Tip: Military Service Verification

Military members serving on active duty occasionally need to show proof of active duty military service to a private vendor or another government organization in order to qualify for protections offered by the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

The SCRA, enacted in 2003 as an update/replacement to the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA), is a federal law that ensures active duty military members are given protection rights in certain areas such as rental agreements, security deposits, rent, contracts, civil proceedings, and income taxes.  Other protections are offered as well.

As most military members know, it is illegal to make a copy of a military identification card (now usually called a “Common Access Card”) for a private vendor, with some exceptions, such as a medical care provider who is contracted by TRICARE to provide treatment services.  Copying an ID card for a government agency, such as a state police organization when applying for a license to carry a firearm, is not against the law but remains highly discouraged for security reasons.

One way to provide proof of service is to obtain a ‘Proof of Service’ letter made available by your branch’s personnel servicing organization.  For instance, in the Air Force, the “Virtual Military Personnel Flight” offers this capability.

But the simplest way to obtain proof is made available on the Department of Defense’s SCRA Website.  Simply submit a Single Record Request to obtain a report certifying your Title 10 active duty status.  No account is required, and you only need to enter your Social Security Number (SSN) or Date of Birth, and your name, to obtain the certificate.  The site will generate a signed “Status Report” in Adobe PDF format confirming your active duty status.  Save it or print it and you’re done.

It’s simple, quick, and secure, and it protects your privacy.

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