When I was 18, I received a scary form from the Department of Defense telling me I had to sign up for something called “Selective Service” (or face prison time and other things). Not knowing any better at the time, I filled it out as if I was male.

Of course, this should be corrected. I recall that there was a box on this form reading “I am exempt because I am female.” (There are several issues with this, including the ban on women who do wish to serve, and the complete lack of recognition of and guidance for enbies, but those are separate questions.) I expect that the American government is, unfortunately, gatekeepy enough to not accept self-identification. What step of legal transition must I have completed before I can resubmit this form with the box checked to excuse myself as female?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Dale M
    Mar 19, 2020 at 22:27
  • 1
    I don't know that a deregistration process even exists
    – Kevin
    Mar 20, 2020 at 13:52
  • 1
    The question may become moot: foxnews.com/politics/…
    – BCS
    Mar 22, 2020 at 22:41

2 Answers 2


Apparently, you cannot do this at any point, unless the law changes at some time in the future:


People who were assigned male at birth are required to register with the Selective Service within thirty days of their eighteenth birthday. This includes those who may have transitioned before or since then. The Selective Service uses Social Security and other databases to determine who they believe was assigned male at birth. As of now, it is unclear whether transgender people are eligible for military service, but you are required to register nonetheless, and this is necessary to gain access to certain government benefits. According to the Selective Service website, "In the event of a resumption of the draft, individuals born male who have changed their gender to female can file a claim for an exemption from military service if they receive an order to report for examination or induction."

However, you needn't worry about being drafted, not least because nobody has been drafted since 1972. Furthermore, according to the same source:

As of April 12, 2019, openly transgender individuals are generally banned from joining the U.S. military. For more information on the eligibility of transgender people for military service, visit the Modern Military Association of America (www.modernmilitary.org) or SPART*A (https://spartapride.org/). Especially see the MMAA Frequently Asked Questions on on the Transgender Military Ban (https://secureservercdn.net/

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Dale M
    Mar 19, 2020 at 22:27
  • 2
    Is a transgender woman who would to anyone look like a woman be "openly" transgender?
    – gnasher729
    Mar 21, 2020 at 15:38

You can't, but fortunately for you gender dysphoria is once again a disqualifying condition for induction into the US military. Should there ever be a draft your local draft board would classify you 4F, not qualified for military service, and you wouldn't have to go. However should a different administration reverse this position and call a draft before your 26th birthday then you'd be liable to induction.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – feetwet
    Mar 22, 2020 at 22:21

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