What is the Selective Service?
The Selective Service System is an independent agency in the U.S. government that keeps records for all people who may be required to join the military if the U.S. has another draft.
Who is required to register for the Selective Service and when?
Most men living in the U.S. are required to register for the Selective Service after they turn 18 but before they turn 26 years old. This includes U.S. citizens, LPRs, and those men who are undocumented. Men who are in the U.S. for a temporary time period, such as those on tourist, student, or employment visas, are not required to register.
I was living in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 26 but I was undocumented. Was I required to register?
Yes. All male immigrants, documented or undocumented, who are living 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 prior to 1960, you must make a 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 U.S. between the ages of 18 and 26 but you did not know that you were required to register, you may be able to show 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?
If you did register, the only information you need to provide is your registration number.
If you did not register, it depends on how old you are when you apply for naturalization.
- If you are currently over 18 but not yet 26, you are still eligible to register for the Selective Service. You should do this as soon as possible by visiting the Selective Service website.
- If you are between the ages of 26 and 31, you must provide a document called a Status Information letter at your naturalization interview. You are also required to write an explanation of why you did not register and submit it with your naturalization application.
- If you are over 31, you are not required to request a Status Information letter. We do recommend submitting an explanation of why you did not register with your application.
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 are 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.
Selective Service System
PO Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4638