6. Selective Service
What is the Selective Service?
The Selective Service System is an independent agency in the US government that keeps records for all people who may be required to join the military if the US has another draft in the future.
Who is required to register for the Selective Service and when?
Most men living in the US are required to register for the Selective Service after they turn 18 but before they turn 26 years old. This includes US citizens, permanent residents, and those men who are undocumented. Men who are in the US for a temporary period, such as those on tourist, student, or employment visas, are not required to register.
I was living in the US between the ages of 18 and 26, but I was undocumented. Was I required to register?
Yes. All male immigrants, documented or undocumented, who reside in the United States between the ages of 18 and 26, are required to register for the Selective Service.
From the Selective Service System: “The Selective Service System has not now, or in the past, collected or shared any information which would indicate a man’s immigration status, either documented or undocumented. The Selective Service System has no authority to collect such information, has no use for it, and it is irrelevant to the registration requirement. Consequently, there is no immigration data to share with anyone.”
I’m not sure I registered. Can I find out if I did?
Yes. You can check your registration status on the Selective Service website by clicking here. You will be required to enter your last name, Social Security number, and date of birth. You may also call (847) 688-6888.
Please note that if you were born before January 1, 1960, your verification is not available online. If you were born before 1960, you must request to verify your registration by mail. You can learn more about how to make a request here.
I didn’t register. Will this prevent me from becoming a citizen?
Maybe. If you were living in the US between the ages of 18 and 26 but did not know that you were required to register, you may be able to show the USCIS that your failure to register was not on purpose. If you knew about the requirement and did not register, there may be a problem in your ability to show good moral character.
Do I need to show any documents to prove that I did or did not register?
I’m over 26. Can I still register?
No. Once you turn 26, you are no longer eligible to register for the Selective Service. However, if you are not yet 31 years old, you will be required to obtain a Status Information Letter for your naturalization interview.
How can I get a Status Information Letter?
You may request a Status Information Letter by filling out this form and mailing it to the address below with any required documents. There is currently no way to request a Status Information Letter online. For more information, click here.
Selective Service System
PO Box 94638Palatine, IL 60094-4638
Additional answers can be found in other sections of our FAQ listed below:
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