One of the most important forms you’ll need to get the VA loan process started is Form DD-214. The DD-214 is known as the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and is used to prove a Veteran’s military service. Issued when an active duty military member separates from service, Form DD-214 is used by the VA to determine your home loan eligibility.
Why Do Lenders Need a DD-214?
Before approving you for a VA home loan, a lender needs to verify your eligibility. Form DD-214 is used by the lender to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, or COE. This document details the nature of your military service and states what kind of VA loan entitlement you have. Usually, the DD-124 is all a lender needs to obtain your COE.
Though your lender can easily obtain your COE, you can also get it on your own through the VA’s eBenefits portal.
I’m Active Duty - Can I Get a VA Loan Without a DD-214?
Active duty service members will not have a DD-214 but can still be eligible for a VA home loan. Proof of military service will still need to be supplied to the lender in lieu of the discharge forms. A statement of service signed by the personnel office, senior officer’s assistant (adjutant) or unit commander can be used for this purpose. The statement of service must include the following details:
- Your full name, date of birth and social security number
- Entry date on active duty and duration of any lost time
- The name of the command providing the information
Want to know more about which forms you may need? Visit our page on VA Loan Eligibility.
Where Do I Get DD Form 214?
Most Veterans will have their DD-214 from when they separated from the military, but there are ways to obtain the form if it can’t be obtained for any reason. You can request a free copy of your DD-214 through the National Archives. The DD-214 comes in multiple copies that have different levels of information, and your lender will let you know which copy of the form they need (typically the Member 4 copy).
Veterans who separated from active duty between 1950 and 1979 will only have a single copy of the DD-214. Those who were discharged prior to this time will have a different set of documents to provide. In addition, some surviving spouses may use their Veteran’s DD-214 to expedite the VA home loan process.
What About National Guard and Reserve Veterans?
National Guard and Reserve Veterans who have been on Federal active service will be provided with a DD-214. If you’re a National Guard Veteran who did not receive a DD-214, you’ll need to provide either NGB Form 22 (Report of Separation and Record of Service) or NGB Form 23 (Retirement Points Accounting). Reserve Veterans can supply a copy of their latest annual retirement points statement, along with evidence of honorable service.
Your Trusted Source for VA Home Loans
At SoCal VA Homes, we are proud to work exclusively with military Veterans. It’s our way of honoring those who serve our country. Every step of the VA home loan process — from DD-214 to purchase contract and beyond — is expertly handled by our team of Veterans helping Veterans. Contact us to get started today!