Veterans: Recording Discharge Certificate (DD214)
Albany County Clerk Programs and Services
Here's How to Record Your Discharge at a County Clerk's Office
in New York State
Honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces are entitled
to record their discharge certificates (DD214) at the County Clerk's office
where they live, free of charge. Certified copies of recorded
discharges will be made, again free of charge, for veterans or their immediate
families whenever needed.
Why Should You Record Your Honorable Discharge?
How to Get Your Honorable Discharge Recorded.
Why Would I Ever Need a Copy of My Discharge?
For More Information...
Why should you record your honorable discharge at the County Clerk's
The honorable discharge certificate provided to a veteran on
leaving the service is the most common proof of service in the armed forces. It
is a valuable and important document, like a deed or a mortgage, and New York
State law provides a way for this valuable document to be recorded at the County
Clerk's office, just as deeds and mortgages are.
Once recorded at the
Clerk's office, a DD214 is available at any time in the future, even if the
original document should be lost by its owner. A certified copy of a
discharge certificate is legally as acceptable as the
How to get your honorable discharge
You can click the link at the bottom of this page for a
contact list of every County Clerk's office in New York State.
If you know the name of your home county, just look on the list for the address
of the Clerk's office. If you're not sure of the county, call the nearest County
Clerk's office and ask them to verify that your town or city is in that county.
Be careful: sometimes the city shown on your mailing address is
actually in another county!
Once you know which County Clerk's office you
want to record your discharge in, you can either bring the discharge in to that
office in person, or mail it in. You have to bring (or mail) the
original document, not a copy. Your original document will be returned
directly to you. There is never a charge for this service.
Law Prevents Identity Theft! Section 250 of the military law provides
for free recording of all veterans' honorable discharges, and now requires that
these recorded DD214s be sealed from public view. This section of this law
now reads: "No filed certificate or any information contained therein, shall be
disclosed to any person except the veteran or parent, spouse, dependent or child
of the veteran, representative of the estate of the deceased veteran or a public
official, acting within the scope of his or her employment, unless such
disclosure is authorized in writing by the veteran."
would I ever need a copy of my discharge?
The best reason to record
your discharge certificate is to insure against losing the original. Once
recorded, certified copies will be made for you or your immediate family, free
of charge, whenever you need them, even if you lose the
Discharge papers are the best proof of military service, and
these important papers are used to prove eligibility for a variety of benefits,
from property tax exemptions to civil service credits.
The County Veterans Service officer in your county
can provide you with information on other benefits you're entitled to as a
veteran. Click here for the Albany County VeteransService Bureau. The County Clerk's office has information about mortgages,
deeds, and other important records.