Humanities › History & Culture WWII Draft Registration Records Share Flipboard Email Print John W. Pattison (1884-1957) in the WWII draft registration. Public Domain/U.S. Selective Service Archives History & Culture Genealogy Vital Records Around the World Basics Surnames Genealogy Fun American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated February 07, 2019 Millions of men living in America completed draft registration cards between 1940 and 1943 as part of the WWII draft. The majority of these draft cards are not yet open to the public for privacy reasons, but almost 6 million WWII draft cards completed during the fourth registration by men between the ages of 42 and 64 in 1942 are open to the public for research. This registration, known as the "Old Man's Draft," provides a great deal of information on the men who participated, including their full name, address, physical characteristics, and date and place of birth. Note: Ancestry.com has started to make World War II draft cards from the 1-3 registrations, and 5-6 registrations available online in a new database U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1898-1929. As of July 2014, the database includes registrations filled out by men in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Record Type: Draft registration cards, original records (microfilm and digital copies also available) Location: U.S., although some individuals of foreign birth are also included. Time Period: 1940–1943 Best For: Learning the exact date of birth and place of birth for all registrants. This can be especially useful for research of foreign-born men who never became naturalized U.S. citizens. It also provides a source for tracking individuals after the 1930 U.S. census. What is a WWII Draft Registration Record? On May 18, 1917, the Selective Service Act authorized the President to temporarily increase the U.S. military. Under the office of the Provost Marshal General, the Selective Service System was established to draft men into military service. Local boards were created for each county or similar state subdivision, and for every 30,000 people in cities and counties with a population greater than 30,000. During World War II there were seven draft registrations: October 16, 1940 - all men 21-31 years residing in the U.S. - whether native born, naturalized, or alienJuly 1, 1941 - men who reached age 21 since the first registrationFebruary 16, 1942 - men 20-21 and 35-44 years of ageApril 27, 1942 - Men 45-64 years of age. Not liable for military service. *Only draft cards open to publicJune 30, 1942 - Men 18-20 years of ageDecember 10-31, 1942 - Men who reached the age of 18 since the previous registrationNovember 16 - December 31, 1943 - American men living abroad, aged 18-44 What You Can Learn From WWII Draft Records: Keep in mind that WWII Draft Registration Records are not military service records - they don't document anything past the individual's arrival at training camp and contain no information about an individual's military service. It is also important to note that not all of the men who registered for the draft actually served in the military, and not all men who served in the military registered for the draft. How to Search the WWII Draft Registration Records If you're searching online and don't know where your individual was living, you can sometimes find him through other identifying factors. Many individuals registered by their full name, including middle name, so you might try searching for a variety of name variations. You could also narrow the search by month, day and/or year of birth.