Selective Service Compliance

Posted by Janet Heinsler on March 13, 2015


The Selective Service is an independent agency of the federal government whose purpose is to provide personnel to the Department of Defense in case of a national emergency in which we need to muster an army in order to respond to said emergency. Basically it provides soldiers in a time of war. It is part of the wing of government that seeks to be prepared for any national emergency.  

The current director of the Selective Service is Lawrence G. Romo, who took office in 2009. So why is this important to you and your family? It is important because if you have a son who is approaching 18 they must register for the Selective Service and failure to do so may result if one of several sanctions. The law states that those males between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered with Selective Service. This includes both citizens and immigrants currently residing in the United States.  The Selective Service does require non-nationals to register also but does not collect or report any information on their citizen status.
Many people think that the draft was abolished after the Vietnam War but this is not exactly the case.  Men are still required to register for the draft; however, the draft is not currently being used as it was during the Vietnam War. Because the draft is not currently active, those who are disabled, clergymen and those who consider themselves to be conscientious objectors still must register. If a draft were to be activated a classification process would take place where these individuals would most likely be classified as 4 F if they were disabled; this means that they aren’t physically able to fight. The clergy and conscientious objectors have to apply for a special status.

So what happens if your son fails to register? The following list are the sanctions that may be imposed upon your son if he fails to register before he turns 26 (they are supposed to register any time encompassing thirty days prior to their 18th birthday up to 30 days after).

Prosecution. If convicted your son may be fined up to $250,000 and/or receive a jail sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
Denial of Student Financial Assistance.  (This means College Work Study, Pell Grants, Guaranteed Student loans/Plus Loans, and National Direct Student Loans). So if your child plans on going to college and has not yet register it is imperative that they do this.
Denial of U.S. Citizenship. If the male came into the U.S. before their 26th birthday they must also register; this includes those who hold green cards, are illegal immigrants, are seeking asylum, and refugees. Those international students who hold a student visa do not have to register. If any of these people apply for citizenship and they have failed to sign up then they face a chance of being denied it.
Federal Jobs. If you are not registered with the Selective Service you will not be able to get a Federal job or a job with the U.S. Post Service
Federal Job Training. There is a program called The Jobs Training Partnership Act (JTPA) that will train people for jobs as an auto mechanic as well as other such jobs. If your son is not registered for the Selective Service he will not be eligible for this.
In addition to the above penalties several states have enacted legislation that mandate signing up for the Selective Service or they face some sort of penalty. In some 41 states and the District of Columbia this is connected to your driver’s license. If you have not registered for this in these states you are not allowed to get your license.

How to register. There are several ways to register but the easiest for most young boys is to do it online.  You may do this at  Other ways of registering include going to your local Post Office and requesting a Selective Service mail back registration form. Pick it up and take it home to fill out. You may also sign up if you are applying for student federal aid. The form you have for this will have a box you will need to check that will automatically sign you up. Finally most high schools have someone who has been assigned to do this at most high schools.