Obtaining a copy of your security clearance investigation may require submitting a Privacy or Freedom of Information Act request. The first step is to determine which agency conducted your investigation.

The Defense Security Service (DSS) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) have conducted ninety percent of all clearance investigations over the past 35 years. Additionally, due to the transfer of the DoD personnel security investigations function from DSS to OPM on February 20, 2005, any requests for DSS investigations completed after February 20, 2005 should be sent to the OPM. DSS only maintains those personnel security investigations completed by DSS prior to the February 20, 2005 transfer.

To request a copy of your own background investigation you may submit request to the FIS FOI/PA office. You may use the Freedom of Information, Privacy Act Record Request Form (PDF file) or submit a handwritten request. Use of the electronic form is not mandatory, but it’s encouraged to ensure you provide all of the required information.

For OPM investigations mail or fax a request with your hand written signature to:

P.O. Box 618
1137 Branchton Road
Boyers, PA 16018-0618
FAX: 724-794-4590

Include the following information in your request:

• Full name
• Social Security Number
• Date of birth
• Place of birth
• Current home address (a Post Office Box is not acceptable)

For DSS investigations mail a written request with your original notarized signature to:

Defense Security Service (DSS)
Office of FOIA and Privacy
27130 Telegraph Rd.
Quantico, VA 22134

Include the following information in your request:

• Full current name
• Any other names you may have used in the past
• Date of Birth
• Social Security Number
• A brief description of the records you are seeking
• Any other information that you feel may help in searching for records pertaining to you

It’s of interest to note that the general public may also request a copy of an individual’s security clearance investigation through FOIA (this is how information from Steve Jobs’ top secret security clearance investigation was publicized). Unlike an individual, who uses the Privacy Act to request clearance documents, another interested party would use FOIA. Below are directions from the DSS website:


Individuals seeking access to DSS information under the FOIA, should address written inquiries to: Defense Security Service (DSS), Office of FOIA and Privacy, 27130 Telegraph Rd., Quantico, VA 22134. Written inquiries can also be emailed to DSS at Leslie.Blake@dss.mil or by facsimile (FAX) to 571-305-6931, address to Leslie Blake.

Written requests for DSS records may be made by any member of the public (U.S. or foreign citizen), an organization, or business, but not including a Federal agency or a fugitive from the law. All written inquiries for access to DSS records must reasonably describe the records being sought and the record requested must exist and be controlled by DSS at the time of the request. There is no obligation for DSS to create or compile a record to satisfy a FOIA request.

Since not all requesters are knowledgeable of the appropriate statutory authority (FOIA or PA) to cite when requesting records, the following guidelines are provided for your information:

  1. Requesters who are seeking records about themselves should cite the Privacy Act.
  2. Requesters who seek access to DSS records which are not background investigations or security clearance related should cite FOIA and address inquiries to DSS, Office of FOIA and Privacy, Attn: Leslie Blake, 27130 Telegraph Rd., Quantico, VA 22134.
  3. Requesters who seek access to agency Administrative/Operations materials (e.g., manuals, forms, DSS Policy, DSS Regulations, inspection reports, etc.) should cite the FOIA and address inquiries to address listed in point (2) above.


DSS has published in the Federal Register at: http://www.nara.gov, its procedural regulations governing access to it records under the FOIA. These regulations also address the types of records that are maintained. Material from the Register which can be accessed from this site are divided into three categories: Personnel Security,Industrial Security, and Education and Training. These three areas may also contain information which DSS routinely releases under the FOIA. Additional records/information as published in the Federal Register, which are not accessed via this site are not routinely released by DSS, are considered for release on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration any information exempt from release by the FOIA or PA.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at ClearanceJobs.com. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer