Military members have access to a life insurance plan known as SGLI. Retired or separated members can convert this plan to VGLI or Veterans' Group Life Insurance.

Issues Converting your SGLI to VGLI

Using your DD214 to convert your group life insurance

People in uniform have access to a military life insurance plan known as SGLI or Servicemembers Group Life Insurance. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, this low-cost insurance is available to, "active duty, ready reservists, members of the National Guard, members of the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Public Health Service, cadets and midshipmen of the four service academies, and members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps."

What all of these people have in common is that one day they will all retire or separate from military or DoD service. When military members retire or separate, they get a copy of their DD214 and the option to convert their SGLI to a post-service plan known as Veterans' Group Life Insurance or VGLI.

Why do you need a copy of your DD214 to make this conversion?

There are two basic reasons---one has to do with your eligibility to convert to VGLI as a retired or separated military member. The other has to do with the timing of your conversion to VGLI.

There's a time limit on when you may convert from SGLI to VGLI. Veterans have one year and 120 days from the final service date listed on the DD Form 214 to make the conversion.

Servicemembers who apply to convert their SGLI to VGLI within 120 days of the separation date listed on the DD214 don't have to provide evidence of good health. If you apply electronically you may not need a copy of your DD214, but those who file by mail must submit a copy of the DD Form 214 as part of the conversion process. (See the Department of Veterans official site for more information on how to file by mail or electronically)

Those who wait longer than 120 days must submit such evidence. If you need to use VA facilities to do so, you'll be required to supply your DD214 in order to get an exam, any required treatment, etc.

If you've lost your DD214 and need a replacement, it is crucial to request a replacement copy as soon as possible from the National Archives at

According to the National Archives official site, requests for replacement DD214 paperwork can take up to ten days to process. You may wait as long as six to eight weeks for a replacement copy to arrive. This can affect your 120-day deadline for converting to VGLI without the need for evidence of good health.

Send all requests to the National Archives National Personnel Record Center or NPRC. You can fax a request to the NPRC at (314) 801 9195. Be sure to read the instructions for submitting a request before sending any paperwork to the NPRC.

Get detailed instructions for requesting a replacement copy of your DD214 here.