FAQs

Credit Card Processing Questions (4)

Why is my credit card being rejected?

The SCRACVS really has no control over this function. Your credit card information is transmitted directly to the bank that issued the credit card. It is transmitted precisely as you entered it (and we can not see that information nor access it). Your bank is the entity that issues the approval or declination. If you contact your bank, it will have a record of the charge attempt and your bank will inform you why it declined the charge. Some banks are more picky than others. Some banks require the precise address for the holder to be entered.

Permalink.

What are the costs involved?

There are no membership or recurring fees. The cost is per name-search. A regular name-search is charged $36.40 and you are notified by email of the result. If you request an affidavit, there is an additional $20 charge. If you would like the affidavit sent by Fedex, there is a $24 charge.

Permalink.

When the site responds, in what format will the certification be?

You will always receive your results by email. In addition, when you check out at the end of placing your order, you will be asked whether you want to pay for us to prepare an affidavit for you, and whether you would like it mailed or sent overnight. In your ”My Account”, “Affidavit Preferences” area of the site, you indicate your default preferences to speed up your check-out.

Permalink.

How is payment made?

Each time you access the search site, you may enter in as many subjects’ names as you wish. When you check out you will pay for all searches. The SCRACVS has engaged the checkout service of Paypal which has a high encryption and security platform, is easy to use, and is familiar to most users.

Permalink.

Protections, Provisions, Definitions under the SCRA (12)

Do a Servicemember’s protections end as soon as he exits from active military duty?

No. The SCRA provides protections that extend after the termination date from active service. For example, foreclosures are halted for 9 months after active duty and the interest rate cap extends 12 months after duty. If active duty has terminated with 367 days of the Date of Interest, the SCRACVS will provide an active duty termination date to assist with the determination.

Permalink.

Why is it necessary to conduct a name search?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides limitations against collections and possessory actions that may be taken against persons on active military duty. The Act also provides for penalties for failing to abide by the Act. Courts will usually require a certificate of compliance with the Act before entering judgment.

Permalink.

Foreign Nationals: How do I comply with the SCRA?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act proscribes certain activity against certain persons on active military duty (or recently retired). The logical corollary is that a person ineligible to serve would not be accorded such protections. See: 10 USCS § 504 Persons not qualified. (b) Citizenship or residency. (1) A person may be enlisted in any armed force only if the person is one of the following: (A) A national of the United States, as defined in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22)). (B) An alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence, as defined in section 101(a)(20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20)). The Department of Defense database cannot respond to SCRA verifications unless a social security number is submitted, or, if the name is unusual, a date of birth may sometimes suffice, although the response is equivocal since the only uniquely identifier is the SSN. If a person is neither a citizen or resident alien, it is likely that the person has no social security number. In situations where we cannot conduct an SCRA search because we cannot provide the SSN (because no SSN exists) we recommend that local counsel consider an alternate affidavit (the Clerk of the Court may need to be side-stepped), setting forth the grounds for belief that the individual is neither a citizen nor a resident alien, that due diligence was exercised, but that no response was available from the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), an organization of the Department of Defense (DoD) that maintains the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) database, and that, as a matter of law, the individual is ineligible to enlist in the armed force pursuant to 10 USCS § 504 and, hence, ineligible for the protections accorded under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. We do not provide affidavits of due diligence.  We only provide “yes/no” responses to active duty status.

Permalink.

What is the “Active Duty Status Date”?

An SCRA verification is as of a snapshot in time.  As of what date do you want to know the Subject’s military status?  That is the ”Active Duty Status Date”  (for about 2 weeks, this was called “Date of Interest”).  If left blank the Active Duty Status Date will be the date we process your request. If, however, you want to know whether the Subject was in the military as of any date subsquent to September 30, 1985, you can enter that date.  The “snapshot” will be as of that date.  The Active Duty Start Date cannot be a date in the future. The Defense Department defines “Active Duty Status Date” as follows:  “The date used to check if whether or not the individual was actively serving, received a notice to serve, or was serving 367 days prior to the given date, or not. The date can be the loan origination, foreclosure, etc. It must be numeric in the following date format: YYYYMMDD. The date must be after 19850930 (September 30, 1985) and cannot be a future date.”

