An individual discharged from any branch of the armed forces of the United States may record, without payment of any fee, that individual's discharge from the armed forces, a certificate issued in lieu of the discharge, duly authenticated and certified copies of the discharge or certificate, or duly certified records of that individual's service and discharge from the armed forces in the office of the recorder of the county in which that individual resides, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official. Any discharge document recorded by the recorder, or designated official, may be made available only to the following persons: the veteran, the parents, the veteran's next of kin, the veteran's legal representative, a county veterans' service officer, a veterans' organization service officer, the department of veterans' affairs, or a designee of the veteran.
If a recorder, or designated official, has recorded discharge papers without charging the recording fees provided by law, the recording is declared legalized. In no such case may the recorder, or designated official, be held responsible in cases in which filing fees have not been collected.
If a copy of any public record is required by any veteran or a veteran's guardian, dependent, or representative in connection with an application for benefits made available by federal or state laws, the official charged with the custody of such public record, without charge, shall provide a certified copy of such record upon request. This section is subject to the restrictions provided for in section 37-01-34.