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The purpose of maintaining a registration list is to enable Selective Service to reach draft-age men in an emergency. When a man registers, Selective Service obtains a current mailing address and informs each registrant that he is required by law to report any changes in his address to Selective Service until he reaches age 26. Although a significant number of address changes are reported, registrants are a highly mobile segment of the population. To actively ensure that registrants in the prime draft age group—19 and 20 years old—can be reached by mail in time of mobilization, the National Change of Address System was developed.

The program itself is very simple. The records of registrants in the prime age group which have had no updates in the past 18 months, including those with undeliverable addresses, are sent to a vendor licensed by the U.S. Postal Service. The SSS records are matched against a data base containing all change of address notices filed by the public in the last 36 months at post offices in the United States. This procedure is performed once a year for registrants about to turn 20 years old.

If a match is found and the date of the address change is more recent than the date of the registrant's last record update, changes will be made to the registrant's current record.

The National Change of Address System confirms the accuracy of nearly two million registrants' records every year. By using this approach for address maintenance, SSS ensures that the files are accurate to reach draft-eligible registrants in the event of a national emergency.

Last Updated August 6, 2008
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