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Status Information Letter

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.

Request a Status Information Letter

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:

  • Keep your SIL in your permanent files for future reference.
  • Send a copy, not your original, SIL to submit with your application for state-based student financial aid, employment, security clearance, U.S. citizenship.
  • Do not send us your original documents. Only send copies of documents which you are required to send.

Please mail your form to:

Selective Service System
P.O. Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4638

SIL Request Form

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.

List of Exemption Documents

SIL Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Documentation of Exemption

Who Needs to Register

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.

Printable Formal Letter

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.

  • Non-U.S. male who came into this country for the first time after his 26th birthday
    Date of entry stamp in his passport, I-94 with date of entry stamp on it, or a letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicating the date the man entered the United States. If the men entered the U.S. illegally after his 26th birthday, he must provide proof that he was not living in the U.S. from age 18 through 25. Resident Alien Card (Green Card) is not valid as proof of the date of entry to the United States.
  • Non-U.S. male on a valid non-immigrant visa
    For example, if the man entered the United States as an F-1 student visa and remained in that status until his 26th birthday, he would need to provide documentation indicating that he was admitted on an F-1 visa and attended school full-time as required.  A complete list of acceptable documentation for exemption may be found here.
  • A male born prior to 1960
    Official government issued document showing date of birth such as state ID card, driver’s license, passport, birth certificate.
  • A veteran
    DD-214 or current full-time active duty orders, military ID card. For men over age 26 who failed to register, active duty U.S. military service is compelling evidence that their failure to register was not knowing and willful. These men need to provide a copy of their DD Form 214, ‘Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,’ showing military service in the armed forces — other than the reserve forces, the Delayed Entry pool, and the National Guard.

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.