If you need a DD214 for VA Loan eligibility. The fastest way to get your DD214 is through the National Archives. You should never need a third-party service to help you.

Need A VA Home Loan?
Do You Have A Missing DD214?

Read this before you pay for a replacement!

Lost and missing DD Form 214 issues are common. They're so common that a small number of websites have sprung up over the years trying to take advantage of people desperate to get a replacement copy of their DD214 as quickly as possible.

"As quickly as possible" is usually the applicable phrase when a veteran wants to apply for VA loan eligibility and realizes that they won't be able to move forward on a house or a loan application until they find and submit a copy of their DD214.

For-a-fee DD214 sites claim to be run by veterans, for veterans, and promise to get DD214s back to the applicant in a hurry, which would seem to justify their fee. Don't believe the hype. A site run by actual veterans would tell you up front that there's no need for you to PAY for a replacement copy of your DD Form 214. An honest site would also let you know the National Archives normally responds to DD214 requests in ten days or less.

The ten day window is only an estimate and doesn't apply in many cases; a newly retired or separated military member might have to wait until their records leave the military base and are processed into the National Archives. The wait times in such situations may vary greatly—that ten-day processing estimate could be extended by several months.

And that's without a middleman agency taking extra time to process your request and charging you for something you could do yourself for free. One for-pay DD214 replacement web page offers to get you a replacement copy of your DD214 for $69, claiming that some websites charge as much as $125. Unfortunately some people find these for-a-fee sites before seeing the official website of the National Archives at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html. The truth is there in black and white--DD214 replacement copies are available at no charge to the veteran except when a specific processing fee is required.

According to the official site, “Military personnel and health record information is usually free for veterans, next-of-kin, and authorized representatives. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as possible.”

The bottom line? When you're preparing to apply for a VA home loan and discover you're in need of a replacement copy of your DD214, don't pay to get this accomplished through a third party. Go directly to the National Archives and put in your request. If there is a fee involved (true in some cases) you'll be notified as to the hows and whys.

For more information, call the National Personnel Records Center at the National Archives at 314-801-0800. This is not a toll-free call.