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Third Annual state by state registration compliance news conference, May 22, 2002

May 22, 2002, 10:30 a.m., EDT


Deleware On the Verge
of 100 Percent Selective Service Registration Compliance

Third Annual Report Card Shows Previous Gains Mostly Hold; Agency Vows Continued Innovation in Outreach to Constantly Shifting Audience


WASHINGTON, DC (May 22, 2002) - The Selective Service System today released its annual state-by-state registration compliance report card, with Delaware becoming the first state to reach nearly 100 percent compliance since the Agency began compiling this data. Nationally, registration compliance held fairly steady at 86 percent, down a percentage point from last year's high-water mark of 87 percent.

Seven states increased registration rates by 3 percent or more, with Delaware leading the way at 9 percent. Louisiana, which has historically had low compliance, saw a 2 percent increase, from 75 percent to 77 percent, while Texas and Hawaii remained steady at 79 percent and 75 percent respectively. Localities showing reduced compliance included Vermont (4 percent), Kansas (5 percent), Maine (5 percent), Rhode Island (6 percent) and the District of Columbia (8 percent).

"Although we would have liked to have seen more and greater gains - and certainly no reductions - we are pleased with these numbers overall," said Selective Service System Director Alfred Rascon. "Our outreach efforts to the educational and community-based organizations that we launched two years ago continue to work, and prove that even with tight outreach budgets and no paid advertising, innovation can yield substantial results."

This marks the third year that the Selective Service System has issued its state-by-state report card, measuring the percentage of eligible men turning 20 who have registered with this independent federal agency. Federal law requires that virtually all young men living in the U.S. register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. The American people, through their local, state and federal elected representatives, have made Selective Service registration a requirement for securing a number of opportunities, including federal student loans, job training, jobs with the federal government, and U.S. citizenship for male immigrants.

Twenty-nine states and 71 municipalities have similar laws tying education, training or employment opportunities for young men to Selective Service registration. Additionally, some states are making registration a requirement for men seeking driver's licenses. Failure to register is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

"With the events of the past year, Selective Service registration is probably as important now as it has been at any time in our nation's history," said Rascon. "It sends a crystal clear signal to adversaries of the United States that we stand ready to mobilize national manpower, if needed, to defend America in a major crisis requiring reinstatement of the draft."

He noted that in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, young men unequivocally showed their support for registration by deluging Selective Service's on-line registration site with four times the normal traffic. However, he said, like military recruiting and other acts of patriotism, registration numbers quickly declined to their pre-9/11 numbers, where they have remained.

"The post-9/11 spike in registration and the subsequent return to previous levels hammers home to us the point that we must be constantly aware that 5,000 men turn 18 every day in this country." Rascon said. "Absent an imminent threat and constant reminders from all sides, many young men still simply are not aware that registration is the law, and the importance of registration to our country."

Rascon said his agency will continue to work innovatively with organizations that reach young men and their influencers to get the word out. These include expanding the ties the Agency has cultivated over the past two years with such education organizations as the National Association for Secondary School Principals and the American School Counselors Association, and community-based organizations like the Urban League.

"Our Agency previously had to overcome two major hurdles when we reached out to young men," Rascon said, "ignorance of the law and apathy toward civic responsibility. The young men of America have shed their apathy, and it's up to us to keep reaching out to them to overcome their lack of awareness."

# # #

Camera-ready color or black & white velox registration compliance map and a color, 3-year registration compliance comparison chart are available from Ms. Crisitina Miranda, 202-667-0901.


Adobe Acrobat files for maps and a chart are available at

Video News Release via Satellite Feed:
A video news release will be available via satellite on May 22, 2002, from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m., EDT, on C-Band, Telstar 5, Transponder 23, Downlink: 4160 MHz(V), Audio is 6.2 and 6.8.
Questions: Contact Keira Rodriguez, (212) 736-2727, ext. 214.

News Graphic and Photos:
A camera-ready news graphic (B&W and color) can be downloaded on May 22, 2001, after 10:30 a.m., EDT, at

Third Annual State-by-State Registration Compliance News Conference, May 22, 2002


The maximum penalty for failing to register with Selective Service is a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Failure to register will cause ineligibility for a number of federal and state benefits including:

A man must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the Executive Branch of the Federal government and the U.S. Postal Service. This applies only to men born after December 31, 1959.

Men who are not registered with Selective Service cannot obtain Federal student loans or grants. This includes Pell Grants, College Work Study, Guaranteed Student/Plus Loans, and National Direct Student Loans.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) makes registration with Selective Service a condition for U.S. citizenship, if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday and was required to register.

The Workforce Investment Act (formerly JTPA) offers important job-training opportunities. This program is only open to those men who register with Selective Service.

Most states have added additional penalties for those who fail to register with Selective Service.

As of May 21, 2001, seven states enacted driver's license laws supporting Selective Service registration: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Alabama and Utah. These laws require registration with Selective Service in order to obtain a driver's license. The following states have bills passed: Colorado, Florida and Illinois. Others have draft bills: California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Last Updated August 25, 2009
©2009 Selective Service System