Permalink.

Are some social security numbers invalid and is there any logic to how the numbers are assigned or configured?

Generally, no SSN’s have been issued with zeros as follows: 000-XX-XXXX, XXX-00-XXXX, or XXX-XX-0000.  In the past, no SSN’s were issued with the first three digits higher than 740 (note, IRS issued “tax identification numbers higher than 740, but these were not SSNs.  For example, foreign nationals can be assigned a TIN so that the national can file a tax return.  The number looks like a SSN, but is not an SSN.  Prior to June 25, 2011, there was a system for assigning SSNs which assigned by geography and other factors. Wikipedia has a good article on this.  Also see Social Security Administration Pre-June-2011 Explanation and the pamphlet issued by Social Security Administration entitled “The Social Security Number” (Pub. No. 05-10633). . On June 25, 2011, the assignment of new SSNs became randomized. Social Security Number Randomization Memorandum.  Numbers with starting digits between 734 and 749 and above 772 through the 800s, which, prior to randomization were not utilized,  are now being assigned.  Numbers in the “900′s”, however, are still not SSN’s, but are tax identification numbers which are not useable for servicemember searches.

Permalink.

What is a “Call-Up to Active Duty”?

The DoD now provides an “early alert” in situations where an individual or his/her unit has received notification of a call-up for duty.  Even though a person may not be on active duty as of the Active Duty Status Date”, s/he may be entitled to SCRA protections because s/he has received Call-Up orders. There are two different databases involved, thus, the individual who has received Call-Up orders may or may not also be listed as “Active”. A call-up is issued on a particular start date, and it includes an end-date for the call-up (the end-date could be advanced if a person were disqualified, etc.). If, on the Active Duty Status Date a person is the subject of a call-up order, the Status Report will show that status, as well as the end-date (the start-date of the notification period will be added in a future release).

Permalink.

If this site cannot find the SSN, can a verification still be performed, i.e. with d.o.b. only?

There are situations when even we cannot find an SSN — maybe because the Subject is very young or very old, sometimes because pseudonyms are used, sometimes because the Subject does not have a SSN because s/he is a foreign national (see separate FAQ on that subject).  Effective May 25, 2012, the DoD has reinstituted a method of performing a limited verification with last name and date of birth (“d.o.b.”) only.  There are limitations and a severe drawback to this limited verification.  If the name is fairly common, even with the d.o.b. a verification will not be peformed.  Further, all verifications conducted without an SSN come with a disclaimer which is paraphrased as follows: “The information is not guaranteed because only only the SSN is a unique identifier”.  This equivocal response may not give parties or judges confidence that the verification is reliable.  Obviously it is better to obtain an unequivocal, dispositive verification.  In a situation where neither you nor we can ascertain the SSN, we will give you a choice: i)  accept the equivocal verification,  ii) supply us with the SSN, or iii) terminate the process.

Permalink.

What happens if a person changes his/her name?

The DMDC cautions that “Servicemembers may have had their last names changed, and the change may not yet be updated in their record”.

Permalink.

Are there alternate methods for obtaining certification that a person is/is not on active duty?

You may write to each of the service component agencies (Army, Navy, etc.) and enclose a check for $5.20 per name for each agency. If you multiply $5.20 by 7, you get $36.40. Note that some military agencies can take up to five (5) months to respond. In September 2010 we were informed by the Army (specifically the US Army Human Resource Command) that it is now UNABLE to respond to inquiries about active military status. The Army says that it is without adequate resources to handle the requests, partially because the people in the Army outnumber all the other branches combined. There are other on-line methods of inquiry, but none, apart from us, to our knowledge, will respond conclusively to an inquiry without a social security number .

Permalink.

What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?

Passed in December of 2003, and found at 50 U.S.C. App Section 501-596, the SCRA completely restates and renames the old act: the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act of 1940. For a copy of the Act, see our Home Page, then Resources and Links tab, then “Text of Act”.

Permalink.

Whom does the Act protect?

Active military members (including reservists, National Guardsmen, commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who are in active federal service).Dependents of these people are eligible for some of the benefits of the Act.

