Military Records

Section I
Scope & Effects of SL 2003-248 (HB 818)
Military Discharge Documents in the Register of Deeds Office

* Scope GS 47-13.2(a)

Effective January 1, 2004, all military discharge documents filed in the register of deeds on or after that date shall be considered a public record with restricted access.

Restrictions apply to:

  • ALL discharges recorded on or after January 1, 2004
  • Discharge indexes and/or images filed before January 1, 2004 that were recorded in separate books.

Restrictions do NOT apply to:

  • Discharge index entries that do not contain private information
  • Discharge images (paper, microfilm, or digital images) that were recorded in the real estate records and cannot be
       separated from those records.
  • Military discharges that have been on file for 80 years or more.

* Restricted Access GS 47-113.2(b)(1)

• Authorized Parties who may record and/or request copy of military discharge document:

  1. The veteran named in the document
  2. Agent or representative of the veteran authorized in writing by:
    • The veteran or veteran's widow or widower in a notarized authorization.
    • A court representing the subject 
    • The veteran's executor acting on behalf of the deceased veteran
  3. Authorized agent of the NC Division of Veteran Affairs, the US Dept of Veteran Affairs, Dept of Defense, or a court official who is assisting the veteran or veteran's beneficiaries to obtain a benefit.
  4. Agent or representative of the NC State Archives.

* Recording Military Documents GS 47-113.2(b3), (c) and (c1)

Military discharge document is defined: Any document that represents a notice of separation from or service in any armed forces of the US or of any state, including but not limited to Dept of Defense Form 214 or 215, WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVMC 788-PD, NAVPERS 553 or any other letter relating to the separation from the armed forces.

Military discharge documents must be presented in person for recording and may be refused if:

  1. Not presented in person by an Authorized Party as defined above.
  2. Not accompanied by Presentation for Recording form as approved by NCARD and NC Division of Veteran Affairs.
  3. Document presented is not an original, a carbon copy, or photocopy issued or certified by an agency of federal or state government.

There is no fee for filing a military discharge document (GS 47-113.2(i).

* Copies of Military Documents GS 47-113.2(d), (d1), and (d2)

  • Certified and uncertified copies must be requested in writing by an Authorized Party using a form approved by NCARD and NC Division of Veteran Affairs.
  • Completed Request for Copy forms must be retained by the Register of Deeds for one year [47-113.2(e1)]
  • Completed Request for Copy forms are NOT public records and may not be viewed by the public. [47-113.2(e2)]
  • In all cases, there shall be no fee charged for certified or uncertified copies of military discharge documents when requested by an Authorized Party.
  • Registers may charge regular copy fees for uncertified copies of military discharge documents requested by unauthorized parties that have been on record over 80 years. [GS 47-113.2(i)]

* Approved Forms

Registers of Deeds should provide the following forms but access to blank forms must be restricted:

  • Presentation of Military Discharge for Recording - presented by Authorized Party
  • Request for Copy of Military Discharge - presented by Authorized Party
  • Notarized Authorization - presented by authorized agent or representative of veteran, veteran's widow or widower, or NC Division of Veteran Affairs.

* Authorization and ID

  • Veteran recording/requesting copy of own record must present valid identification.
  • Representative of veteran or veteran's widow or widower must present notarized Authorization and identification.
  • Representative of veteran appointed by court should present court order and identification.
  • The veteran's executor must present Letter of Testamentary and identification.  Representatives of the veteran's executor must present notarized authorization signed by the executor,  Letter of Testamentary and identification.
  • Agent of Division of Veteran Affairs or Department of Defense must present:
    • Official state or county agency identification OR
    • Authorization issued by NC Division of Veteran Affairs
  • Court official with an interest in assisting veteran or deceased veteran must present authorization and identification.
  • Representative of NC State Archives must present official state agency identification.

Page last updated: May 22, 2024