Selective Service System
The Selective Service System (SSS) is an independent federal agency. It is not part of the Department of Defense; however, it exists to serve the emergency manpower needs of the U.S. Military by conscripting untrained manpower, or personnel with professional health care skills, if directed by Congress and the President in a national crisis. Its statutory missions also include being ready to administer an alternative service program, in lieu of military service for men classified as conscientious objectors.
The consular officers at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana can assist the SSS with its registration program by accepting registration forms at our post on behalf of SSS.
Who Must Register?
With few exceptions, all male U.S. citizens (including dual nationals) and male aliens residing in the United States and its territories must register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Please see the chart provided at the SSS web page “Who Must Register Chart” to learn more.
How to Register?
- Online: SSS advises that the easiest and fastest way to register is the online registration at the SSS web page. If you're a male U.S. citizen, age 18 through 25, and are living OUTSIDE the United States or its territories, you can register with Selective Service by filling out the online form provided at the SSS web page “SS Online Foreign Registration.”
You must have a Social Security Number to register online and be at least 17 years and three months old (if under registration age, you will be registered by SSS when you reach the age of 18.) Within three weeks after being registered, you will receive a Registration Acknowledgement by mail. You may verify your number online by visiting the SSS web page “To Check a Registration.”
- Post’s Chief Registrar: SSS strongly recommends the use of the online registration on the SSS web page; however, when it is not available, the consular officer as the designated Chief Registrar may register you by providing SSS Registration Form 1 and verifying your U.S. citizenship.
How to Report Change of Address?
After you register, you are required to notify SSS within ten days of any changes to any of the information you provided on your registration card, like a change of address. You must report changes until January 1 of the year you turn 26. You can use the online SSS address change at the SSS web page to submit a change of address.
What Happens if You Don't Register?
Registration is the law. If you fail to register, you may be prosecuted and convicted, and face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years. Even if not tried, if you fail to register with Selective Service before turning the age of 26, you may find that some doors are permanently closed. Visit the SSS web page “Benefits and Programs Linked to Registration” to learn more.