Navy has Enlistment Dependency Limits

Navy Dependency Waiver

If you are enlisting into the Navy with dependents (dependent definition) in an entry level paygrade (E-1 to E-4), historically some encounter family hardships due to financial situations soon after enlisting. Navy Recruiting Command wants to eliminate from consideration those who cannot balance the demands of family and service, or who would experience a financial hardship at the onset of naval service. You can use the chart below to determine your potential eligibility based on the current instructions.

Unmarried or Divorced
and PS)
No dependents Eligible No waiver required
Custody of dependents Ineligible No waiver authorized
No custody of dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 1 or 2= NRD CO
3 = CNRC
4 or more = Ineligible
(NPS and PS)
Spouse only Eligible No waiver required
(NPS enlisting in paygrades E1 to E4 and PS enlisting in paygrades E1 to E4 with broken service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 2 = NRD CO
3 or 4 = CNRC
5 or more = Ineligible
(NPS enlisting in paygrades E5 and above and PS enlisting in paygrades E5 and above with broken service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 2 or 3 = Eligible
4 = NRD CO
5 = CNRC
6 or more = Ineligible
(PS enlisting under continuous service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible No waiver required
NRD – Navy Recruiting District; CNRC – Commander, Navy Recruiting Command; PS – Prior Service; NPS – Non Prior Service

If one is required, the dependency waiver process starts with the Enlistee Financial Statement (Enlistee Financial Statement Form 1130/13). Incidentally, everyone enlisting with dependents will complete an Enlistee Financial Statement, even if a waiver is not required, and you will be interviewed by a Navy Recruiting Division Chief or person higher in the chain-of-command prior to enlistment processing.

The interviewer will:

  1. Determine if you are handling present personal and financial affairs in a mature, competent, and responsible manner.
  2. Determine if you can meet current and expected financial obligations within the first six-months of naval service.
  3. Counsel you concerning potential problems that may be experienced at the onset of enlistment relating to financial matters and the assignment to possible dependent restricted tours.

NOTE: A prior bankruptcy is not by itself a disqualifier for enlistment eligibility; however, it may affect the job you are qualified for because of the various security clearance requirements.

During the interview, your Enlistee Financial Statement will be reviewed with you either face-to-face or telephonically. The interviewer and chain of command will become suspicious of entries that are missing or unrealistic. All questionable areas must be resolved.

You will not be enlisted if it appears they are unable to meet current and expected financial responsibilities within the first six-months of Naval Service.

Completing the Enlistee Financial Statement:
The Enlistee Financial Statement is for use by all applicants with dependents. Prior to preparation, you shall sign the Privacy Act Statement on the Enlistee Financial Statement. The financial statement will be prepared in your own handwriting.

No special criteria for the amount of monthly expenditures to be entered for housing, food, utilities, etc. can be established due to the variation in circumstances present in each individual case; however, for the benefit of those who must determine whether a dependency waiver is to be granted, questionable or unrealistic entries must be fully explained. An example of a questionable entry would be $100 per month for food when the applicant has three dependents. While use of food stamps could explain the low amount, this must be explained in detail and attached to the form.

A realistic breakdown of monthly expenditures for most families would include additional categories that are not indicated on the financial statement (e.g., clothing, automobile expenses that are not included in car payments [gas, oil, tires, tune-ups, insurance, etc.], entertainment, miscellaneous). Entry of these expenses are especially applicable when your income is reported at $500 or $600 per month or more, and monthly expenditures total $300 or $400 per month. The absence of these additional expenses is even more noticeable when little or no savings and/or checking account balances are indicated. In order for the total debt and total monthly payment data to have greater relevance for personnel reviewing the financial statement, each outstanding debt, and the monthly payment for each debt, must be indicated.

Signature of your spouse is mandatory, unless you are legally separated, spouse resides outside the geographical area or refuses to sign. If this is the case, note the reason in item 16 of the form.

Note: If you are in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) over 90 days or you acquire dependents while in DEP, you are required to complete an updated Enlistee Financial Statement prior to shipping to boot camp. Changes in dependency status must be reviewed, and if necessary, waived by the appropriate authority.

Read Comments (813)

RSS feed for comments on this post.

813 Responses to “Navy Dependency Waiver”

  1. NCCM(ret) says:


    Four if the court order for the step children to live with the grandparents was followed up by the grandparents adopting, therefore gaining full control, care and permanent custody; otherwise, it is six.

