What If I Can’t Find My DD 214 For My VA Loan?

Veterans call us at Mister VA all the time asking: “How do I get a copy of DD214?” Turns out, lots of Veterans misplace the form. If you’re among them, keep in mind that not having the form is not the end of the world. A California VA Home Loan Specialist like Mister VA can help you order a replacement.

Before we explore how get a replacement, let’s define what a DD 214 is and what it’s used for:
A DD 214 (short for Defense Department 214) form is issued to military members upon retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty. Also called a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, this paperwork lists the details of the veteran’s status during the time they changed to inactive and if they left honorably or dishonorably.

DD 214 forms are a vital part of getting a VA loan for those applicants who are no longer in the military. They are required by the federal government in order to prove your qualification.

Remember that a Certificate of Release is not just for getting approved for a VA loan, so it’s generally a good idea to have yours accessible. You can use this paperwork to qualify for a variety of additional veteran benefits. Some good advice is to have a copy of the DD-214 recorded at your local county offices for your access anytime in the future. That way, instead of trying to replace it through the national records, it can be printed off of a county website.

There are different ways you can acquire this paperwork:

1. Veterans receive a copy of their DD 214 when they leave active duty. They get their form regardless of the circumstances behind their leaving.

2. If you are a spouse (note: you can’t be re-married), a parent, or a child or sibling of a veteran, you can get a copy of from either the National Archives or the U.S. Department of Defense.

If you did receive your DD 214 when you left active duty but have misplaced or lost it, you can also get a copy of it through the National Archives or the U.S. Department of Defense. For veterans, Certificate of Release copies are typically free of charge, although spouses and family might have to pay a nominal fee.

To request a copy, you will first need to fill out Standard Form 180 (also known as SF 180). You can download a copy of it HERE.

After you have filled out both sides of SF 180 you can then either fax or mail it to the address listed on the website above.

Once you have you DD 214, be sure to confirm that it has the following information:
• Your complete name during your time of service.
• Date of birth.
• Your specific service branch.
• The dates of your service.
• Your social security number.
• Your service number.

If you’d like to learn more about the getting the best deal on your VA mortgage, please contact Mister VA at (805) 389-0505. We help active service members and veterans get the VA benefits they’ve earned. Mister VA provides expert services that help you get approved for a VA home loan through the excellent benefits of a VA or CalVet loan. We assist you with the DD-214 and VA Form 26-1880 Certificate of Eligibility.