Protecting Your Replacement
Consider Filing it at the County Clerk's Office
When a DD214 gets lost or misplaced, it can take two weeks or longer to get a replacement issued from the National Archives. Your DD214 contains valuable information that can help you with your VA healthcare benefits, GI Bill and other benefits, and it's a very good idea to develop a strategy to prevent losing access to that information in the future.
Once you get your DD Form 214 replacement in the mail from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, consider putting a copy of the DD214 on file with the County Clerk's office. This can help you in several ways-you may get faster access to state or local veteran's benefits or programs-but the most important thing is quick access to your DD214 should you need another replacement copy some time in the future.
If your replacement copy of the DD214 is destroyed in a fire, for example, you can quickly get a replacement copy by going to the County Clerk's office and requesting access to your records. This can help you avoid the two week (or more) wait to get yet another replacement from the National Archives.
Some worry about privacy issues when filing a copy of their military discharge paperwork with the county, but most states have passed privacy laws with regard to the DD214-in many states you must supply proof that you are the veteran or eligible next-of-kin or a legally appointed representative of the veteran before access to the DD214 is granted by the county.
You can view a complete list of state laws covering access restrictions to the DD214, thanks to the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers. The list is under the heading, Chart of State Law Access Restrictions.
If you want to register your discharge paperwork with the County Clerk's office in your state, review the laws beforehand to know what your protections are-an informed veteran is a protected veteran.
- Free vs. Fee Based DD214
- Request a New DD214
- Missing Your DD214?
- Replacements for Recently Retired or Separated Military
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