed a total of seven dollars ($7.00) for the recording of the "REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF DISCHARGE PAPERS"

How Is A Designee Assigned?

A veteran or a duly appointed representative may file a "REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE OF DISCHARGE PAPERS" designating an individual to have access and/or obtain copies of exempted military discharge papers. This form may be recorded with the County Auditor’s office or may be maintained by the veteran.

NOTE: An organization cannot be assigned as a designee

How Do I Get Access / Copy Of Exempt Discharge Papers?

A veteran, the veteran's next of kin, a deceased veteran's properly appointed personal representative or executor, a person holding the veteran's general power of attorney, or individuals designated, may submit a "REQUEST FOR Access / Copy of Exempt DISCHARGE PAPERS" to the county auditor in order to obtain access / copy of exempt discharge papers.

How Do I Change A Designee On Record?

A "REVOCATION and RE-DESIGNATION OF DISCLOSURE OF DISCHARGE PAPERS" designating the desired individual(s) to have access and/or obtain copies of exempted military discharge papers must be filed to remove any previously filed designees. This request may be recorded with the County Auditor’s office.