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WWI Draft Registration Cards at National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region

Category: Articles

WWI Draft Registration Cards at National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region
August 23, 1999

The following information is provided by the National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region, in response to recent postings on several list serves concerning World War One (WWI) Draft Registration cards maintained at our facility. Unfortunately, the original posting, and subsequent, altered postings provided incorrect information about these holdings and related reference procedures. To better serve the public and the research community, we provide the following information and guidance concerning the WWI Draft Registration cards:

  1. The original cards, in excess of 24 million, were received at our facility a number of years ago. Upon their receipt, they were boxed and arranged by NARA employees. The original arrangement was by state, there under by county or draft board, and there under alphabetically by the registrant's last name. The cause for arrangement by draft board instead of county is due to the size of certain cities. For example, New York City had in excess of 180 boards, Chicago had over 80. As a result, we require a street address when searching for cards in most large cities.
  2. The cards were later microfilmed by representatives of the Genealogical Society of Utah in the exact order they were originally arranged; each NARA regional facility has a copy of the microfilm for the states in the region that it serves. Any patron wishing to use microfilm will find the cards arranged exactly as they are in the box. The arrangement of the cards has never been changed.
  3. NARA, Southeast Region, has provided a request form for these records for a number of years. The forms can be ordered via e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , telephone: 404-763-7383, or in writing: NARA, Southeast Region, 1557 St. Joseph Avenue, East Point, GA 30344.
  4. At a minimum, the following information is required from the requestor for NARA staff to conduct a search for draft registration cards:

Full name of registrant
Complete home address at the time of registration (to include county)
Name of nearest relative

  1. Additional information, if known, which can improve the thoroughness of a search includes:

Birth date
Occupation of registrant

  1. In July, 1997 NARA established an updated fee schedule for services provided to the public. The minimum mail-order fee for photocopies for each WWI Draft card was increased from $6.00 to $10.00, a fee which includes both sides of the card. Patrons need not request that both sides of the card be copied, and patrons need not submit a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with their request.

Walk-in customers can make self-service photocopies of the original records for $0.10 per side. Please contact individual regions for their policies regarding microfilm copies. These fees are copying fees only; there is no charge for searches when a record is not located.

The staff of the NARA, Southeast Region, remains committed to assisting our patrons in anyway possible, including the timely and accurate dissemination of information concerning our holdings and services. The WWI Draft Registration cards represent only one of many significant collections of historical records maintained by the Region that are invaluable for genealogical research. For additional information regarding our holdings and services, visit our home page at

JAMES J. MCSWEENEY, Regional Administrator
National Archives and Records Administration, Southeast Region



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