What is the Selective Service System?

The Selective Service System is an agency under the authority of the Executive Branch of the federal government. The U.S. President appoints and the U.S. Senate confirms the agency’s director. Its legislative authority is the Military Selective Service Act. It operates independently of any other agency, including the Department of Defense.

What is the Purpose of the Selective Service System?

The Selective Service maintains a system which would rapidly provide personnel for the U.S. military services in a fair and equitable manner in the event a conscription order (draft) was authorized by Congress and ordered by the President. Following a draft, the Selective Service would also manage an alternative service program for conscientious objectors.

Who Must Register?

All male U.S. citizens must register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Selective Service may accept a late registration, but not after a man has reached his 26th birthday.  Male immigrants living in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 25 must also register, regardless of their legal…


How Do You Register?

The easiest and fastest way for a man who has a valid social security number to register is online. Registration may also be done at most high schools or any United States Post Office. For more information and for males who have a social security number and wish to register online, please visit www.sss.gov.  …


Who is Exempt from Registration?

There are very few exemptions from registration.  If a man is serving on active duty in the Armed Forces prior to reaching the age of 18, he does not have to register upon reaching the age of 18; however, if he leaves active duty prior to reaching age 26, he must timely register after his…


What Happens if You Are Required to Register, But You Do Not Do So?

The Selective Service System cannot be fair and equitable without a high level of compliance with the law. Under the Military Selective Service Act, refusal to register can be punished by imprisonment of up to 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both imprisonment and a fine. Those who fail to…