How Do I Get a Replacement DD214

There are several reasons why veterans might need to get a replacement DD214. Maybe they lost the copy they were given when they were discharged, or perhaps the original copy is damaged or illegible? We will run-down the various ways to request a replacement DD214, depending on whether the original has been lost or damaged or destroyed.

You Lost your Copy and Need a Replacement DD214 to Apply for a VA Loan etc.?

This one is nothing to worry about. When the military was preparing to discharge you from active duty, they created your DD214 and made 8 copies of it. Copies 2 through 8 are all identical, long-form copies of the DD214. They all contain exactly the same information, including your Reentry Code, Separation Code, Character of Service, and Narrative Reason for Separation. The copies are given different numbers to denote where the military is sending them–copy 2 is placed into your permanent Military Personnel File, Copy 4 is given to the service member, and the other copies are split between various state and federal agencies (like the VA). So if you need to locate a replacement DD214 because you lost yours, all you need to do is contact either the VA, or the military service branch, to get a copy of the DD214 that they have on-file. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, keeps copies of all military personnel files that aren’t maintained by the military. If the Marine Corps or USAF doesn’t have your DD214, it will be at the NPRC.

You Need a Replacement DD214 Because the Original is Lost, Damaged or Destroyed

This is a bigger problem. If you have gone to the VA, the military service branch and the NPRC, and they have told you that your original DD214 is lost, damaged, or destroyed, then you truly do need to request a replacement DD214. These requests are handled by the Human Resources Command or Personnel Services Detachments of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps. Getting a replacement DD214 from the service can take anywhere from 6-18 months.
If your military personnel file is at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis you may have a faster option. The NPRC is authorized to create an official document, called a Certification of Military Service, which can be used as a legal replacement for lost, damaged or illegible DD214’s. If you are in a bind and need a replacement DD214 quickly, to apply for a loan, or to seek medical treatment, your best bet is apply for a replacement DD214 through the NPRC. In many cases they can create the official, replacement DD214 within 4-6 weeks and you will be on your way. There are several DD214 expeditors in St. Louis, who may be able to visit the NPRC on your behalf, and get the replacement DD214 created even faster. The best advice is to keep your original copy of your DD214 safe and secure, so that it is always available for you when you most need it.

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