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Frequently Asked Questions

I registered already. How can I find out my Selective Service registration number?

I registered two months ago and still haven't gotten a registration acknowledgment card. I also received a letter from Selective Service reminding me to register. What should I do?

My son just turned 18 and will be attending the United States Naval Academy in the fall. He just received a registration reminder letter. Does he need to register?

My son is an only son and the last male in our family to carry the family name.  Is he exempt from registration and the draft?

Where do I send my registration form?

What is Selective Service registration?

Where can I get a Selective Service registration form?

Why do we need Selective Service if there may never be a draft?

How can I register?

What is the penalty for not registering?

I lost my registration acknowledgment card. How can I get another one?

Why aren't women required to register?

What if it's been more than 30 days after I've turned 18, and I still haven't registered?

Why did I receive a registration reminder card at my home? How did Selective Service get my name?

Are undocumented immigrant males required to register?

When was registration reinstated?

What if I'm living or visiting out of the country when it's time to register?

How can I find out if someone I know was ever drafted?

What if I am over age 26 and haven't registered?

If I am religiously or morally opposed to participating in war, must I still register?

I am a clergyman with a recognized congregation. Am I exempt from registering?

I am an amputee and obviously unfit for military service. Doesn't my condition exempt me from registering with Selective Service?

I am a sole surviving son and the sole source of support for a totally disabled mother. I know I won't be able to serve but must I still register?

Are disabled men, or men with medical conditions, required to register with Selective Service?

What do I do if my name or date of birth on my Selective Service Acknowledgment card is incorrect?  How long will it take to correct this?

Am I required to give my Social Security Number when I register with Selective Service?

How does the Military Selective Service Act apply to individuals who have had a sex change?

My last name is hyphenated.  Why isn't the hyphen printed on my acknowledgment card?


I registered already. How can I find out my Selective Service registration number?
Call the Selective Service registration information line at 1-847-688-6888.

I registered two months ago and still haven't gotten a registration acknowledgment card. I also received a letter from Selective Service reminding me to register. What should I do?
It may take as long as 90 days to process your registration. Please disregard all other reminders to register you may get from this Agency until that time. If, after 90 days you still haven't received a registration acknowledgment, call Selective Service at 1-847-688-6888 and use the automated system to check to see if you're in our system. If you've already registered and you're in the system, please disregard all other reminders to register. If you're not in the system, please re-register.

My son just turned 18 and will be attending the United States Naval Academy in the fall. He just received a registration reminder letter. Does he need to register?
If a young man turns 18 at any time prior to actually attending one of the service academies (like the U.S. Naval Academy), he is required to register. If he turns 18 while attending, he does not have to register. If he leaves the Academy and active military duty prior to his 26th birthday, he will be required to register then.

Where do I send my registration form?
Send registration forms to: Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94739, Palatine, IL 60094-4638.

What is Selective Service registration?
Registration is a way our government keeps a list of names of men from which to draw in case of a national emergency requiring rapid expansion of our Armed Forces. By registering all young men, the Selective Service ensures that a future draft will be fair and equitable.

Where can I get a Selective Service registration form?
Forms are available at any U.S. post office. You can now register on-line.

How can I register?
Men 18 through 25 years old can register by completing a form at the post office. Some high schools have a faculty or staff member who serve as a Selective Service Registrar. Most men turning 18 can also register by mail, if they receive a Selective Service form in the mail.
(See also How to Register.)

Why do we need Selective Service if there may never be a draft?
As President Clinton informed Congress in 1994, "Maintaining the Selective Service System and draft registration provides a hedge against unforeseen threats and a relatively low cost 'insurance policy' against our underestimating the maximum level of threat we expect our Armed Forces to face."
(See also What Does Selective Service Provide for America?)

What is the penalty for not registering?
Failure to register is a violation of the Military Selective Service Act. Conviction for such a violation may result in imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of not more than $250,000.
(See also What Happens if I Don't Register?).

I lost my registration acknowledgment card. How can I get another one?
Copies of proof of registration may be obtained by calling the Selective Service at (847)688-6888. You may also obtain a copy by writing to: Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94638, Palatine, Illinois, 60094-4638. Make sure to provide your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and current mailing address.

