DMDC Active Duty Military Searches and Verification Provided by Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service

What Is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects military personnel from various court actions, including evictions and repossessions. It can come into play with issues such as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, domestic relations cases, and income tax payments.

The SCRA covers those who are recently retired from the military as well as those on active duty. It also protects reservists, members of the National Guard called to active duty and sometimes dependents of military members as well (such as in the case of evictions).

The idea behind this law is that servicemembers should be able to perform their duties in the field without having to worry about personal matters at home, such as making car payments.

Because of these protections, plaintiffs who file suit against debtors must deliver a military verification to the court.  This is a document that says whether the defendant is a servicemember. The court wants to know if the person is on active duty.  If they are not, the case can go forward. But if they are, the correct steps must be taken so the servicemembers’ SCRA rights are not violated.

The 6 Percent Rule

One of the most widely known benefits under the SCRA is the servicemembers’ right to an interest rate of 6 percent. This rate applies to car loans, mortgages, credit card balances and any other type of loan. Servicemembers may be entitled to this special lower rate for up to one year after termination of active duty.

How does the 6 percent interest rule work?

Military personnel are supposed to send letters to lenders requesting a reduction in their interest rate. They should also include a copy of their military orders. If lenders do not comply with the request, they may be found in violation of the SCRA. Violations can cost lenders millions in fines and restitution. And although the law puts the onus on the servicemember to inform the lender of the change, in practice, many lenders are proactive to alert servicemembers of possible benefits under the SCRA.

Lenders should conduct regular searches to determine if any of their customers have gone on active military duty. However, any contracts or agreements servicemembers enter into after being called to active duty are generally not eligible for SCRA protections (but the Military Lending Act may come into play ) See Section 207, SCRA.

Delay of Court and Administrative Proceedings

The SCRA allows active duty servicemembers who can’t appear in court due to their military duties to postpone the case. Servicemembers should make the request in writing, specifying how their military duty affects their ability to appear. They should also tell the court when they will be able to appear. This should be accompanied by a letter from their commanding officer, attesting to the veracity of their statement. If the court denies the delay, it must appoint the servicemember a lawyer. (See Section 202, SCRA)

Termination of Leases

The SCRA allows active duty servicemembers who receive orders for a permanent change of station or a deployment for 90 days or more to break leases without penalty. This rule includes leases for automobiles in cases when the PCS is outside of the continental U.S. or when deployment is for 180 days or more.

Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent

Although the SCRA does not excuse soldiers from paying rent, it may provide some relief. Landlords must get a court order to evict a military member or their dependents. The court will consider whether the servicemember’s military service has materially affected their failure to pay. If it is, the court may stay the eviction when the military member or their dependents request it. The stay is usually three months.

Default Judgment Protection

If the court enters a default judgment against a servicemember during their term of active duty or 60 days thereafter, the SCRA allows the servicemember to reopen it and set it aside. However, the servicemember must show that their service prevented them from showing up in court.

Life Insurance Protection

The SCRA also allows servicemembers to request deferment of certain commercial life insurance premiums and other payments during military service and for two years after. If the Department of Veterans Affairs approves the request, the United States will guarantee the payments, the policy shall continue in effect and the servicemember will have two years after the period of military service to repay all premiums and interest. The SCRA increases the amount of insurance this program will cover to either $250,000 or the maximum limit of the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance.(See Section 401, SCRA)

Need a Military Status Search Completed?

If you need to verify military service records to find out if an individual is in active duty, click the link below to begin placing an order with us. We conduct active duty military searches in compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and offer affidavits upon request attesting to the military records we find. In the case where you are searching for an alternative military service record, you may need to reach out to a local Veteran’s Affairs office. If you have any other questions on how to request military records, feel free to reach out via our contact us page and we will respond as soon as possible!


The DMDC, or Defense Manpower Data Center, serves to keep records of military servicemembers and their family members for the purpose of benefit entitlement. For SCRA purposes, the DMDC is where you are able to verify is someone is on active duty at a given date.

 You can submit a search with an individual’s name and social security number or date of birth, as well as a status-as-of date, and the DMDC will search for records of active duty for this individual within 367 days prior to the given date. If the individual is found to have been on active duty on the given date or on any date in the prior 367 days, or has been notified of call-up to active duty prior to the given date, the DMDC certificate will indicate the beginning of active duty and end of active duty if available. If no records are found, the certificate will indicate that no records matching the given information were found in the database.

 The DMDC certificate shows whether records were found in any of the three categories: was the individual on active duty on the given status date, has the individual left active duty within 367 days prior to the given status date, and was issued a notice to report to active duty at a future date, known as an EID (Early Identification Date). Within each category, the certificate indicates the status, and, if a record was found, the start and end dates of active duty if available as well as the service component.

Many military documents are held from public record. If you are not sure whether or not you can access a military record, try reaching out to your local veteran’s affairs for more insight. However, if you are seeking an individual’s active duty status, there are options. To gain access to someone’s military active duty status you will need either a date of birth or a social security number when going through the DMDC. If you are required by a court to verify military status of an individual, but do not have access to their DOB or SSN, you can use services like SCRACVS.

The DMDC is part of the Department of Defense. Currently the director of the DMDC is Michael V. Sorrento (as of 12/29/2022).

There are free and paid options to search someone’s active duty status, with benefits to both. While there is no cost associated with going directly through the DMDC, by using services like Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, you are not required to have a SSN or DOB to complete the verification. In addition, the DMDC does not offer military affidavits, unlike the alternative SCRACVS which prepares them upon order.