Selective Service Registration

U.S. embassies and consulates abroad assist the Selective Service System with its registration program abroad.  Overseas registrants are encouraged to register with the Selective Service website On-Line Registration.  Where on-line registration is not available, the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate can be of assistance. Current brochures and guidance are also available on the Selective Service website.

What Is Selective Service?
Registration with the Selective Services is the process by which the U.S. government collects names and addresses of men ages 18 through 25 to use in case a national emergency requires rapid expansion of the armed forces.

Will I Be Drafted?
Registering with Selective Service does not mean you are joining the military nor does it mean that you are signing up for the all-voluntary armed services. The fact that a man is required to register does not mean that he will be drafted.  No one has been drafted since 1973.  No one can be drafted into the military unless ordered by Congress and the President.  A draft would most likely occur only in the event of war or national emergency.

What Happens If I Don’t Register?
Young men convicted of failure to register may be fined up to $250,000, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.  In addition to being subject to prosecution, failure to register may cause you to permanently forfeit eligibility for certain benefits.  Not registering is a felony.

What Are The Benefits?
Registering with Selective Service can open doors for you.  For example, Selective Service registration is often required for federal job training for jobs as an auto mechanic, electrician, carpenter, and many other professions.  Registration is required for federal (and some state) loans, grants, and scholarships.  Also, Selective Service registration is required for eligibility for U.S. citizenship and government jobs, such as a postal worker, computer technician, policeman, budget specialist, and others.

How to Register
Young men may register:

  • On line at: http://www.sss.gov/ 
  • At a U.S. Post Office where you can pick up a “mail-back” registration form; or
  • By mail, as many young men receive a reminder mail back card around the time they turn 18

How does Selective Service registration Impact citizens of the FSM?

Typically, a young FSM Male who is applying for federal student aid programs will receive a notice from the selective Service System informing him of the legal consequences for failing to register, including possible fines and imprisonment.  On occasion, student aid applications have been rejected pending Selective Service registration.

The U.S. Embassy wishes to clarify that according to the Compact of Free Association between the FSM and the United States (U.S. Public Law 108-188 of December 17, 2003), citizens of the FSM are exempt from registering with the Selective Service program.  FSM citizens are, however, eligible to join the U.S. military on a voluntary basis and apply for certain student aid programs.

Last Updated: October 3, 2019