Selective Service System

Selective Service System
P.O. Box 94739
Palatine, IL 60094-4739
(847) 688-6888


What is Selective Service?

Selective Service is a government agency whose job is to provide untrained manpower for Armed Forces if there's a national emergency.

What is Selective Service registration?

By registering, you add your name to a list of all the men in the nation, ages 18-25. the list would be used to identify men for possible military service in case of a national emergency.

What happens if there's a draft?

There hasn't been a draft since 1973. If there were an emergency sufficient for congress to order another draft, Selective Service would conduct a birth date lottery to decide the order in which to call men. Those who turn 20 during that calendar year would be called first in a sequence determined by the lottery. If more men were needed, those 21-25 would be called, youngest first.

Who is required to register?

The law says that all 18-year-old men/males (including U.S. citizens living abroad and non-citizen immigrant males 18-25 residing in the U.S.) must register. the only young men exempt from registration are non-citizen males who are in the U.S. temporarily as tourists, diplomats and their family members or foreign exchange students; incarcerated or institutionalized men; men on active duty in the Armed Forces; and students at U.S. military academies.

When should I register?

Within 30 days of your 18th birthday. If you cannot register on time because you are hospitalized or in prison, you have 30 days in which to register after you are released. If 30 days have already passed since your 18th birthday, register immediately, either online or at your post office. although Selective Service will accept a late registration, the longer you wait, the longer you are breaking the law and jeopardizing your future benefits.

The law says that all 18-year-old males (including U.S. citizens living abroad and non-citizen immigrant males 18-25 residing in the U.S.) must register for Selective Service.


To Register for Selective Service, click here.