There are certain personal records you must have to rent a place to live, apply for employment, open a bank account, or request assistance from government agencies and community-based organizations. The following are personal records you will need:
Birth Certificate – You will need to contact the appropriate state government office in your state of birth. The Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics website provides addresses and information about obtaining birth certificates. There is often a cost associated with ordering a copy of a birth certificate. Check with your local drop-in center or other local programs to see if they provide assistance with obtaining birth certificates.
Photo ID – Contact the Homeless Veteran Program Coordinator at your nearest VA medical center for information on how to obtain a VA photo ID; call 1-877-222-8387 to find the medical center nearest you. Each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles provides photo ID services for a fee. Check the phone book blue pages for your local number.
Social Security Card – Apply at the nearest Social Security Office (check the phone book blue pages under "U.S. Government, Social Security Administration," or call 1-800-772-1213). Because of tightened security at some federal buildings, you should check with your local office to see if there are special application procedures to follow. You may also apply for a replacement card online.
DD 214 – Homeless veterans are entitled to one copy of their service and medical records free of charge. Send requests to the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100. Homeless veterans may fax a request for records to 314-801-9195 through their DVOP/LVER or case manager. Be sure to write “Homeless veteran case” clearly on the form. To conact the National Personnel Records Center, please call 314-801-0800.
The National Archives and Records Administration stores military personnel files. To submit a request, click here.
State Offices of Veterans Affairs often have military records of veterans who are state residents. For your state's contact information, click here.