What if it's been more than 30 days after I've turned 18 and I still haven't registered?
You should register on-line immediately. If you are unable to register on-line, you must obtain a Selective Service registration form from any U.S. post office. Selective Service will accept a late registration.

Why did I receive a registration reminder card at my home? How did Selective Service get my name?
Selective Service got your name from one of the many lists used to identify people who may be eligible to register. It may have been a driver's license list from a state Department of Motor Vehicles, a list from a Federal or state agency such as the Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor's Workforce Investment Act or Job Corps Program, the Department of Defense's recruiting list, or from a high school list.

Are undocumented immigrant males required to register?
Yes. All undocumented immigrant males, other than those admitted on nonimmigrant visas, must register, whether or not they have a green card.
(See also Who Must Register - Chart.)

When was registration reinstated?
President Jimmy Carter reinstated the Selective Service registration requirement in the summer of 1980.

What if I'm a U.S. citizen living or visiting out of the U.S. when it's time to register?
Visit the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. They will help you register.

How can I find out if someone I know was ever drafted?
Write to:

National Archives & Records Administration

National Archives at St. Louis
ATTN:
RL-SL

P.O. Box 38757
St. Louis, MO 63138-0757

Provide the person's full name, date of birth, and his address at the time of registration.
(See also Records.)

What if I am over age 26 and haven't registered?
Once you reach age 26, it's too late to register. Even though you may not be prosecuted, you may be denied student financial assistance, Federal job training, and most Federal employment unless you can provide convincing evidence to the agency providing the benefit you are seeking, that your failure to register was not knowing and willful.
(See also Men Over the Age of Eligibility to Register.)

Virtually all men must register with Selective Service. The exceptions to this rule are very few and include: nonimmigrant aliens on student, visitor, tourist, or diplomatic visas; men on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces; and cadets and midshipmen in the Service Academies and certain other U.S. military colleges. All other men must register upon reaching age 18 (or before age 26, if entering and taking up residence in the U.S. when already older than 18).
 

Are disabled men, or men with medical conditions, required to register with Selective Service?.  The only process now in effect is that men between the ages of 18 and 26 register with Selective Service and keep their registration record current during that period.  Neither the Military Selective Service Act nor the Presidential proclamation provide an exemption from registration because of a man's mental or physical condition unless Selective Service is provided with documented evidence that the man is hospitalized or institutionalized;   or home-bound and unable to function outside the home, with or without physical assistance;  or is in such a physical or mental condition that he would not comprehend the nature of his registration with the Selective Service System.  A determination is then made by Selective Service as to whether or not the man qualifies for exemption from registration.

What do I do if my name or date of birth on my Selective Service Acknowledgment card is incorrect?   How long will it take to correct this?  If your name is misspelled, indicate what the correct name should be.  Sign and date the card, and return it to Selective Service.  If you have legally changed your name, indicate the new name, attach supporting documentation, sign and date the card, and return it to Selective Service.  If the month or day in your date of birth is listed incorrectly, indicate the correct date of birth, sign and date the card and return it to Selective Service.   If the year of birth is incorrect, indicate the correct year of birth, attach supporting documentation, sign and date the form, and return it to Selective Service.

Corrections will take four to six weeks to process, after which you will be mailed a new acknowledgement card.

Am I required to give my Social Security Number when I register with Selective Service?  If you have a Social Security number, you are required to provide it. [50 U.S.C. App. 453(b); 32 CFR 1615.4(a)]. However, you are not required to have a Social Security number to register with Selective Service.

How does the Military Selective Service Act apply to individuals who have had a sex change?   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. In the event of a resumption of the draft, males who have had a sex change can file a claim for an exemption from military service if they receive an order to report for examination or induction.

My last name is hyphenated.  Why isn't the hyphen printed on my acknowledgment card?  Our computer system does not allow any punctuation in the name fields.  Any punctuation provided will be replaced with a space.

 

Last Updated April 9, 2013

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