Per §17.1-265 of the Virginia Code, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of the county or city wherein a person discharged from the armed forces of the United States resides shall record, upon presentation, free of charge, the original or a properly authenticated copy of either the discharge certificate or the report of separation from active duty (Department of Defense Document DD-214), or both.
The Historic Records Center is custodian of these records under the Fairfax Circuit Court.
Access to DD-214s
Discharge papers are subject to access restrictions.
Due to the confidential nature of discharge papers and reports of separation, access is granted to the following persons only (§17.1-265 of the Virginia Code):
The subject of the record;
The duly qualified guardian or conservator of the subject of the record;
The duly qualified executor or administrator of the estate of the subject of the record, if deceased, or, in the event no executor or administrator has qualified, the next of kin of the deceased subject;
An attorney, attorney-in-fact, or other agent or representative of any of the persons described in subdivision 1, 2 or 3, acting pursuant to a written power of attorney or other written authorization; or
A duly authorized representative of an agency or instrumentality of federal, state, or local government seeking the record in the ordinary course of performing its official duties.
Exceptions can be made to the above provisions; for more information, please review §17.1-265 of the Virginia Code.
Obtaining copies of DD-214s
To inquire whether the Historic Records Center holds a copy of your or a next-of-kin’s discharge papers, please call 703-246-4168 or email CCRHistoricRecords@fairfaxcounty.gov. The subject’s full name is required to search our records.
Both certified and non-certified copies of DD-214s can be made upon request.
For additional information regarding copies please visit the copies information page.
What if the Historic Records Center does not have my DD-214? The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the federal government’s repository for discharge papers (DD-214s) and reports of separation. You may request your DD-214 through a number of formats.
Click here for instructions for obtaining your discharge papers from NARA.