“Active duty” for armed services is defined in 10 U.S.C. § 101(d)(1) as “fulltime duty in the active military service of the United States … [including] full-time training duty, annual training duty, and attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department concerned.” “Active military service” is not further defined in Section 101 of Title 10, U.S. Code, although active service is given the meaning service on active duty or full-time National Guard duty in Section 101(d)(3).

Under the SCRA, persons on active duty and attending a service school are covered, while persons attending training prior to entering active duty, such as officer candidates, may not be covered. It is unclear, for example, whether “active military service” under 10 U.S.C. § 101(d) covers training as a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps or attendance at a military academy. “Dependent” is defined as a servicemember’s spouse or child (as defined for purposes of veterans benefits, in 38 U.S.C. Section 101, or another individual for whom the servicemember provided more than one half of the support in the 180 days prior to an application for relief under the act. This language appears to codify courts’ treatment of the term “dependent” as relating to financial dependency rather than strict familial relationships. 38 U.S.C. Section 101(4) defines child as a person who is unmarried and under the age of eighteen; who before attaining the age of eighteen became permanently incapable of self-support; or who after attaining the age of eighteen and until completion of education or training (but not after attaining the age of twenty-three) is pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution; and who is a legitimate child, a legally adopted child, a stepchild who is a member of a veteran’s household or was a member at the time of the veteran’s death, or an illegitimate child but, as to the alleged father, only if acknowledged in writing signed by him, or if he has been judicially ordered to contribute to the child’s support or has been, before his death, judicially decreed the father of such child, or if he is otherwise shown by evidence to be the father of the said child.

“Military Service” is defined in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act at 50 U.S.C. App. 511 (2) as follows:

(2) Military service

The term “military service” means—
(A) in the case of a servicemember who is a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard—

(i) active duty, as defined in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code [see above], and
(ii) in the case of a member of the National Guard, includes service under a call to active service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under section 502(f) of title 32, United States Code, for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds (note that the DMDC does not report periods of service that are less than 30 days in duration);

(B) in the case of a servicemember who is a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, active service; and

(C) any period during which a servicemember is absent from duty on account of sickness, wounds, leave, or other lawful cause.
“Military service” is mentioned in 10 U.S.C. § 101(d)(1), but not actually defined in that Title.

Note that some protections extend for a period of time AFTER active military duty (i.e. the 6% interest rate cap lasts for one year after termination and proscriptions against foreclosure also extend after the Active Duty End Date).

Also, see FAQ on Call-Up to Active Duty for other relevant information.

Permalink.

What military and other agencies have personnel who may be protected under the Act?

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, some members of the National Guard, Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (7 agencies in total).

Permalink.

Resources for Servicemembers and Families (2)

Whom does the Act protect?

Active military members (including reservists, National Guardsmen, commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who are in active federal service).Dependents of these people are eligible for some of the benefits of the Act.

“Active duty” for armed services is defined in 10 U.S.C. § 101(d)(1) as “fulltime duty in the active military service of the United States … [including] full-time training duty, annual training duty, and attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department concerned.” “Active military service” is not further defined in Section 101 of Title 10, U.S. Code, although active service is given the meaning service on active duty or full-time National Guard duty in Section 101(d)(3).

Under the SCRA, persons on active duty and attending a service school are covered, while persons attending training prior to entering active duty, such as officer candidates, may not be covered. It is unclear, for example, whether “active military service” under 10 U.S.C. § 101(d) covers training as a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps or attendance at a military academy. “Dependent” is defined as a servicemember’s spouse or child (as defined for purposes of veterans benefits, in 38 U.S.C. Section 101, or another individual for whom the servicemember provided more than one half of the support in the 180 days prior to an application for relief under the act. This language appears to codify courts’ treatment of the term “dependent” as relating to financial dependency rather than strict familial relationships. 38 U.S.C. Section 101(4) defines child as a person who is unmarried and under the age of eighteen; who before attaining the age of eighteen became permanently incapable of self-support; or who after attaining the age of eighteen and until completion of education or training (but not after attaining the age of twenty-three) is pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution; and who is a legitimate child, a legally adopted child, a stepchild who is a member of a veteran’s household or was a member at the time of the veteran’s death, or an illegitimate child but, as to the alleged father, only if acknowledged in writing signed by him, or if he has been judicially ordered to contribute to the child’s support or has been, before his death, judicially decreed the father of such child, or if he is otherwise shown by evidence to be the father of the said child.

