Military Discharges

Recording of Military Discharges (DD-214) in Land Records

Location and Mailing Address:
Circuit Court for Harford County
ATTN: Land Records
20 West Courtland Street
Bel Air, MD 21014
(800) 989-8296 (choose prompt 7 for DD-214 recordings)

The Defense Department issues to each veteran a DD-214, identifying the veteran’s condition of discharge – honorable, general, other than honorable, dishonorable or bad conduct.

The Report of Separation contains information normally needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment, and membership in veterans’ organizations. Information shown on the Report of Separation may include the service member’s:

  • Date and place of entry into active duty
  • Home address at time of entry
  • Date and place of release from active duty
  • Home address after separation
  • Last duty assignment and rank
  • Military job specialty
  • Military education
  • Decorations, medals badges, citations, and campaign awards
  • Total creditable service
  • Foreign service credited
  • Separation information (type of separation, character of service, authority and reason for separation, separation and reenlistment eligibility codes)

As one of the general duties of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Land Records Department maintains permanent records of military discharge papers. Military veterans may file their military discharge papers at the Circuit Court for Harford County Land Records Department.

Military discharge records include:

  • Copy 4, DD-214 issued by the United States Government
  • Any copy of DD-214 with a raised seal issued by the United States National Personnel Records Center
  • United States National Archives Form 13038

There is no charge to record or to obtain copies including certified copies.

The Privacy Act of 1974 limits the access to a veteran’s DD-214 to only the service member (either past or present) or the service member’s legal guardian; only these persons will have access to almost any information contained in that member’s own record. Others requesting information from military personnel/health records must have the signed authorization of the service member or legal guardian.

In 2004, Public Act 093-0468 was established to protect the rights of veterans, meaning a recorded military discharge or DD-214 is no longer considered public information and is not available for public viewing. The restricted inspection of the military discharge papers are stipulated by Maryland Code, Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section § 2-207.

If the Veteran has lost or misplaced their discharge (DD-214) and had not recorded their discharge with the Clerk’s office, the veteran or their next of kin can request a copy of their service members DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty from the National Archives.