  2. Joseph Braun says:

    OK, silly question. What if I were divorced, and then got married after basic training? Is it an instant thing…once I have 6 dependents am I discharged, or is the limit only for enrollment? From what I understand, I would still get BAH and such since I have the 2 dependents anyway.

  3. Desiree says:

    My son is currently DEP and departs in November. His girlfriend just told him she was pregnant. She is due when he is in bootcamp. He is not 100% sure its his, but acknowledges that it is most likey his child. They do not plan to marry at this time. He does plan to provide financial support if he is the father. Will this affect his enlistment or deployment date? What is he required to do?

    Thank you

  4. NCCM(ret) says:


    He must advise his recruiter to have the unborn child listed in his application. He will require a dependency waiver before he can leave for boot-camp.

  5. Boy Bawang says:

    Hi i hope you can answer my question in regards of joining the Navy while in process of filing Chapter 7 or Bankruptcy. I talked to my recruiter and he said Navy would still enlist people who filed bankruptcy but will likely get hard time getting security clearance…i am okay with jobs w/o clearance anyway. My question is after i file Bankruptcy would they still processed me in MEPS while waiting for my court order to be discharged on my debts or let say after i get processed in MEPS then i file my bankruptcy while waiting for bootcamp? (am i allowed to do that?) Theres no way i can avoid filing bankruptcy and i really want to join the navy as soon as possible. Thanks

  6. NCCM(ret) says:

    Boy Bawang,

    If you have/intend to file, I suggest you do so before you process at MEPS for a couple of reasons. First, if you need a dependency waiver, you more than likely will not qualify because your debt to income ratio will more than likely be disqualifying. Second, the Navy should be able to make a decision based on who, and in what circumstance, a person is that they will be sending to boot-camp. Changing your status while in DEP, especially when you know before you contract that it will, isn’t a good thing, at all.

    Once you file, you will be set up with a court date, you will have to attend that day in court – once you do, you should get a document saying you no longer have to attend and you then should be able to process (Navy Recruiting Legal MUST review the documents and grant approval to process first). I guess that is the third reason to get it done before you join, you don’t know how long it will take to get a court date – if you join and the court date and legal’s approval comes after your ship date, you will be discharged – you don’t want that.

  7. Boy Bawang says:

    Wow thanks for that quick reply…this site comes in handy. I am in a Dillema to file or not to file…I have a choice of just holding on not to file until i finish DEP up to bootcamp (most likely 6 Months) but then again my wife will definitely file Bankruptcy and on that she will include the car (where i am co signer on loan) means i will be affected as well…we really having financial trouble and cant afford any more payments…Now from what you suggest it is a definite to get out of my debts (after get discharged from bankruptcy) then get processed in MEPS…well that will put me in a situation to wait couple of 5-6 MOnths to get discharged from bankruptcy…..and …then another 6 months before bootcamp…Thank you very much you been helpful.

  8. NCCM(ret) says:

    Boy Bawang,

    When you are joining the Navy, both you and your wife’s finances are considered. You must get your debt to income ratio down to a manageable level as a family.

  9. Miss Blue says:

    Good Morning,

    I am 9 months pregnant and due any day now. My (unborn) daughters father left for boot camp the first week in July. I took him to his recruiter numerous times during the enlisting process. The recruiter was aware that i was pregnant, but the last time we went to finalize the paperwork he only asked for his other daughter (from a previous relationship) information to be listed. What steps should i take to make sure my daughter is listed? And also since he is in boot camp he will not be here to sign the Birth Certificate so how would i go about getting that completed? Now he will have a total of 2 children, never married, will he be discharged because he didnt list her or for the amount children he has now? Im just really confused and Im unsure of why this was not taken care of before he was shipped out.

    Thank You

  10. NCCM(ret) says:

    Miss Blue,

    After the child is born, ensure he is listed as the father on the birth certificate – I doesn’t have to be there for that – many children are born when their fathers are out of the country, even. Then mail a copy of the birth certificate to him so he can update his page two (dependents) and have the child added into the DEERS system so the benefits can start.

    Whether he will be discharged or not, I don’t know – there is a chance if he in fact fraudulently enlisted.

  11. Miss Blue says:

    I do apologize but i just want to make sure i am clear. I live in the state of MD. So i am able to sign his name on the birth certificate?

    Again thank you! This information is very helpful.

  12. Tori says:

    Hi…just asked a recruiter about joining the navy. im married, 30yrs old with 3 children. thy said i would be denied due to too many dependents but your chart says no more than 4. can u clarify this for me? thank you.


  13. NCCM(ret) says:


    I can only assume that their local policy is not to pursue waivers that must go to the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command.