“Military Service” is defined in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act at 50 U.S.C. App. 511 (2) as follows:

(2) Military service

The term “military service” means—
(A) in the case of a servicemember who is a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard—

(i) active duty, as defined in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code [see above], and
(ii) in the case of a member of the National Guard, includes service under a call to active service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under section 502(f) of title 32, United States Code, for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds (note that the DMDC does not report periods of service that are less than 30 days in duration);

(B) in the case of a servicemember who is a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, active service; and

(C) any period during which a servicemember is absent from duty on account of sickness, wounds, leave, or other lawful cause.
“Military service” is mentioned in 10 U.S.C. § 101(d)(1), but not actually defined in that Title.

Note that some protections extend for a period of time AFTER active military duty (i.e. the 6% interest rate cap lasts for one year after termination and proscriptions against foreclosure also extend after the Active Duty End Date).

Also, see FAQ on Call-Up to Active Duty for other relevant information.

Permalink.

What are some good resources for Servicemembers and their families?

Please go to our Resources and Links tab for resources for servicemembers and their families.

Permalink.

Site Operation - Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service (28)

What is the function of this site?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) requires verification of whether an individual is on active military duty. We are the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service (“SCRACVS”). We are a name-search service only. Creditors (such as banks, mortgage companies) and their attorneys and agents must be mindful about taking certain action against people who are on active military duty. People who contract with servicemembers may also need some verification. Searches are conducted to determine whether or not a servicemember is on active military duty, and, thus, subject to the protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Often courts will require certification that a search has been conducted, and its results. Agencies covered: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps (“Marines”), Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), and Public Health Service.

Permalink.

What is NOT the function of this site?

We cannot give legal advice. Nor are we set up to answer inquiries from servicemembers that are unrelated to whether a person is on active military duty. Our searches do not provide locations or the identity, whereabouts, character or actions of any person. Information secured from us does not constitute a “consumer report” as that term is defined in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq. (FCRA). Accordingly, information secured from us may not be used in whole or in part as a factor in determining eligibility for credit, insurance, employment or another permissible purpose under the FCRA. Our searches reflect the status as of a snapshot in time — either the moment the verification is conducted or other “Active Duty Status Date” the client specifies. If military service ended within 367 days of the Active Duty Start Date, then the end-date is provided. See the Resources and Links page for suggestions.

Permalink.

Start Dates: Last time I checked, the Start Date was different. Why?

Reservists, for example, could be called to active duty multiple times, each time resulting in a new Start Date. Officers, start military service, but often then go into a 6-month training session. After that training session, for some reason, a new Start Date is given (although, the servicemember’s protection starts from the earlier date).   Information is not available to us as to the history of a person’s service. The only information available to us is whether the person is on active duty on the Active Duty Start Date.

Permalink.

Who is authorized to use this site?

Only authorized, self-certified persons may use the site. See the Terms of Service page. Generally, authorized parties include court personnel, attorneys, litgants (parties in a lawsuit), insurance companies, lenders, debt collections agencies, leasing companies, landlords, storage facilities and other lessors.

Permalink.

Foreign Nationals: How do I comply with the SCRA?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act proscribes certain activity against certain persons on active military duty (or recently retired). The logical corollary is that a person ineligible to serve would not be accorded such protections. See: 10 USCS § 504 Persons not qualified. (b) Citizenship or residency. (1) A person may be enlisted in any armed force only if the person is one of the following: (A) A national of the United States, as defined in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22)). (B) An alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence, as defined in section 101(a)(20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20)). The Department of Defense database cannot respond to SCRA verifications unless a social security number is submitted, or, if the name is unusual, a date of birth may sometimes suffice, although the response is equivocal since the only uniquely identifier is the SSN. If a person is neither a citizen or resident alien, it is likely that the person has no social security number. In situations where we cannot conduct an SCRA search because we cannot provide the SSN (because no SSN exists) we recommend that local counsel consider an alternate affidavit (the Clerk of the Court may need to be side-stepped), setting forth the grounds for belief that the individual is neither a citizen nor a resident alien, that due diligence was exercised, but that no response was available from the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), an organization of the Department of Defense (DoD) that maintains the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) database, and that, as a matter of law, the individual is ineligible to enlist in the armed force pursuant to 10 USCS § 504 and, hence, ineligible for the protections accorded under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. We do not provide affidavits of due diligence.  We only provide “yes/no” responses to active duty status.

