Selective Service System

(NAPSA)—When a young man turns 18, he is required to register with the Selective Service System —it’s the law. It’s important to note that there are few exceptions to this law. It applies to almost all male U.S. citizens and male aliens living in the U.S. who are 18 through 25—not just citizens.


Almost all male noncitizens are required to register with the Selective Service, including illegal aliens, legal permanent residents and refugees. The general rule is that if a male noncitizen takes up residency in the U.S. before his

26th birthday, he must register. Noncitizens who are in the U.S. on student or visitor visas, and men who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission and their families, are not required to register with Selective Service. This, however, is not the case for most male noncitizens. The Selective Service does not collect any information that would indicate whether or not you are documented, and you do not need a Social Security number to register.

Dual Nationals

Dual nationals of the U.S. and another country are required to register, regardless of where they live, because they are U.S. nationals.

Penalties For Nonregistration

A man who fails to register may, if prosecuted and convicted, face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years. Even if not tried, a man who fails to register with Selective Service before turning age 26 may find that some doors are permanently closed. For example:

  • Men who should register and do not won’t qualify for federal student loans or grant programs. This includes Pell Grants, College Work Study, Guaranteed Student/ Plus Loans and National Direct Student Loans.
  • Registration with Selective Service is a requirement for U.S. citizenship if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday.
  • The federal job training act called the Workforce Investment Act is only open to those men who register with Selective Service.
  • A man must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the executive branch of the federal government and the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Some states require proof of registration to get a driver’s license. Registration is easy. Go to your local U.S. post office and pick up a Selective Service registration card or register online at For additional information, call toll free (888) 655-1825.
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