How to Find Your Father's DD 214

Keep genealogical records up to date with your father´s DD 214  discharge papers.
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As a child of someone who has served in the military, you have the right to obtain your father's DD214 form. When a military person is discharged a DD-214 form is issued. This form identifies the veteran´s condition of discharge, his time of entry into active duty and his time of release. There are several reasons a child may want this documentation. For example, he may want it when there is little information on an unknown father, or when seeking an AmVet, military or American Legion scholarship. As a surviving child of a military veteran, you have the right to access these forms, but you must have personal information regarding the veteran to start your search.


Gather important information like your father´s complete name, service number, social security number, dates of service and branch of service. You will also need the date and place of birth. If you do not have all of the information you may still solicit the documentation, but there is no guarantee of it being found. You will also need the place of discharge and the last unit of assignment, especially if you believe the records to have been in the 1973 fire.

Turn on your computer and navigate to the National Archives website (

Click on the "Launch the eVetRecs System to Start Your Request Online." Wait for the new window to pop-up.

Answer the questions about your relationship to the veteran. Enter the information requested that pertains to the veteran. Refer to the documents you gathered in Step 1 to enter this information.

Input the address where you want the documentation sent . Enter the information required to validate that you are the child of the veteran. You will need a valid ID and your birth certificate. You will need to scan these documents to attach and send electronically with the application. Write your name authorizing the solicitation of the DD214 and verifying the veracity of the information given. Expect to receive the DD214 in the mail within 2 to 4 weeks.

By Mail

Gather all of the personal information delineated in Step 1 of the first section to get all the information you need on your father.

Turn on the computer and open a web browser to navigate to the National Archives website ( and click on "Download Form SF-180" to mail or fax in that information.

Print out the form and fill out all the necessary information for both your father and yourself. Sign the document testifying that the information is true and correct. Mail the form to the National Personnel Records Center (See Resources) or fax in the form (314-801-9195.) Expect to receive the DD 214 within 10 to 30 days. Most orders are processed in 10 days, but the National Archives receives over 4,000 solicitations per day, so the process time may take slightly longer.

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