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Stop Automatic Draft Registration in California . . . AGAIN!!

This is a new attempt to pass this bill
- 2/17/02

The Selective Service System has returned to the California State Legislature for the third year in a row with a proposal to link Selective Service registration with California driver's license applications. SB 1276 would automatically register California males between ages 18 and 26 and have a disproportionate impact on low-income youths and immigrants.

This bill is part of a national campaign to coerce young men into registering for a possible future draft. According to Selective Service, as of February 5, 2002, thirteen states, one territory, and the District of Columbia had enacted draft registration/driver's license laws. Two previous attempts to enact such laws in California have failed.

SB 1276 has been referred to the Senate Governmental Operations Committee and Transportation Committee. Hearings may be scheduled during the 2nd week of March. To make sure your letter is included in the official hearing record, it should be mailed no later than February 28 or faxed no later than March 4. Write/fax to:

Senate Governmental Operations Committee
State Capitol, Room 2193
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-1193; Fax: (916) 445-5258

Senate Transportation Committee
State Capitol, Room 2209
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-3182 Fax: (916) 445-2209

Send a copy to your state senator, especially if he or she is a member of one of the committees (see list below) at: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. Ask TEN people to join you in sending letters. If you need more information about hearings and deadlines, contact one of the groups at the bottom of this alert for the current status of SB 1276.

Some suggested points to make (these are just to get you started; personal and original arguments are the most persuasive):

  • Failure to register is a federal offense that is already addressed by a mechanism for determining guilt and punishment under federal law.

  • This bill is aimed primarily at low-income people and immigrants: Selective Service spokesperson Lewis Brodsky told AP in 1999 that "we suspect, based on the demographics we've seen, that it's high school dropouts and immigrants" who are not registering.

  • While SB 1276 may increase the number of low-income people and immigrants who are registered, it will also increase the number of these individuals who drive without a license, which would not be helpful to the state.

  • The language of SB 1276 does not guarantee that the federal government will reimburse California for the cost of implementation. Motorist fees and taxes are mandated by the Constitution to support motorist and transportation-related programs. SB 1276 would provide no benefit to motorists or traffic safety and, therefore, should not be funded by motorists.

  • This bill requires the state to assist a federal agency that has failed to demonstrate its value and has been under bipartisan attack in Congress. In 1999, Republican members of the California House delegation joined Democrats to sponsor a bill in the 106th Congress to abolish Selective Service, and legislation to de-fund the agency passed the House (the Senate did not concur). Another bill to abolish Selective Service has been introduced in the current congress.

  • The Selective Service System already has easy access to young men through its taxpayer-funded media, Internet and high-school campus registration campaigns.

  • The purpose of Selective Service registration is to identify people for a possible military draft. Selective Service refuses to allow conscientious objectors to indicate their beliefs through the registration process, and the Pentagon continues to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation. With this proposed law, therefore, California would be supporting a violation of conscience and the military's antigay policies.

All numbers are for capitol offices in area code (916); the second number is a fax number.


Senator Edward Vincent (Chair), Inglewood, 445-2104, 445-3712
Senator Ross Johnson (Vice Chair), Irvine, 445-4961
Senator James Brulte, Rancho Cucamonga, 445-3688, 327-2272
Senator Wesley Chesbro, Eureka, 445-3375, 323-6958
Senator Joseph Dunn, Garden Grove, 445-5831, 323-2323
Senator Maurice Johannessen, Redding, 445-3353, 445-7750
Senator Betty Karnette, Long Beach, 445-6447, 327-9113
Senator Wm. J. 'Pete' Knight, Palmdale, 445-6637
Senator Michael Machado, Sacramento, 445-2407, 323-2304
Senator Bill Morrow, San Juan Capistrano, 445-3731
Senator Jack O'Connell, Santa Barbara, 445-5405, 322-3304
Senator Don Perata, Oakland, 445-6577, 327-1997
Senator Nell Soto, Ontario, 445-6868


Senator Kevin Murray (Chair), Culver City, 445-8800, 445-8899
Senator Tom McClintock (Vice Chair), Thousand Oaks, 445-8873, 324-7544
Senator James Brulte, Rancho Cucamonga, 445-3688, 327-2272
Senator Jim Costa, Bakersfield, 445-4641, 327-5989
Senator Joseph Dunn, Garden Grove, 445-5831, 323-2323
Senator Liz Figueroa, Fremont, 445-6671, 327-2433
Senator Betty Karnette, Long Beach, 445-6447, 327-9113
Senator Dick Monteith, Modesto, 445-1392
Senator Bill Morrow, San Juan Capistrano, 445-3731
Senator Don Perata, Oakland, 445-6577, 327-1997
Senator Gloria Romero, Monterey Park, 445-1418, 445-0485
Senator Jack Scott, Pasadena, 445-5976, 324-7543
Senator Nell Soto, Ontario, 445-6868
Senator Jackie Speier, San Mateo, 445-0503, 327-2186
Senator Tom Torlakson, Walnut Creek, 445-6083, 445-2527

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SB 1276 (Introduced on 1/16/02 by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, co-authors: Senators Alpert, Costa, Figueroa, McPherson, Monteith, Oller, Polanco, and Poochigian)

  • Would change the Vehicle Code to state that all male citizens or immigrants who apply for an original driver's license or identification card who are under the age of 26 shall be registered in compliance with the requirements of the federal Military Selective Service Act.

  • Declares that the submission of an application for a driver's license or identification card is a conclusive presumption that the applicant either is registered with the Selective Service System or is authorizing the department to forward to the Selective Service System the necessary information for that registration at the time that person is required to register under the Selective Service Act (i.e., at age 18).

  • Requires the California Department of Motor Vehicles to include on the application a notice to the applicant that his submission of the application serves as consent to registration with the Selective Service System.

  • Requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to forward to the Selective Service System the personal information of male applicants for an original driver's license or identification card who are required to be registered.

The bill's text can be found at:

For more information and updates, contact: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft, 619-265-1369, or the Friends Committee on Legislation of California, 916-443-3734.


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