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Military discharges are recorded in the Recorders office. The report of separation form issued in most recent years is called a DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
Military service organizations recommend recording the form to insure easy availability of a certified copy of this document in case the original is lost or destroyed.
Access to records by veterans, next-of-kin, or the veteran’s representative:
Veterans and next-of-kin of deceased veterans have the same rights to full access to the record. Next-of-kin are the non-remarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran.
Authorized third part requesters, e.g., lawyers, doctors, historians, may submit requests for information from individual records with the veteran’s (or next of kin’s) signed and dated authorization. All authorizations should specify exactly what the veteran (or next-of-kin) is allowing to be released to a third party. Authorizations are valid one year from date of signature.
Limited information is available to the general public. You are considered a member of the general public if you are asking about a veteran who is no relation to you, or a veteran who is a relative but you are not the next-of-kin.
Federal law [5 USC 552a (b)] requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed in cursive and dated within the last year.
Request for Release of Private Data
Since the DD214 contains private data, a Request for Release of Private Data form has been created to give express authority to the County Recorder /Veteran Services Officer to release a copy of the DD214. The form must be completed and all terms complied with BEFORE we release a copy of the DD214.
There is no charge for recording the DD214, and no charge for military personnel record information provided to veterans, next-of-kin and authorized representatives.
Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs
Ramsey County Veterans Services