    What is written here is what the instruction dictates as a guide, but keep in mind, ALL recruiters and local commands can impose tougher guidelines than the instructions mandate.

  14. Tori says:

    It’s ashame that they would do that for honest americans trying to serve our country. thank you for your help.

  15. Jack says:

    I have a question. I just recently swore into the Navy Reserve with 2 dependants. I am currently in the DEP until shipping out. Just found out that my girlfriend is pregnant and was hiding it for sometime. Will this disqualify me now from going to Boot camp? Any information and advice would be appreciated

  16. NCCM(ret) says:


    You require a new waiver that considers your unborn child.

  17. Kimber says:

    Hello- my fiance is thinking about joining the Navy. We want to get married before he leaves for bootcamp. I have horrible credit and a ton of student loans, will this stop him from joining?

  18. NCCM(ret) says:


    I suggest that you go to a local recruiting station and fill out the financial statement as if you were already married, he can make a judgement based on the debt to income ratio and give you a better answer using the hard data.

  19. Oscar says:


    I had a question. Im 24 and married with 2 kids. Am I still eligible for enlistment into AD?

  20. NCCM(ret) says:


    As the chart in the post states, per instruction, you would be eligible with a CNRC waiver.

  21. Jack says:

    Me again. So a new waiver is required, but doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be approved, right? Would I also have to have a court order giving up custody when I report to boot camp if the waiver is approved?

  22. NCCM(ret) says:


    You will not need court documents for an unborn child – the court won’t give you any until the child is born, but you can proceed with the waiver, and yes, the waiver can be disapproved.

  23. carmen says:

    I am a married mother of two children. I am wanting to enlist in the navy but my husband is not supporting me. He says I can go but he refuses to give me his birth certificate and S.S. Card to give to my recruiter. I know I will require a waiver. We are considering becoming legally separated, how will this effect my waiver? will i still need his info if we get a legal separation. Also if i enlist im willing to sign over custody. And are waivers for 3 dependents approved often, and what are the determining factors.

  24. NCCM(ret) says:


    Even if you debt to income ratio is within the limits expected by the waiver authority, I think you would have a hard time getting a waiver approved because of the potential for custody issues you may experience during your first tour. Get things settled in your family, not because you want to join the Navy, but because it is the right thing to do for your family, then when things are stable, no matter what the outcome, see if the Navy could be in your future – either active duty or Reserve.

    Your husband, technically does not have to sign – If your husband refuses to sign, just note the reason in item 16 of the financial statement.

  25. Joe says:

    Waiver Approval Length:

    Hi, My recruiter has never done a waiver before and I am his 1st (due to my wife and 2 daughters) It has been 9 WEEKS so far and the recruiter calls weekly to check on the waiver and tells me that he gets told it hasn’t been reviewed Yet.
    My question to you-is there at least an estimate in your experience to how long it takes to get an answer? I have no idea if i’m looking at a 6 month wait or a 1 year wait or maybe it’s likely that by next month i’ll have an answer but i’m just completely in the dark (not anyones fault just due to it being his 1st waiver) Even any round about time frame as to how long it takes for the average waiver to be reviewed by the CNRC would greatly be appreciated.

    Thanks for your Help

  26. NCCM(ret) says:


    Nine weeks is too long. Your recruiter needs to contact the local district’s waiver petty officer to have him/her track down who’s desk the paperwork is sitting on.

  27. Joe says:

    Waiver Approval Length:

    Hi, in 2 days it will be 10 Weeks that i’m waiting to hear if my waiver was approved so I took your advice and had a Petty Officer check on it today. She was actually there at meps and she told me the computer says my waiver status is pending. I was told this means it’s not lost just still waiting to be processed. In your opinion, do you think that sounds correct or should I actually have them find my paperwork. I just don’t want to keep bothering them and hurt my chances of it being approved.

    Thanks Again

  28. NCCM(ret) says:


    Whereas it is a good thing that the system shows your record in process, 10 weeks of waiting for an answer is excessive. The only thing I can think of as to why it is taking so long is that the current Commander, Navy Recruiting Command will be turning over to the new Commander on the August 25th, and because the current Commander was essentially interim, I assume she didn’t want to have waivers process. More than likely I am mistaken, but it is the only reason I can think of for such a delay. All I can say is, hang in there, and keep your recruiter on his toes by continuing to follow-up with him.

