If you did not register with Selective Service and are now a man 26 years old or older, you may be ineligible for certain federal or state programs and benefits, including U.S. citizenship. Some agencies may ask you to provide an official response, or Status Information Letter, from the Selective Service indicating if you were or were not required to register.
There are a few cases when a man is exempt from the registration requirement. Men who are exempt do not have a Selective Service registration number and are in compliance with federal law.
Complete a request form for a status information letter available here. You will have to describe, in detail, the circumstances you believe prevented you from registering and provide copies of documents showing any periods when you were hospitalized, institutionalized, or incarcerated occurring between your 18th and 26th birthdays. If you are a non-citizen, you may be required to provide documents that show when you entered the United States. Please include your name, social security number, date of birth, and return address.
Please note the following:
Please mail your form to:
Selective Service System
P.O. Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4739
You can also call us at 847-688-6888 to request a SIL. Your call will be answered by an automated voice processing system. Please refrain from pressing any numbers, and an operator will soon come on the line to assist you.
A complete list of acceptable documentation for exemption may be found here.
A status information letter from the Selective Service System states the facts: Whether or not a man is registered; whether or not the man should have registered; or if he is exempt from registering.
There are a few cases when a man is exempt from the registration requirement. Men who are exempt do not have a Selective Service registration number and are in compliance with federal law. The few individuals who are exempt from this requirement are those on current non-immigrant visas. A complete list of acceptable documentation for exemption may be found below.
Immigrant Men 31 and Older – In accordance with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) Policy Manual – Volume 12 – Part D – Chapter 7, applicants for naturalization who are over age 31 are eligible for naturalization even if they knowingly and willfully failed to register. This is because the applicant’s failure to register would be outside of the statutory period during which the applicant must show that he is of good moral character and disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States. Thus a man’s failure to register with Selective Service does not make him ineligible for naturalization because he is age 31 or older. Also, since an immigrant who is age 31 or older remains eligible for naturalization even if he knowingly and willfully failed to register, he should not be asked to get a “Status Information Letter” from Selective Service.
Reference: USCIS Policy Manual – Volume 12 – Part D – Chapter 7
If asked for a “status information letter,” these men may print a formal letter concerning their request for a letter for use with USCIS.
If the man falls within one of the following categories, a status information letter from Selective Service is not required if he can provide a copy of supporting documentation proving his case to your satisfaction.
The agency official handling your case, not the Selective Service, will determine whether you have shown that your failure to register was not a knowing and willful failure to register. The final decision regarding your eligibility for the benefit that you seek will be made by the agency granting the benefit (for example, for student financial aid, this would be the school’s financial aid officer). In some agencies, an appeals process is available.