What is Selective Service?

The Selective Service System is a program that ensures that the U.S. military can quickly activate a draft in case of a national emergency. Currently, there is no draft in the U.S., and military service is voluntary. Registering with Selective Service (which is not part of the U.S. Department of Defense) does not mean you are signing up for the armed services, it is simply adding your name to an official database of individuals potentially eligible for conscription.


Do Immigrants Need to Register?

With very few exceptions, all immigrant males between ages 18 and 25 are required by law to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of arriving in the United States. This includes naturalized citizens, parolees, undocumented immigrants, legal permanent residents, asylum seekers, refugees, and all males with visas more than 30 days expired.  Men must register within 30 days of their 18th birthday, and late registrations are accepted up until a man reaches his 26th birthday. Note: The Selective Service does not collect or share any information which would indicate a man’s immigration status, either documented or undocumented.


How Do I Register?

Registering with the Selective Service System is fast and easy.


You can register online at: https://www.sss.gov/


You can also go to the link below, fill out the form, print it and mail it to:


Selective Service System
P.O. Box 94739
Palatine, IL 60094-4739




You are required to notify the Selective Service System of an address change within 10 days of moving, up until January 1st of the year you turn 26 years old. Men are no longer required to notify Selective Service of address changes once they are 26 years old or older. 


You can register without a social security number. To provide your social security number if you get one after you have registered, or update other personal information, you can call 847-688-6888 for assistance.


What Happens if I Don’t Register?

Not registering with the Selective Service System is a felony and may seriously affect your application for citizenship.  Individuals who don’t resister may be denied the following benefits for life:

  • State-based student loans and grant programs in 31 states
  • Federal job training under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (formerly Workforce Investment Act)
  • Federal (and many state and local) jobs
  • Up to a 5-year delay of U.S. citizenship proceedings for immigrants