Permalink.

Are there alternate methods for obtaining certification that a person is/is not on active duty?

You may write to each of the service component agencies (Army, Navy, etc.) and enclose a check for $5.20 per name for each agency. If you multiply $5.20 by 7, you get $36.40. Note that some military agencies can take up to five (5) months to respond. In September 2010 we were informed by the Army (specifically the US Army Human Resource Command) that it is now UNABLE to respond to inquiries about active military status. The Army says that it is without adequate resources to handle the requests, partially because the people in the Army outnumber all the other branches combined. There are other on-line methods of inquiry, but none, apart from us, to our knowledge, will respond conclusively to an inquiry without a social security number .

Permalink.

How are name-searches tracked and identified?

Each name search is assigned a unique Tracking Number by us. This Tracking Number must be referenced in any inquiries.

Permalink.

Is it true that a name-search can be conducted without SSN?

First, let us discuss why a verification with a social security number is preferable over a search with a date of birth only (one of those two data being absolutely required by the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (“DMDC”) and how the SCRACVS  assists when either of those data are missing.

If the DMDC receives a verification request that is missing both a SSN and a d.o.b., the request is rejected.

If the verification request only has a d.o.b., and the surname is fairly common and there are multiple people in the DMDC data base, the DMDC reports “multiple entries” and that response is worth very little in court because you have not yet demonstrated to the Court your, specific individual’s military status.

If the verification request only has a d.o.b. and there is only a single person with that d.o.b. in the DMDC’s data base, the response you will receive will have a big disclaimer.  In effect, you are told “John Doe [is][is not] on active military duty HOWEVER we cannot guaranty this response because, as you know, the SSN is the only unique identifier we use.  If you find the SSN, come back for a more dispositive response”.  For obvious reasons, a response with this disclaimer is often frowned upon by the Court.

How does the SCRACVS tackle this problem?

We can usually perform the search without a SSN! If the client is unable to provide the SSN, in most situations we are able to ascertain the SSN if you supply a partial SSN, date of birth, or some addresses. The most efficient method is to supply your information at the time you order the search. Second best is to follow up with an email to us supplying some leads for us to do additional research. Leads can be address, names of relatives, phone number, business name, email address, etc. In order for us to process an SCRA verification, we are required to have the SSN (either by your providing it or our finding it with the information you provide). There are situations when even we cannot find an SSN — maybe because the Subject is very young or very old, sometimes because pseudonyms are used, sometimes because the Subject does not have a SSN because s/he is a foreign national (see separate FAQ on that subject). For a year to two, the DMDC could not process requests without SSN.  On May 25, 2012 the DMDC reinstituted a method of performing a verification with last name and date of birth (“d.o.b.”) only. There are limitations and a severe drawback. If the name is fairly common, even with the d.o.b. a verification will not be peformed. Further, all verifications conducted without an SSN come with a disclaimer which is paraphrased as follows: “The information is not guaranteed because only only the SSN is a unique identifier”. This equivocal response may not give parties or judges confidence that the verification is reliable. Obviously it is better to obtain an unequivocal, dispositive verification. In a situation where neither you nor we can ascertain the SSN, we will give you a choice: i) accept the equivocal verification, ii) supply us with the SSN, or iii) terminate the process.

Permalink.

What are the costs involved?

There are no membership or recurring fees. The cost is per name-search. A regular name-search is charged $36.40 and you are notified by email of the result. If you request an affidavit, there is an additional $20 charge. If you would like the affidavit sent by Fedex, there is a $24 charge.

Permalink.

What happens if I do not have any other information other than I provided even though SCRACVS has sent me a request for additional information?

