Frequently Asked Questions
on Selective Service

Very Important Note:
These FAQs and answers are from the Selective Service Website. Some of the advice given here regarding registering with Selective Service is not the best advice available, especially if you are a conscientious objector. Please look at some of the other material on this website for better advice for people who either are, or may be, conscientious objectors.

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 at the Selective Service website.

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 serves as a Selective Service Registrar. Most men turning 18 can also register by mail, if they receive a Selective Service form in the mail.

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."

What is the penalty for not registering?
If you do not register, you could be prosecuted and fined up to $250,000 and/or be put in jail for up to five years. Registration is also a requirement to qualify for Federal student aid, job training benefits, and most Federal employment.

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 Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Labor's JTPA or Job Corps Program, the Department of Defense's recruiting list, or from a high school list.

Are illegal alien males required to register?
Yes. All immigrant alien males, other than those admitted on nonimmigrant visas, must register, whether or not they have a green card.

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?
Call the Selective Service records division at (703) 605-4049. Provide the person's full name, date of birth, and his address at the time of registration.

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 will 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.

Do all men have to register with Selective Service?
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).

Disabled men, clergymen, and men who believe themselves to be conscientiously opposed to war must register because there is no draft in effect, nor is there a program to classify men at this time. Should the Congress and the President reinstate a draft, a classification program would begin. Registrants would be examined to determine suitability for military service, and they would also have ample time to claim exemptions, deferments, or postponements. To be inducted, men would have to meet the physical, mental, and administrative standards established by the military services. Local Boards would meet in every American community to determine exemptions and deferments for clergymen, ministerial students, and men who file claims for reclassification as conscientious objectors.

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.