  29. Matthew says:


    I have a wife and three kids. I been reading and have seen a mixed
    bad and Q&A along the same line I have. However I will ask and see and make sure I have the answer I need. I’m 28 Y/O I would like to join the Navy doing the Law enforcement or Fire Protection or something emergency service being that what I been doing in the civil side for 6 years now and will that help me if I was to enlist? . How ever like I said I have a wife and three kids. I was told there should be no problem geting a waver. Now I have seen things about giveing kids up to famley and so on. This is some thing I’m not sure I understand why this would have to happen with a waver or dose it? This is some thing I would not be keen with and would likely stop me from joining. My dad was a MP in the USMC and I was the oldest of 3. So hope maybe you can clear some thing up for me. My dad is not a happy camper after I told him I talked to a Navy recuter.
    Matthew Harper

  30. NCCM(ret) says:


    With 4 dependents, you will require a waiver from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command. Before your waiver will proceed, your family’s finances will be scrutinized by the recruiter and the local command to ensure you have a debt to income ratio that would have a chance of approval by the Admiral. I suggest printing out the financial statement and fill it out, then bring it to the recruiter for review. Some of the earnings information the recruiter will have to supply, but make sure you have all your bills listed and any income your spouse may have.

    The job selection you will have is based on your ASVAB scores, physical result (hearing, colorblindness, etc.), and your moral/criminal background (if any). The number of dependents you have is not a consideration for programs, but your financial status can be (high level security clearances).

  31. Matthew says:

    So after I get this 70 lbs of extra weight is gone. Then I can print out the financial statement and fill it out. Or is this some thing I can now so I can see if I’m not wasteing the Navy’s time and my time.
    I mean I have some old school lones but no house, car payment ECT.
    some bad debt but not alot.

  32. Matthew says:

    Oh and retake the asvab. I can even recall what I made back in high school. That would I need to make in the ASVAB for Fire Protrction/ emergency service Or law enforcement for Navy?

  33. Adam says:

    My ship date is September 13, 2011…I just was served a court date for December 5, 2011. It is for child support that I filed on myself. Would I still be able to leave on my ship date and return for my court date?

  34. NCCM(ret) says:


    Navy Recruiting Legal would have to review the case and make the determination. If your presents is required, your ship date will have to change. Notify your recruiter, ASAP.

  35. NCCM(ret) says:


    The ASVAB is good for two years, and it is required for all jobs in the Navy.

  36. Matthew says:

    Sir I took my ASVAB is 2002. However what scores would I need
    IE for Fire Fightering, Law Enforcement. And also I can print out the financial statement and fill it out. Or is y some thing I can do now so I can see if I’m not wasteing the Navy’s time and my time.
    I mean I have some old school lones but no house, car payment ECT.
    some bad debt but not alot. Or is this a process that I would have to hold off on untill I lose 70 lbs then start that process
    Matthew Harper

  37. NCCM(ret) says:


    Yes, I’d fill it out and take it to a recruiter now. That way you have a good idea of where you stand.

    For the ASVAB scores required for the various Navy Ratings, follow the ASVAB link in the sidebar – The description of each job is in the Navy Jobs section of the site.

  38. Heather B. says:

    Hi, I am married to someone who is active duty Air Force, and we have two children. We’ve been having some problems and currently live separately. I have the children, and it is a constant struggle trying to provide for them. I live on a budget and generally manage to pay for food, utilities, etc., but I have debts that there is no extra money for paying. I want to join the Navy, because I believe I can provide a much better life for them—and meet my financial obligations—if I do so. I have accounts that are in collections that I cannot pay on; it’s not that I don’t want to pay, but that there is just never enough money to live on. Will this prevent me from joining the Navy, if I can show that I can and will be able to make my payments once enlisted? I know I’ll need a waiver to be AD with my husband, but setting up a family care plan is not a problem.

  39. April says:

    I have a couple of questions! I have read all of the previous answers and I am still confused. My husband is 30 years old and wanting to enlist in the navy. He scored a 76 on the ASVAB a few years ago, and he has an associates degree in Social Sciences. He has always wanted to join the Navy, but he let his father talk him out of it because of some health issues (with his father). Three years ago we decided that we could not live our lives based on his fathers health and we should just go for it. I was pregnant with our second child. His vision is bad, his re-frag rate was a 13 so his waiver was not approved, I do not know if they even got to the point of considering the dependency waiver. He still has not been able to let go of the desire to serve and join the Navy. We decided to pay out of our own pockets for LASIK surgery. The ophthalmologists believes he’s is a good candidate and that he will be able to adjust his re-frag rate to a 2 or 3. The recruiter we spoke with says to go through with the surgery and apply again. Since we are funding this ourselves and money is a little tight, I would love an honest answer as to his chances of getting the waivers approved.Our last recruiter would not even answer his phone calls to find out if the waiver was approved, we had to have another recruiter give us the information! BTW I am a working nurse so we have another stable income, but we had a bankruptcy 5 years ago, and a few blemishes in the last few years while I attended nursing school. By the time he enlists the only thing we will owe is one car payment for $350.00 a month, and about $40,000 in student loans that are in deferment while I complete my bachelors in nursing, and he completes his bachelors.I am sorry that this post is so long but I wanted you to have all of the info!
    Thank you for your help

