Clearance without Selective Service Registration

I have been offered a job at a DOE lab. Continued employment is contingent on eventually getting a security clearance. On filling out the e-qip paperwork for a security clearance, I realized I never registered for selective service when I was supposed to 20+ years ago. There is no hope for me to get an exemption from the SS people. I simply didn’t realize I had to do it as a kid, no great excuse.

Here are my questions:
a. Is this a very black and white issue? Should I even waste my time further in filling out the paperwork and starting the job, when I will ultimately get denied anyway?

b. Does anybody out there know of anyone who failed to register with SS but still got the clearance without an exception from the SS?

I guess I’m just wondering if failure to register is an automatic ‘no’.


If you’re a male born after 1959, you are legally required to register with Selective Service System. Otherwise, you will have to provide a legal exemption as to why you have not registered.

I suppose this is not in your favor; however, I doubt that this single issue alone would doom your chances of getting a clearance. But you won’t find out for a long time.

So keep working, hang in there, see what happens. I too am curious about this.

You should go to This question is answered in FAQ. At what age did you realize you were supposed to register? I believe you had up until your 26th birthday.

Also, if failure to register with SSS resulted in automatic denial of PT or clearances, so many males would be denied in the first step of the process.

Really? I can’t remember how I signed up but I feel like they had us do it in high school. Not sure how many people miss it, no judgement just curious. I kind of assumed literally every guy was enrolled in it except for rate exceptions of people who forgot or were never told.

I would expect this to be handled as serious issue. They take reporting responsibility pretty seriously. I’m not sure how to tell you to go about mitigating something like this.

I don’t know how you got past your 20th birthday without hearing that this was something that you needed to do. I remember it coming up when I was getting my drivers licence!

I think failure to register for SSS means no federal student loan and ineligible for govt employment, you can go for an exemption. Law requires you “willfully and knowingly didnt register”.

Unless you get a legal exemption (“I forgot” isn’t sufficient) then you are ineligible to hold a clearance without registering for SS. It sucks because, registration literally takes like 5 minutes online now and you have until you are 26 years old to do it. If you served in the military, you could use your DD214 as a legal exemption document.

This website might be of some help.

Here’s a question . . . Are you SURE that you never registered?

I was thinking the same as Ed. You may have registered and forgot. Seen it happen numerous times. Try looking up your SSS number on

OK . . . Here’s the deal, from the site . . .

" Pursuant to federal law, a person required to register with Selective Service, but who failed to register, may not be denied any federal right or benefit if he can show by a preponderance of the evidence (e.g. more-likely-than-not) that his failure to register was not knowing and willful . See 50 U.S.C. 3811(g). The final decision regarding a non-registrant’s eligibility for employment lies with the department or agency granting the right or benefit.

The burden of proof is on the person seeking the denied right or benefit."

Also, its up to the hiring agency to grant it, so you may need to only prove it to them.