The VA Certificate of Eligibility
Why you may need your DD214
If you're thinking of buying a home with a VA home loan but have never purchased one before, you might be surprised at how early in the process you're required to use your DD214 to qualify for VA mortgage benefits. Unlike some military benefits you use after your career in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, the home buying process can come to a halt in the earliest stages of the paperwork if you don't have a DD form 214 ready to submit.
In order to qualify for a VA home loan, retired or separated service members must complete a certificate of eligibility and submit it to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
You can do this electronically by creating an account at the Veterans Information Portal and filling in the form electronically.
When you fill out the form online, you'll be required to enter a variety of information including the nature of the VA home loan you want plus your personal information including dates of service, your Social Security number and Guard/Reserve status if applicable.
For those who choose to complete a paper version of the certificate of eligibility application, the VA requires a paper copy of your DD214. If you use the online portal, you'll need to submit an electronic copy in the form of a scan, a digital photograph of the document with all fields legible, or a PDF copy. A scanned version is the easiest way to submit.
If you don't have a copy of the DD214 to submit, your application process comes to a halt and you can't be approved to proceed with a VA home loan application until you can demonstrate proof of service. That's why it's so important to request a replacement copy of the DD214 the moment you know it's missing or unavailable. Don't risk missing the chance to make on offer on a property you know is for sale for a lack of a DD214; request a replacement copy as soon as possible from the National Archives at www.archives.gov.
DD214 requests take up to ten days to process once they are received--some wait as long as six to eight weeks for their replacement DD Form 214 to arrive, and the National Archives official site reminds applicants that sending in your replacement request by FedEx or Express Mail does not speed up the actual processing-it simply gets the paperwork into the office faster.
Send all requests to the National Archives National Personnel Record Center or NPRC. Fax a request to the NPRC at (314) 801 9195 and don't forget to read the instructions for submitting a request before sending any paperwork to the NPRC.
You can find detailed instructions for requesting a replacement copy of your DD214 here.
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