The Department of Defense will give an unequivocal verification unless a Social Security Number is provided. Even if you are unable to provide the SSN, we utilize sophisticated databases that can usually reveal the subject’s SSN. In very rare situations, we are unable to locate that number. Situations include: foreign visitors, nick names, very common names where you are unable to supply us with any valid addresses or dates of birth. In those situations we will ask you if you have other information that might assist us in finding the SSN such as partial SSN, date of birth, relatives’ names, alternate addresses. When placing your order, please make liberal use of the Misc. Information Box to supply that information. If the information you provided does not lead us to the SSN, we may be at a road block. This happens in about 3% of the orders where SSN is not provided. In such a case, if you or your client can provide no further information, an SCRA verification cannot be performed. You would need to engage a local private detective to assist you in ascertaining the SSN and then you can re-submit the verification request. See FAQ Section on verifications that are available without a SSN.

Permalink.

Is batch or bulk military search processing available?

Yes, batch processing (also called bulk, scrubbing, or scrub processing)  is available. Submission of large data files is available through a portal in highly secure asymmetric encryption format either via HTTPS Secure File Transfer (SFTP) or FTP File Exchange (MS Excel or Delimited Text). The control panel allows full tracking and searches by individual name. The results are downloadable by the Client in the same format supplied, but with SCRA information added by us and SSNs deleted.  Appended to each name-verification is a link to the certificate issued by the Department of Defense DMDC upon which you may rely if, in the future, one questions your due diligence.  We also have the capacity to deliver the results programmatically to the client’s system, ensuring seamless, automated, hands-free integration. There is a minimum monthly billing and SSNs are required for batch processing. For further information, visit our batch processing page.

Permalink.

What is the “Active Duty Status Date”?

An SCRA verification is as of a snapshot in time.  As of what date do you want to know the Subject’s military status?  That is the ”Active Duty Status Date”  (for about 2 weeks, this was called “Date of Interest”).  If left blank the Active Duty Status Date will be the date we process your request. If, however, you want to know whether the Subject was in the military as of any date subsquent to September 30, 1985, you can enter that date.  The “snapshot” will be as of that date.  The Active Duty Start Date cannot be a date in the future. The Defense Department defines “Active Duty Status Date” as follows:  “The date used to check if whether or not the individual was actively serving, received a notice to serve, or was serving 367 days prior to the given date, or not. The date can be the loan origination, foreclosure, etc. It must be numeric in the following date format: YYYYMMDD. The date must be after 19850930 (September 30, 1985) and cannot be a future date.”

Permalink.

How long does a search take?

If you provide a full social security number, the response is usually sent to you by email within 30 minutes. If you do not provide a social security number, but you do provide other information sufficient to identify the person, 87% of the time the search is conducted by midnight of the same business day. It is very important to supply as much alternate information to us if you are not providing a full social security number. There is a blue box on the intake screen that suggests the type of alternative information that is useful.

Permalink.

When the site responds, in what format will the certification be?

You will always receive your results by email. In addition, when you check out at the end of placing your order, you will be asked whether you want to pay for us to prepare an affidavit for you, and whether you would like it mailed or sent overnight. In your ”My Account”, “Affidavit Preferences” area of the site, you indicate your default preferences to speed up your check-out.

Permalink.

I think someone is trying to “con” me, claiming s/he is in the military. Will this site help me?

No. This site offers no information at all except whether or not a person is (or is not) on active duty. The validity of our response depends entirely upon the information you supply. If you have wrong information given to you and you then relay that misinformation to us, you may not rely upon our response and you may have wasted your valuable money. Instead, contact the branch of the military in which the person claims to be serving. 

Permalink.

How is payment made?

Each time you access the search site, you may enter in as many subjects’ names as you wish. When you check out you will pay for all searches. The SCRACVS has engaged the checkout service of Paypal which has a high encryption and security platform, is easy to use, and is familiar to most users.

Permalink.

I am an office manager. I want to enable my employees to conduct searches. How is this accomplished?

We suggest that an office manager or similar person obtain a debit card with a specific dollar value and register as a unique Paypal user and then give that Paypal login information to your employees.

Permalink.

Are some social security numbers invalid and is there any logic to how the numbers are assigned or configured?

