TRENTON — A bill sponsored by Senator James Beach (D-Camden, Burlington) making Selective Service registration a part of the application process for a New Jersey driver’s license cleared the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee today.
While the military draft ended in 1973, the federal government still requires all males under the age of 26 to register with the United States Selective Service System in case the U.S. Armed Forces needs to expand quickly to respond to an extraordinary threat to our national security. Failure to register can lead to fines, jail and problems with getting school loans and other federal aid.
“Registering with the Selective Service is required by law, and directing the Motor Vehicle Commission to make registration a routine part of getting or renewing a driver’s license helps prepare our nation in the unlikely event the draft is reinstalled while protecting residents against being hit with fines or having trouble getting financial aid,” said Beach, who chairs the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The law would also apply to applications for learner’s permits, examination permits and non-driver identification cards.
Under the bill, S-826, applicants would be advised that if they have yet to register with the Selective Service system their application will be forwarded to the federal government to meet the requirement. At least 40 states have enacted driver’s license laws supporting Selective Service registration.
The bill was approved by the committee by a 4-0 vote.