Proof of Service VA Loans

Proof of Service Requirements and the DD 214

The DD 214 form is a report of separation document that is commonly used when you are discharged from or leave the US military for at least 90 days of active duty service. If you’re thinking about applying for VA home loans, you will need to prove your eligibility by presenting a copy of this form to your lender.  

The simplest way to access your own DD 214 is to go through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) website. This site allows veterans to secure a copy of their own DD 214 for their personal records or for situations like applying for a VA home loan or getting some other kind of loan. Because the website allows you to work with the NPRC, it greatly accelerates the process of getting your DD 214. 

Once the VA has this form from you, they can use it to determine if you are eligible for a VA loan as well as your military status. It also provides other handy information for the loan process, like dates of duty, general discharge notes, military education and specialty, decorations, as well as any other separation data.

In the event that you can’t secure your DD 214, you can request military documents via http://www.ebenefits.va.gov or submit a SF-180 (Request Pertaining to Military Records) and send it to the appropriate address noted on the form. Remember, the SF-180 form is not intended to be sent to the VA.

Military Service and the DD-214

Veterans who separated from active duty before January 1, 1950 received different documentation, not the DD Form 214. They can still use this to prove their military service on their VA loan application, but it must indicate the character and length of their service. Any veterans who were discharged from military service following January 1, 1950 will have likely received their own DD Form 214. Those who separated from the military service after October 1, 1979 will need to present a Member 4 copy of the DD Form 214, including the reason for discharge and the character of service. 

Active Duty Veterans and the DD 214

Those veterans still considered on active duty will not be able to use a DD 214. Instead, they will need to obtain a statement of service signed by the commander, personnel officer, or adjutant of their unit or higher headquarters, or signed under their direction. 

Although no one standard form for such a statement of service is currently used throughout the military, your statement of service for use on your VA loan application will need to present the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your full social security number (SSN) or the last four digits
  • Your entry date on active duty
  • State your duration of lost time, if applicable
  • Give the name of the command supplying the information

The same terms above apply for both National Guard and Reserve members, with the exception that the statement must plainly show that the applicant is an "active" reservist, rather than in a control group (inactive status).

Separated Guard and Reserve Members

Because no form comparable to DD Form 214 exists for the Reserves of the National Guard, members who have been discharged can submit NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service. An applicant’s latest retirement points statement, which indicates the veterans level and length of participation, will also suffice.