Generally, no SSN’s have been issued with zeros as follows: 000-XX-XXXX, XXX-00-XXXX, or XXX-XX-0000.  In the past, no SSN’s were issued with the first three digits higher than 740 (note, IRS issued “tax identification numbers higher than 740, but these were not SSNs.  For example, foreign nationals can be assigned a TIN so that the national can file a tax return.  The number looks like a SSN, but is not an SSN.  Prior to June 25, 2011, there was a system for assigning SSNs which assigned by geography and other factors. Wikipedia has a good article on this.  Also see Social Security Administration Pre-June-2011 Explanation and the pamphlet issued by Social Security Administration entitled “The Social Security Number” (Pub. No. 05-10633). . On June 25, 2011, the assignment of new SSNs became randomized. Social Security Number Randomization Memorandum.  Numbers with starting digits between 734 and 749 and above 772 through the 800s, which, prior to randomization were not utilized,  are now being assigned.  Numbers in the “900′s”, however, are still not SSN’s, but are tax identification numbers which are not useable for servicemember searches.

Permalink.

If this site cannot find the SSN, can a verification still be performed, i.e. with d.o.b. only?

There are situations when even we cannot find an SSN — maybe because the Subject is very young or very old, sometimes because pseudonyms are used, sometimes because the Subject does not have a SSN because s/he is a foreign national (see separate FAQ on that subject).  Effective May 25, 2012, the DoD has reinstituted a method of performing a limited verification with last name and date of birth (“d.o.b.”) only.  There are limitations and a severe drawback to this limited verification.  If the name is fairly common, even with the d.o.b. a verification will not be peformed.  Further, all verifications conducted without an SSN come with a disclaimer which is paraphrased as follows: “The information is not guaranteed because only only the SSN is a unique identifier”.  This equivocal response may not give parties or judges confidence that the verification is reliable.  Obviously it is better to obtain an unequivocal, dispositive verification.  In a situation where neither you nor we can ascertain the SSN, we will give you a choice: i)  accept the equivocal verification,  ii) supply us with the SSN, or iii) terminate the process.

Permalink.

How can I keep track of my searches?

The site provides full tracking. Additionally, emails are sent out marking certain progress points: initial order, status, and final search results. Each time you access the search site, you may enter in as many subjects names as you wish.

Permalink.

What are User-Defined Field Names?

We encourage you to use the two fields called “User-Defined Field Names” to assist you in tracking each search and for sorting purposes. In “My Account” you can assign names to these two fields. For example, you could name the first customer reference field with the name “Account No.” or “Case No.”, etc. This can be particularly handy for sorting in the future, for billing your customers for searches on their matters, or other reference uses. It may also assist Prime Users who want to standardize the search process among their sub-users.

Permalink.

What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service?

The SCRACVS is a division of D.C. Registered Agent, Inc., a private corporation organized and located in the District of Columbia since 1994.

Permalink.

What do I do with the certification?

The certification can serve as the basis for an affidavit of compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Alternatively, you can request that that we prepare an Affidavit and send it to you. There is an additional charge for this service.

Permalink.

What is a Company/Firm Passcode?

When a Prime User (such as an office manager or administrator) signs up for the service s/he receives a code to distribute to his/her employees who are authorized to conduct searches on your firm’s behalf.

Permalink.

Why is my credit card being rejected?

The SCRACVS really has no control over this function. Your credit card information is transmitted directly to the bank that issued the credit card. It is transmitted precisely as you entered it (and we can not see that information nor access it). Your bank is the entity that issues the approval or declination. If you contact your bank, it will have a record of the charge attempt and your bank will inform you why it declined the charge. Some banks are more picky than others. Some banks require the precise address for the holder to be entered.

Permalink.

What is Shipping Method?

If you have ordered and paid for an affidavit (at a surcharge of $20) then you may elect to have that affidavit shipped by regular mail or by FedEx (FedEx, at a surcharge of $24).

Permalink.

Why is it necessary to conduct a name search?

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides limitations against collections and possessory actions that may be taken against persons on active military duty. The Act also provides for penalties for failing to abide by the Act. Courts will usually require a certificate of compliance with the Act before entering judgment.

Permalink.

Text of the Act (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) (1)

Text of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The text of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, found at 50 U.S.C. App 501-597 can be found on our website.

Permalink.