Nevada DMV can now register teens for the draft

The Department of Motor Vehicles can now register men for the draft.

Assembly Bill 131 out of the 2015 Legislature was signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval. It attempts to fix the problem of men aged 18-26 who are required to register with the Selective Service failing to do so.

Under the bill, any male who’s a citizen or immigrant between those ages can be registered when he applies for a drivers license, ID card, instruction permit, driver authorization card or other permit. Those exempted would have to check a box on the application form indicating they’re not required to register because they already have or because he’s not required to register.

Those who fail to register as required can lose eligibility for student loans, government jobs and, in some states, their driver’s licenses.

It has been 35 years since a registration system replaced the actual draft following the end of the Vietnam War.

The new Nevada law states DMV “shall” forward personal information needed to register the young man to the federal government unless he’s exempt or already registered.

DMV in numerous states already routinely registers young men with the Selective Service.

The registration system is in place in case the federal government ever decides to reinstitute the draft. Women still are not required to register.

The signing comes as the Selective Service registration prepares to celebrate 35 year. In July 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed the bill back into law for all young men living in the United States.

Virtually all young men living in the U.S. are required to register with the Selective Service System when they turn 18. This includes citizens and noncitizens alike, according to a press release from the Selective Service System. Young men add their name to the Selective Service System’s database so that, in the event of an unforeseen national crisis, the U.S. could respond appropriately.

At the time, President Carter called the Selective Service System essential for “all Americans… who believe in maintaining peace through strength.” Since then, the U.S. has faced many challenges without ever needing to activate Selective Service, and policy makers are confident that trend will continue.

Lawmakers have also tied important opportunities to registration to give young men compelling reasons to follow the law.

“Men who register stay eligible for college loans and grants, job training programs, and most government jobs,” said Selective Service spokesman Patrick Schuback.

Unfortunately, some young men don’t know that they have to register. And if they don’t register by the time they turn 26, they can permanently lose access to every opportunity tied to Selective Service registration. Failure to register can also significantly complicate the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

“It’s heartbreaking. We get calls from men who are trying to turn their lives around, only to find out they’ve been shut out of an opportunity because of a mistake they made when they were 18.” Schuback said. “But there’s nothing we can do at that point. The best we can do is to keep educating communities about what Selective Service is, and why it’s important to remind young men to register.”

In Nevada, more than four of ten 18-year-old men fail to register. Selective Service has found that when a young man doesn’t register, it’s normally because he didn’t know he had to.

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