Selective Service Registration

For information about the Selective Service System please visit the Selective Service website.

For a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions list, please visit the Selective Service Frequently Asked Questions website.  Below are some of the most common FAQs.

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, Selective Service ensures that a future draft will be fair and equitable.

Why aren’t women required to register?

The Military Selective Service Act, as it is written, only authorizes the registration of “male persons”.  In order for the Selective Service to be authorized to register women, Congress would have to pass legislation amending the current law.

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

America’s leaders agree that despite the success of the All-Volunteer Force, registration with Selective Service must continue as a key component of national security strategy. 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.”

How can I register?

Men 18-25 can register online with a valid SSN, by using our printable registration form, or by completing a form (SSS Form 1) at the post office.  Once a man turns 26, he is no longer able to register.

The printable PDF form is available for download here and can be mailed by following the instructions on the form.

What is the penalty for not registering?

Failure to register with Selective Service 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.

What if I’m over 26 years old and haven’t registered?

Once you turn 26, it’s too late to register.  You may be asked for a Status Information Letter (SIL) from Selective Service which can be found here.

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 (not Selective Service) that your failure to register was not knowing and willful, along with a copy of your SIL.