Historically, the purpose of recording a document with the Auditor’s Office has been to make the contents of that document accessible to the public.
Background: For most of the last century, veterans military separation records (form DD214) have been recorded at the Auditor’s Office at no fee, then imaged along side all other daily recordings. When a veteran has been asked to produce a certified copy of his recorded discharge papers in order to obtain home financing or financial aid for school, the Auditor’s office has provided certified copies of the record at no cost.
The Issue: Personal information exists on the DD214 that could make a veteran vulnerable to identity theft.
Legislative Solution: EHSB 2453, passed by the 2001-2002 session, provides the means for a veteran to request that their DD214 recording be masked from public view and made available only to those relatives designated by the legislation or those whom the veteran has designated through the recording of a prepared form. Effective Date: June 13, 2002
How it will work: Different degrees of participation on the part of the veteran will be required depending on the era in which their discharge papers were recorded. The legislation distinguishes between those recordings that exist commingled with other daily recordings, and those non-commingled recordings that can be isolated as a group.
Date of Demarcation: January 27, 1997. This date corresponds to the implementation of our current document recording and imaging system, CRIS +plus .
Prior to that date the images of older recordings are commingled with all other daily recordings on miles of microfilm. Exempting these records from public view requires that these records be individually scanned, indexed and manually removed from the roll of microfilm. In consideration of this, the veteran must deliberately request that their document be excluded from viewing. Those DD214’s recorded prior to the date above will continue to be available for public viewing until the veteran records an exemption. The Request for Exemption form is available in the download section of this site.
January 27, 1997 and later – the image and index for all documents recorded this date forward are available on the computer, enabling us to remove both index and record from public view as a group. Military discharge papers recorded after this date will be automatically exempted from public view.
Please note: This date of demarcation between commingled and non-commingled records will vary from county to county.
Submitting a request to exempt records from public view.
As noted above, all discharge recordings dated 1/27/1997 and later will be automatically exempt from public view.
To request that an earlier recording be exempt from view, please complete, sign, and submit the Request for Exemption from Public View. This form is available in the download section of this site, or at the Pend Oreille County Courthouse.
Please mail the completed form and $7.00 recording fee to the following:
Pend Oreille County Auditor Recording
PO Box 5015
Newport WA 99156
Help with completing the forms is available! Most of the forms require you to list the recording numbers assigned to your original recording, and we are happy to give you that information as needed. Please e-mail us at samantha.hepp [at] pendoreille.org or phone (509) 447-64735 for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is allowed to request copies of documents exempted from public view?
The legislation extends viewing privileges to the following: the veteran, the veteran’s next of kin (son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, widow(er) who has not remarried), a person holding that veteran’s general power of attorney, or a deceased veteran’s properly appointed personal representative or executor. If the veteran wishes to add others to the list, they must complete and record the appropriate form given the date they recorded their discharge papers.
What if the veteran would like to grant access to another party?
Those who recorded their discharge prior to 1/27/97 will be able to include that information on their Request for Exemption from Public Discharge Papers (form Vet1). Those with discharge papers recorded 1/27/97 and later must complete form Vet2 , Request for Disclosure of Discharge Papers, and submit it for recording.
What if a veteran would like to revoke access to a named party?
Veterans may revoke the privilege of access from a person they have specifically named in a previous recorded document. Form Vet 3 – Revocation and Re-designation of Disclosure of Discharge Papers must be completed and submitted for recording to effect the change. This form completely replaces any previous versions, so the veteran must take care to list all parties to which access should be granted, whether or not a given name has previously appeared on a list. What is the procedure for requesting access to exempted documents? Each person who requests to view/copy a protected DD214 must first sign an affidavit that attests to their being either related to the veteran as stipulated in the legislation, or are one of the persons to whom the veteran has extended viewing privileges through the recording of the designated form. Form Vet 4 – Request for Access is available for download.
Additional information regarding ESHB 2453 can be found on the Washington State Legislature website.