BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 778|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
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                                      CONSENT 


          Bill No:  AB 778
          Author:   Maienschein (R), et al.
          Amended:  4/13/15 in Assembly
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE:  5-0, 6/9/15
           AYES:  Nielsen, Hueso, Allen, Nguyen, Roth

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  77-0, 4/30/15 (Consent) - See last page for  
            vote

           SUBJECT:   Fees: military service records


          SOURCE:    County Recorder's Association of California


          DIGEST:  This bill allows county recorders to provide certified  
          copies of military discharge documents, when those documents are  
          requested using any of the following methods: (1) In writing  
          (mail); (2) facsimile machine (fax); (3) digitized image  
          (email).  


           ANALYSIS:   


          Existing law:


          1)Allows veterans and other specified persons to record military  
            separation documents at the local county recorder's office.









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          2)Provides that the county recorder shall require that a person,  
            who is requesting recordation of a military separation  
            document, sign a form stating that the person acknowledges  
            that recording the document establishes the document and all  
            information within it as part of the county's official record,  
            and that the information is open to public inspection.

          3)Prohibits a public entity from charging a fee for recording,  
            indexing, or issuing certified copies of a veteran's military  
            records, and for furnishing copies of or searching for records  
            related to a veteran's claim for veterans' benefits.  

          4)Authorizes certified copies of a military discharge document  
            to be made available to any of the following:

             a)   The person who is the subject of the record, upon  
               presentation of proper photo identification.


             b)   A family member or legal representative of the person  
               who is the subject of the record.


             c)   A county office that provides veterans' benefits  
               services, upon written request of that office.


             d)   A United States official, upon written request of that  
               official.

          This bill:

          1) Allows a county recorder to furnish a certified copy of any  
            discharge, certificate of service, certificate of satisfactory  
            service, notice of separation, or report of separation of any  
            member of the United States Armed Forces to an applicant  
            pursuant to existing law if the recorder receives a written,  
            faxed, or digitized image of a request for military discharge  
            documents that is accompanied by a notarized statement sworn  
            under penalty of perjury, or a faxed copy or digitized image  
            of a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury, that  
            the requester meets one of the descriptions of persons allowed  








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            to receive discharge documents pursuant to existing law.

          2)Requires a faxed or digitized image of the notary  
            acknowledgment accompanying a faxed request for a certified  
            copy of any military discharge documents received pursuant to  
            1), above, to be legible.  

          3)Prohibits a recorder from providing a certified copy requested  
            pursuant to 1), above, if the notary's seal is not  
            photographically reproducible, or does not show the name of  
            the notary, the county of the notary's principal place of  
            business, the notary's telephone number, the notary's  
            registration number, and the notary's commission expiration  
            date typed or printed in a manner that is photographically  
            reproducible below, or immediately adjacent to, the notary's  
            signature in the acknowledgment. 

          4)Provides that, if a request for a certified copy of any  
            military discharge documents is made in person, the official  
            shall take a statement sworn under penalty of perjury that the  
            requester is signing his or her own legal name and is an  
            authorized person, and that official may then furnish a  
            certified copy to the applicant.

          5)Defines "digitized image" of a request to mean an image of an  
            original paper request for a certified copy of any military  
            discharge documents.
           
           Background
          
          Military Separation Documents

          Typically, the military issues a report of separation when a  
          member of the Armed Forces concludes a period of qualifying  
          Title 10 active duty service. The report of separation contains  
          information normally needed to verify military service for  
          benefits, retirement, employment and membership in veterans'  
          organizations. Since 1950, the report of separation form issued  
          is the DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from  
          Active Duty.) Information shown on the DD Form 214 includes the  
          service member's:









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           1) Date and place of entry into active duty.
           2) Home address at time of entry.
           3) Date and place of release from active duty.
           4) Home address after separation.
           5) Last duty assignment and rank.
           6) Military job specialty.
           7) Military education.
           8) Decorations, medals, badges, citations and campaign awards  
             received.
           9) Total creditable service.
           10)             Foreign service credited.
           11)             Separation information (date and type of  
             separation, character of service, authority and reason for  
             separation and reenlistment eligibility codes).

          Prior to the universal adoption of the DD Form 214, which became  
          effective on January 1, 1950, the military services used several  
          similar report of separation forms, any of which could be on  
          file with some county recorder offices. These include forms WD  
          AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, and  
          NAVCG 553.
           
           Technological Advancement

          In 2013, the Legislature enacted AB 464 (Daly), which allows for  
          electronic requests for vital records and creates statewide  
          standards for acceptable documents for recording real property.  
          The electronic requests may include digitized images. A digital  
          scan of an image is of higher quality, and can be securely  
          transmitted to a recipient through the Internet with less time  
          and expense than a fax. AB 464 applied this technology to  
          requests for vital records, but did not extend application to  
          requests for military separation documents.

          Related/Prior Legislation
          
          AB 2215 (Maienschein, Chapter 651, Statutes of 2014) allowed a  
          family member or a legal representative of a military veteran to  
          request county recordation of that veteran's military discharge  
          document, and required such persons to sign a specified  
          statement when doing so.









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          AB 464 (Daly, Chapter 78, Statutes of 2013) allowed requests for  
          vital records (birth, death and marriage certificates) to be  
          made using digitized images, among other provisions.

          AB 1179 (Parra, Chapter 6, Statutes of 2004) prohibited county  
          recorders from providing certified copies of military discharge  
          documents except to specified persons, and allowed county  
          recorders to issue certified copies of military discharge  
          documents when requested in writing or via fax, as specified.

          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   Yes


          SUPPORT:   (Verified6/24/15)


          County Recorder's Association of California (source)
          American Legion - Department of California
          AMVETS - Department of California
          California Association of County Veterans Service Officers 
          California State Commanders Veteran Council
          Military Officers Association of America - California Council of  
          Chapters
          Veterans of Foreign Wars - Department of California


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified6/24/15)


          None received

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  77-0, 4/30/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Chang, Chau,  
            Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dodd,  
            Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia,  
            Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Grove,  
            Hadley, Harper, Roger Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones,  
            Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Low,  
            Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin,  
            Nazarian, Obernolte, O'Donnell, Olsen, Patterson, Perea,  








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            Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago,  
            Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber,  
            Wilk, Williams, Wood, Atkins
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Campos, Chávez, Gomez


          Prepared by:Wade Cooper Teasdale / V.A. / (916) 651-1503
          6/24/15 17:32:45


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