Here, military service is obligatory up to the age of 30. Once an individual reaches 30, he can't enlist and must instead pay an exemption fee (Sometimes, the individual, if found to have no valid excuse, can go to prison for evading military service). I wonder if there's a better expression for exemption fee. This will be included in a form, and it goes like this:

Exemption fee: $ 1,000

  • if found to have no valid excuse,not inexcusable Where is here?? In English, there is no space after a word with a colon.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 19:03
  • Here in Egypt. Thanks for the corrections, Lambie.
    – Sara
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 19:22

2 Answers 2


If you mean that people who have reached thirty without enlisting must pay $1,000 for not having enlisted, then I would not call that a fee at all. I would call that a fine.

From Merriam-Webster's definition of fine:

3a : a sum imposed as punishment for an offense
// The motorist had to pay a fine for speeding.

In this case, it would be a fine for not having enlisted. (And, as you said, they might also go to prison in addition to just paying the fine.)

The full wording of that on a form could be something like:

Enlistment evasion fine: $1,000.


Because this is not a common event, I do not think there is any single standard word that fits. However, during the American Civil War in 1864, individuals from one side could avoid the draft by paying what was called a commutation fee of $300 (about $10,000 today)

Enrollment Act and Commutation (Wikipedia)

Otherwise certain individuals can get an exemption to avoid conscription. Reasons for exemption can include age, enlistment in a different military service, certain vocations (such as clergy), or medical/health restrictions. Women are also typically exempted from conscription (although not in every country).

Certain individuals can also get a deferment to delay their military service to complete their education, because of medical restrictions or family obligations, because they work in certain important fields (such as scientists, farmers, key manufacturing workers, some government employees, etc.) and various others.

  • The word 'fine' generally has a penal connotation today but it can simply mean a requirement to pay some money. When I became a freeman of the City of London (not of itself an honour) I had to pay a fine = fee in modern English.
    – JeremyC
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 20:58
  • @JeremyC I think you mean to comment on the other answer. In any case, the term "fine", AmE, implies penalty. Anything else would be a "fee".
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 22:21

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