  40. NCCM(ret) says:


    The fact that you have bills that you cannot afford to pay is an indication that your debt to income ratio will more than likely be beyond that which would receive a positive waiver outcome – I suggest you go to the recruiting station and with the recruiter’s help, fill out the form and get a real answer.

  41. NCCM(ret) says:


    A pre-surgery refractive error of greater than -10 will not receive a positive waiver recommendation, even if post surgery the refractive error is within standards. As for why, to quote NavyDoc, it is because as the refractive error gets higher, the retina becomes more susceptible to lattice degeration, and surgery to correct vision does not change that underlying problem.

  42. April says:

    When he went to have the pre-op visit a few weeks ago they told him to wear his glasses for a few weeks before the appointment. They did the test and they told him his re-frag was 10. When he went to Meps (three years ago) they said it was 13. When he went to meps, he was wearing contacts 24-7 for months at a time. Now he wears glasses full time. The ophthalmologists said the irritation to his eyes could have caused the different results. My next question is which result will they go by? (I swear that is what really happened, if we had known the contacts could effect that he would have stopped wearing them a long time ago!)
    Thanks again!

  43. NCCM(ret) says:


    I am sure all the records will be considered and a judgement made. If he proceeds with the surgery, I hope he is doing it for better vision and not with a belief he will be getting into the Navy, the chances will be slim with the >=10 pre-surgery refractive error.

  44. Shaunie says:

    I have a friend who enlisted in the Navy. She and her husband were going thru a divorce, and she did not list their child on her page 2 when she signed up because she could not obtain the social security card for her child. She is now in A school, divorced, and her ex has full custody of their child. Is their a way she could add their child to her page 2 without getting in trouble?

  45. NCCM(ret) says:


    Where it would be up to her current command, I would suspect that there will be consequences for fraudulently enlisting.

  46. Leila says:

    Hello Master Chief! I have been on the TDRL and was recently found fit for duty. I would like to reenlist but I an unsure if I will be able to as my dependency status has changed. I recently had a baby. I am married and my husband is FTS. We now have four children. I read above that an active duty spouse would not be considered a dependent for waiver purposes. Is this also true for FTS? Thank you for any advice that you can give.

  47. NCCM(ret) says:


    FTS would count as FTS are full time Sailors.

  48. A. Taylor says:

    Hello, I just visited a recruiter today and he told me I had to get a waiver. I am married and have two children. He made it seem very easy to get a waiver, but all the comments I see on here are very discouraging. He made a metal pin in my pinky seem like a bigger deal than my 3 dependents! So my question is I’m sure to him all of my documents look good to him. But will my husbands criminal history have an impact on me enlisting? He was arrested for drugs before we were married and has a few domestic violence charges.

  49. NCCM(ret) says:

    A. Taylor,

    If your debt to income ratio is good, and you are otherwise qualified, you should be fine. BTW, a pin in your pinky finger shouldn’t be a big deal.

  50. Brian says:

    My sister in law went through a rough time last year and asked if me and my wife would keep her 2 children while she gets her life straight. We ultimately agreed and we kept the children for nearly 8 months and also since we had them for over 6 months we had to claim them on our taxes as dependents. My question is will this come into play while filing for enlistment? We no longer keep her children but have one of our own and also I have 2 from a previous relationship. The 2 from the previous relationship in which I was unmarried..I have a court order for child support and in the order it states I am not the custodial parent. So ultimately my question is will I show as having just 2 dependents (my wife and son), 4 dependents (wife, son, and 2 sons from previous relationship), or 6 dependents (wife, son, 2 sons from past relationship, and sister-in-laws 2 children)? Will claiming my sister in laws children for tax purposes affect my enlistment what so ever?

Leave a Reply

Navy Recruiting Blog about the enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official Navy web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with Big Navy.
©2004-2014 Navy CyberSpace Blog Unless otherwise noted, content written by, Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(Ret).
- Privacy Policy