State Laws & Regulations on
Selective Service / Military Draft Registration

draft registration poster

Common draft registration poster found in US Post Offices

By the Center on Conscience & War

As many people know from the literature in their local U.S. Post Office, every male between the ages of 18 and 26 (with very few exceptions) is required to register with the Selective Service System (SSS). Many people probably think that it’s up to them whether they actually register or not. However, in too many cases, this is not true. If one applies for a driver’s license, permit, or even an identification card, in many states that automatically registers them for a future military draft, often unwittingly.

What if a conscientious objector is applying for a driver’s license? There is no place in the application to declare one’s convictions. On most applications, there is no way to “opt out” of registration for the Draft. If someone is a total objector to registration for a system of war, then they are denied their right to travel unless they violate their convictions.

The Center on Conscience & War is a firm opponent of all forms of conscription. As a defender of the rights of conscientious objectors, we believe the Selective Service system is fundamentally unjust and is a violation of fundamental religious freedom.

Summary of state laws that encourage or compel registration

States and territories that have enacted and implemented legislation linking driver’s licenses and registration with the SSS:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

States that have enacted and implemented legislation tying registration with Selective Service to state benefits but not to driver’s licenses:

Alaska, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and North Dakota.

States that have not currently passed legislation linking benefits to registration:

Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wyoming. Note that Maryland enacted driver’s license legislation in 2002, but never implemented it over funding issues.

We keep track of state and national laws and policies that relate both to military draft registration and conscientious objection. Here we have compiled provisions of state statutes that pertain to driver’s license application and Selective Service registration.

Our complete breakdown of states that have enacted legislation in regards to Selective Service System (SSS) registration can be found below. 

Click on the state names for additional commentary.

By State Laws & Regs

Alabama

Alabama

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to enroll in a state funded institution of higher education. State Employment? Yes, must be registered for state employment or promotion.

read more
Alaska

Alaska

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? No. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to receive state financial aid. State Employment? Yes, must be registered for state employment.

read more
Arizona

Arizona

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to receive state financial aid. State Employment? Yes, must be registered for state employment.

read more
Arkansas

Arkansas

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license or identification card. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to receive state financial aid, loans, or acceptance into a state funded institution of higher education. State Employment? Yes, must be registered for state employment.

read more
California

California

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? No. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to receive state financial aid. State Employment? No.

read more
Colorado

Colorado

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license, permit, or identification card. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to enroll in a state funded institution of higher education; males are required to submit a statement of compliance upon enrollment. State Employment? No.

read more
Connecticut

Connecticut

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license, permit, or identification card. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Delaware

Delaware

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license, permit, or identification card. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to receive state financial aid. State Employment? Yes, must be registered for state employment.

read more
District of Columbia

District of Columbia

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, MAY register when applying for a license, permit, or identification card. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Florida

Florida

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license, permit, or identification card. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? Yes, must be registered for state employment or promotion.

read more
Georgia

Georgia

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license, permit or identification card. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to receive state financial aid. State Employment? Yes, must be registered for state employment.

read more
Guam

Guam

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, may register when applying for a license, permit, or identification card. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Hawaii

Hawaii

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license or permit. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Idaho

Idaho

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants for a license, permit, or identification card may register with the SSS. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Illinois

Illinois

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license or permit. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Indiana

Indiana

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants for a license may register. Registration Linked to Access to Higher Education? No. Registration Required for State Employment? No.

read more
Iowa

Iowa

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, may register when applying for a license or ID card. Registration Linked to Access to Higher Education? No. Registration Required for State Employment? No.

read more
Kansas

Kansas

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license. Registration Linked to Access to Higher Education? No. Registration Required for State Employment? No.

read more
Kentucky

Kentucky

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, may register when they apply for a license, permit, or ID. If the individual refuses, the state may forward that information to the Selective Service. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Louisiana

Louisiana

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license, permit, or identification card. Registration Linked to Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered to enroll in state funded institution of higher education. Registration Required for State Employment? Yes, must be registered for state employment.

read more
Maine

Maine

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, may be registered to receive license, permit, or identification card. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? No.

read more
Maryland

Maryland

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? No, legislation passed but never implemented. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Massachusetts

Massachusetts

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? No. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? No.

read more
Michigan

Michigan

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, may register when applying for a license. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Minnesota

Minnesota

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Mississippi

Mississippi

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Missouri

Missouri

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants for license or permit may register. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Montana

Montana

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants for license, permit or identification card may register, and the state may provide that info to the SSS. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Nevada

Nevada

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants may register. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
New Hampshire

New Hampshire

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants may register. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
New Jersey

New Jersey

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? No. Access to Higher Education? Yes, must be registered for state financial aid. State Employment? No.

read more
New Mexico

New Mexico

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license or ID. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
New York

New York

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? Convicted draft law violators cannot hold public elected office.

read more
North Carolina

North Carolina

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
North Dakota

North Dakota

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? No.

read more
N Mariana Islands

N Mariana Islands

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Schools must encourage registration. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Ohio

Ohio

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? No.

read more
Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? No.

read more
Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants for license may register. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
South Carolina

South Carolina

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
South Dakota

South Dakota

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Tennessee

Tennessee

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? No.

read more
Texas

Texas

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Utah

Utah

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? No.

read more
Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
Virginia

Virginia

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Washington

Washington

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants for a license may register. Access to Higher Education? No. State Employment? No.

read more
West Virginia

West Virginia

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, applicants for license may register. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more
Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Driver’s License Linked to Registration? Yes, must be registered to receive a license. Access to Higher Education? Yes. State Employment? Yes.

read more