Through the Selective Service System, the US maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription.
Men aged between 18 and 25 and living in the US are required to register with Selective Service. Per immigration laws, a man has to register within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Though late registrations are accepted, it should not be later than a man has reached 26 years of age. If you do not register, you may be denied other benefits or even a job. You can get registered at any US Post Office and do not need a social security number while registering. When you get a social security number, you have to inform the Selective Service. Include a copy of your new social security number card, your complete name, date of birth, SS registration number and current mailing address. Mail it to the Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94636, Palatine, IL 60094-4636.
Who must Register for Selective Service?
- Apart from a few exceptions, all male US citizens and male aliens residing in the US and its territories are required to register within the period starting 30 days before, and ending 30 days after, their 18th birthday.
- Parolees, refugees, and applicants for asylum are residents of the US and therefore have to register.
- Men who are handicapped who are able to function in public, with or without assistance have to register.
- Members of the National Guard and Reserve Forces, not on full-time active duty, must register.
Who Is Exempt From Registration?
- Non-immigrant aliens (men on visitor or student visas and members of diplomatic or trade missions and their families who were admitted lawfully) as they are residing in the US temporarily.
- Men who did not register due to unavoidable circumstances, such as being hospitalized, institutionalized, or incarcerated. However, such persons have to register within 30 days after their release.
- Armed Forces Members on full-time active duty, cadets and midshipmen at the US service academies. But, upon release from active duty, such persons have to register within 30 days if they are not yet 26 years of age and has not yet registered.
- Note that men cannot register after reaching age 26.
Registering for Selective Service is one factor that USCIS uses to assess whether an applicant has “good moral character.”