all male U.S. citizens, and male immigrants living in the U.S.,
who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective
Service. It's important to know that even though
he is registered, a man will not automatically be inducted
into the military. In a crisis requiring a draft, men would
be called in sequence determined by random lottery number
and year of birth. Then, they would be examined for mental,
physical and moral fitness by the military before being deferred
or exempted from military service or inducted into the Armed
chart of who must register is also
Some non-citizens are required to register. Others are not.
Non-citizens who are not required to register with Selective
Service include men who are in the U.S. on student or visitor
visas, and men who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission
and their families. Almost all other male non-citizens are
required to register, including undocumented
immigrants, legal permanent
residents, and refugees. The general rule is that if a male non-citizen takes up residency in the U.S. before his 26th
birthday, he must register with Selective Service. For a more
detailed list of which non-citizens must register, see
Must Register - Chart .
Dual nationals of the U.S. and another country are required
to register, regardless of where they live, because they are
See also Immigrants and Dual
Nationals - Liability for Service
RESIDENTS OF PUERTO RICO, GUAM, VIRGIN ISLANDS, NORTHERN
MARIANA ISLANDS, REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS, THE FEDERATED
STATES OF MICRONESIA, AMERICAN SAMOA, AND PALAU
Residents of Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands,
and Northern Mariana Islands are U.S. citizens. Citizens of
American Samoa are nationals and must register when they are
habitual residents in the United States or reside in the U.S.
for at least one year. Habitual residence is presumed and
registration is required whenever a national or a citizen of the
Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of
Micronesia, or Palau, resides in the United States for more than
one year in any status, except as a student who entered the U.S.
for the purpose of full time studies as long as such person
maintains that status or employee of the government of his
OR INCARCERATED MEN
Young men in hospitals, mental institutions, or prisons do
not have to register while they are committed. However, they
must register within 30 days after being released if they
have not yet reached their 26th birthday.
Disabled men who live at home must register with Selective
Service if they can reasonably leave their homes and move
about independently. A friend or relative may help a disabled
man fill out the registration form if he can't do it himself.
with disabilities that would disqualify them from military
service still must register with Selective Service. Selective
Service does not presently have authority to classify men,
so even men with obvious handicaps must register now, and
if needed, classifications would be determined later.
MILITARY EXEMPTED FROM REQUIREMENT* (See *NOTE below)
Young men serving in the military on full-time active duty
do not have to register, if serving continuously from age 18
to age 26. Those attending the service academies
do not have to register. However, if a young man joins the
military after turning 18 or leaves the military
before turning 26, he must register.
NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVES* (See *NOTE below)
Members of the Reserve and National Guard not on full-time
active duty must register.
Men who would be classified as Conscientious
Objectors if they were drafted must also register with
Selective Service. If a draft begins and they are called,
they would have the opportunity to file a claim for exemption
from military service based upon their religious or moral
objection to war.
SEX GENDER CHANGE / TRANSEXUAL
Individuals who are born female and
have a sex change are not required to register. U.S. citizens or
immigrants who are born male and have a sex change are still
required to register.
If a man failed to register with Selective Service, Section
12(g) of the Military Selective Service Act allows
non-registrants to receive benefits under specific conditions.
As a veteran, or part-time National Guard or Reservist, the man
satisfies those conditions with his DD Form 214 showing the
dates of his military service, or a current military ID card if
still on active duty or a member of the National Guard and
Reserves. These documents serve as evidence that the man's
failure to register was not knowing and willful. Therefore, men
who served on full-time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
should not be denied student financial aid, loans, or grants;
vocational training under WIA; government employment; and
security clearances, on the basis of their failure to register
with Selective Service. As long as the man has proof of his
active duty military service, such as his DD 214, or current
military ID card if still on active duty or a member of the
National Guard or Reserves, his subsequent failure to register
should not be a bar to any benefits or programs, contingent upon
registration compliance, for which he is otherwise qualified.