Who Must Register - Chart

Does every young man have to register when he turns 18?  Just about!

Almost all male U.S. citizens regardless of where they live, and documented or undocumented immigrant men residing in the U.S., are required to be registered with Selective Service if they are at least 18 years old but are not yet 26 years old. Men who are 26 years old and older are too old to register.  Some requirements are shown below:

Category Yes No
All male U.S. citizens born after December 31, 1959, who are 18 but not yet 26 years old, except as noted below: X  
Military Related    
Members of the Armed Forces on active duty (active duty for training does not constitute “active duty” for registration purposes)   X*
Cadets and Midshipmen at Service Academies or Coast Guard Academy   X*
Cadets at the Merchant Marine Academy X  
Students in Officer Procurement Programs at the Citadel, North Georgia College and State University, Norwich University, Virginia Military Institute, Texas A&M University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University   X*
ROTC Students X  
National Guardsmen and Reservists not on active duty X  
Delayed Entry Program enlistees X  
Separatees from Active Military Service, separated for any reason before age 26 X*  
Men rejected for enlistment for any reason before age 26 X  
Civil Air Patrol members X  
Lawful non-immigrants on current non-immigrant visas. A complete list of acceptable documentation for exemption may be found here.   X
Permanent resident immigrants (USCIS Form I-551) X  
Seasonal agriculture workers (H-2A Visa)   X
Refugee, parolee, and asylee immigrants X  
Undocumented immigrants X  
Dual national U.S. citizens X  
Incarcerated, or hospitalized or institutionalized for medical reasons   X*
Handicapped physically or mentally    
Able to function in public with or without assistance X  
Continually confined to a residence, hospital, or institution   X
Transgender People    
U.S. citizens or immigrants who are born male and have changed their gender to female X  
Individuals who are born female and have changed their gender to male  


*Must register within 30 days of release unless already age 26.

NOTE: To be fully exempt you must have been on active duty or confined continuously from age 18 to 26.

**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 when the individual resides in the U.S. as an employee of the government of his homeland; or as a student who entered the U.S. for the purpose of full-time studies, as long as such person maintains that status.

NOTE: Immigrants who did not enter the United States or maintained their lawful non-immigrant status by continually remaining on a valid visa until after they were 26 years old, were never required to register. Also, immigrants born before 1960, who did not enter the United States or maintained their lawful non-immigrant status by continually remaining on a valid visa until after March 29, 1975, were never required to register.

NOTE: Transgender students are welcome to contact Selective Service regarding their registration requirements if they are unclear about how they should answer Question 21 or Question 22 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or need a status information letter from Selective Service that clarifies whether or not they are exempt from the registration requirement. This can be done by calling our Registration Information Office on 1-888-655-1825. Individuals who have changed their gender to male will be asked to complete a request form for a status information letter and provide a copy of their birth certificate. One exemption letter may be used in multiple school financial aid processes.

This WHO MUST REGISTER Chart is also available for Print as a pdf:  CHART.