Right before I left the US to go to university my parents filled in the “selective service” conscription card for me that came in the post. I haven’t in all honesty thought anything about it until today.
You see, whilst on the US Embassy website today I clicked on the “Selective Service” tab and was disturbed to learn that there is some penalty for not informing them of change of address. I’ve lived at more addresses than I can remember since then and never updated them about it. I thought about doing it now right before I renounce, but they need a “selective service number” in addition to the social security one. I have no idea where to find this information and my parents haven’t a clue.
What does this mean in terms of renouncing? Will I be drilled on this during the interview? For those still in the age range is it better to wait until reaching 26 to renounce? Will they even notice/Does the department that handles renunciations even communicate with the selective service people? What about those born abroad who renounce between these ages and never registered? Is there a financial penalty for that?
The only open threats that I see on the SS website is a penalty of 250,000 dollars and/or five years in prison for knowingly submitting a false address, but nothing seems to be mentioned for failing to update your old address. They also talk mention that those who are registered remain eligible for student aid, federal jobs, and citizenship if not a US citizen (BTW does anyone else find it perverse to enlist non-citizens on a conscription database??). In this case the US frames compliance more in terms of the benefits that one receives rather than the penalties that one may endure. Is this thinking correct?
Apologies for making this a blog entry which is full of more questions than answers, but I feel that it is important enough to get some attention on the main page since I haven’t seen this issue discussed anywhere. Please share your experiences or understanding of how the US is currently handling this!