Fact Sheet

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Selective Service Requirements

Who Must Register

Almost all males living in the United States, between the ages of 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service. It's important to know that even though he is registered, a man will not automatically be inducted into the military. In a crisis requiring a draft, men would be called in sequence determined by random lottery number and year of birth. Then, they would be examined for mental, physical, and moral fitness by the military before being inducted into the Armed Forces, or deferred or exempted from military service.

Registration is Easy and It's the Law!

Register with the Selective Service! Save a stamp. Save time. Register on-line at www.sss.gov, or pick up a registration card at your local post office.

Why Register?

Keep your future free of roadblocks. Registration is required for young men to stay eligible for:

  • Most Federal jobs and jobs with the United States Postal Service;
  • Federal student loans and grants;
  • State student aid (in most States), and even admission to some state schools;
  • Job training benefits;
  • United States citizenship for male immigrants seeking citizenship.

When to Register

The law requires virtually all male United States citizens (regardless of where they live), and male immigrants residing in the United States (permanent resident aliens), to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Therefore, to be in full compliance with the law, a man turning 18 should register during the period of time beginning 30 days before, until 30 days after his 18th birthday...a 60-day window.

Late registrations are accepted, but not once a man reaches age 26. Men who do not register within the 60-day window are technically in violation of the law and should register as soon as possible.

Early Submission: It is now possible for a man to submit registration information early, as long he is at least 17 years old. Selective Service will keep his information on file and process it automatically later in the year, when the man is within 30 days of reaching his 18th birthday. An acknowledgment card will be mailed to the man when his registration is processed. To submit early registration information, follow the same procedures as men who are 18 through 25 years old.

Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012