Selective Service

Registering for Selective Service

(NAPSA)—As they grow older, young people find that in exchange for more freedom they are expected to take on greater social responsibilities, such as voting and paying taxes.

In the case of young men, once they turn 18, the law requires them to register with the Selective Service System.

To be in full compliance with the law, men are required to register during the period of time beginning 30 days before their 18th birthday until 30 days after their birthday—a 60­day window.

This law applies regardless of where they live. Also, the law doesn’t just apply to citizens. Male immigrants residing in the U.S. must register as well, no matter what their immigration status is.

It is also possible for a man to submit registration information early, as long as he is at least 17 years and 3 months old.

How To Register

In general, young men can register online, at a post office, by mail, when applying for student aid or at high school.

To register online, go to and click on the registration icon. It only takes a minute to complete the registration and you will receive a registration number instantly.

Selective Service “mailback” registration forms are available at any

  1. Postal Service facility. Men living overseas may register at any
  2. Embassy or consular office.


A young man may also register by filling out a Reminder Mail­back Card. Selective Service sends this card to many young men around the time they turn 18. Mailback cards are also available at some post offices.

Once they turn 18, young men are required, by law, to register with the Selective Service System.  Male immigrants residing in the U.S. must register as well.

Another way a young man can register is to check a box on the application form for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA form).

In addition, most of the high schools in the nation have a staff member or teacher appointed as a Selective Service Registrar. These individuals help register young men.

The Benefits Of Registration

Men who have registered re­main eligible for federal student aid, most federal jobs and federal job training. Male non-citizens living in the U.S. who are 18 through 25 must register to remain eligible for citizenship. Many states and territories require registration for a driver’s license.

Penalties For Not Complying

Those who don’t comply face fines of up to $250,000, a prison sentence of up to five years or both. Plus, they are ineligible for student financial aid and job training programs.

To learn more about registration, visit

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