Military Discharge Papers (DD214s)

Dane County Vital Records records and provides free certified copies of new military discharge papers, and also provides free certified copies of papers previously recorded by our office. It is highly recommended that you have your discharge papers recorded in case the originals are ever lost, damaged or destroyed. Discharge papers are highly valuable to veterans because they may be required to prove eligibility for certain benefits and programs.

Who Can Apply for Certified Copies?

Certified copies are legal copies that include a raised seal. The veteran must* apply in person for certified copies of her or his own DD214. If you are not the veteran, you may apply in person for certified copies of the veteran’s DD214 if:

  • you have written authorization from the veteran; or
  • the veteran is deceased and you are the legally appointed personal representative of the veteran’s estate (documentation is required); or
  • the veteran has been adjudicated incompetent and you are the legally appointed guardian (documentation is required).

If no representative has been or will be appointed, you may apply in person if you are one of the following family members listed in preferential order:**

  • current spouse or registered domestic partner of the veteran; or
  • adult child of the veteran; or
  • parent of the veteran.

**For example, an adult child cannot apply if a spouse is living; a parent cannot apply if a spouse or adult child is living, etc.

Finally, you may apply in person if you have written authorization from one of the aforementioned persons (documentation required).

*If you are unable to apply in person, please contact the Dane County Veterans Service office.

How Do I Record an Original DD214?

Your discharge papers must have original signatures if your separation date occurred prior to August 1, 2008. On or after that date we can accept a digitally signed original DD214 as long as it is genuine, unaltered and includes an honorable discharge. Please bring both the "Member 1" and "Member 4" versions of your DD214. If you have no "Member 1" version, the "Member 4" version alone will probably suffice.

To record your military discharge papers, you will need to bring them in to the Vital Records counter between 7:45 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Processing time is generally 10-15 minutes. You will be asked to present proper identification (see below).

How Do I Apply for Certified Copies of a DD214?

To obtain free certified copies of previously recorded military discharge papers, please visit the Vital Records counter between 7:45 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You will be asked to fill out a short application and present proper identification (see below).

Identification Requirements

You will be asked to present a current (non-expired), valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card that lists your current address (Additional acceptable forms of ID).

Dane County Veterans Services

Please contact Dane County Veterans Services directly if:

  • you are unable to visit our office in person
  • you are trying to obtain certified copies for a veteran who is not an immediate family member
  • you do not have your original discharge papers
  • you need to receive certified copies that were recorded by another office
Kristi Chlebowski
Register of Deeds

Office Address

City County Building Room 110 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Madison, WI 53703

Office Hours

Mon - Fri
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM

Real Estate
Search Line

(608) 266-4144
8:00-11:30 AM
and
1:30-3:30 PM

Vital Records

(608) 266-4142

General Information

(608) 266-4141

TTY

Call Wisconsin Relay 711

Office Fax

(608) 267-3110

Mailing Address

PO Box 1438 Madison, WI 53701-1438
Vital Records will not be issued after 4:15 Public searching will not be allowed after 4:15 PM