How Do You Obtain a Certificate of Military Service?
A military service certificate, known by many other names such as nonmilitary affidavits or active duty verification, is essential to military members despite their active or inactive status. It also protects any active service member from being pursued legally while serving their country.
A certificate of military service is as it says: proof of kindness performed to the military that can be requested for several reasons, including legal and financial reasons. Obtaining military verification is simple if you know the steps you need.
What routes are available to verify military service?
There are two main routes to take in verifying military service. First, you can go through the appropriate channels on the Defense Department Manpower Center or DMDC website, but the website is only useful if you have the Social Security Number tied to the service member whose records you need, and that information is not open to the general public. In an event where you may need to verify another person’s military status, the DMDC becomes impossible to use without a social security number.
Hypothetically, you may have the other service member’s date of birth, but do not have the individual’s social security number: you will receive a certificate anyway, but that certificate will come with a disclaimer that clearly states that the information provided is not reliable. If you needed to verify military service for any kind of legal action, you can imagine this would not hold up well in a courtroom. To sum it up easily: If you are an individual claiming benefits on behalf of a servicemember or a litigant seeking legal action on a member of the military, and you do not have the individual’s Social Security number or date of birth, then using the DMDC is not an option for you.
The other way to obtain records of individual military service records for those who are no longer on active duty and veterans who have been completely discharged with no further reserve commitments is to go through the National Personnel Records Center or the NPRC. The NPRC stores records of those who have been removed from active duty and individuals who have retired or passed away. Often, descriptions of these events are passed to the NPRC within a period of six months.
However, if you are not the individual released from active duty or their next-of-kin, being able to obtain verification of military service becomes tricky. It all depends on the date of separation from the military: Personnel records are only open to the public 62 years after the individual is discharged or retired. If it has been more than 62 years since, these records can be ordered online by anyone for a small fee.
For individuals who need records of someone that left active duty less than 62 years ago, these records are strictly kept and only limited information is released to the general public within the provisions of the law.
The easier and much faster route is to use the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service or SCRACVS.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
Formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a federal law that protects all military members from being sued or otherwise oppressed by legal means while in active duty in the service of their country, and for up to a year after they complete their active military duty.
Generally, a court will require a litigant to provide some sort of proof that the individual they intend to pursue in a legal matter is not on any kind of active duty before any kind of legal action is taken. Legal actions like home foreclosures, evictions, garnishments or judgements are not allowed to be taken against individuals on active military service under the SCRA.
The SCRA, being a federal law, outlines extra privileges and rights that are afforded to active-duty servicemembers, but does not offer any kind of blanket immunity to legal or financial action. The SCRA’s main purpose is to make sure that any member of the military, from the Air Force to the NAVY, is given a fair chance to defend themselves against any legal or financial claims made against them while they are away on active duty.
Obtaining a certificate of military service
Anyone working with any active-duty service members or those on active service will often choose SCRACVS because of the ease of use and faster response time. So how does one actually go about obtaining their certificate of military service?
The site is free to the public and you start by providing some basic information. SCRACVS will do a records check using identifying information, including name, address, birth date, phone numbers, personnel records, and more. Through this info, SCRACVS can provide military status verification or an affidavit of due diligence that is accepted by courts. The request is processed, and the website will give the SCRA certificate that states the active-duty status of the individual. The affidavit will include dates of service but will only provide information on any military personnel discharged from active duty in the last 367 days.
SCRACVS is also great to use when searching for service records. When SCRACVS completes these military records check by using simple identifying information that is easily available and can rely on simple details like name, date of birth, etc.
The service for searching military service records is often quick and easy if you have the required information. Suppose an individual needs their records to defend themselves against a litigant. In that case, often, time is money, and after you sign up for a free account on the SCRA website, you can immediately start your process of ordering a military service verification and get those results in 24 hours. The fees for this process are also reasonable, and there are discount rates for batch customers.
The general public can access military records when they submit a completed Form 180. In that form, an individual will have to provide some information, including the name of the service member, their service number or Social Security number, the dates of service and their date of birth. This completed form can be sent via either mail or fax to the National Personnel Records Center.
Typically, more detailed information can be given via request to next-of-kin: the information provided includes many records such as dates of service, rank, and location of where the individual was stationed.
Verifying military service is usually swift, but sometimes, if not done through SCRACVS, can take up to 10 business days.
SCRACVS is the best way to verify military services for anyone seeking court judgments, collections, or repossessions against an individual.
SCRA laws apply to most financial and property concerns, including rental agreements, evictions, credit card rates, mortgages, automobile leases, health insurance, etc. The SCRA does not offer immunity from these processes but instead protects servicemembers from being unable to defend themselves against any legal action taken against their person while serving their country.
If you are ever in a position where you must verify military status for others, SCRACVS is the best option.