Whether you’ve obtained a security clearance in the past or currently hold one, knowing your clearance status – including expiration date, issuing agency and other details – is important both for your career progression and your job search.

If you’re currently employed, checking on your clearance is easy – simply request your Facility Security Officer inquire about the status of your clearance. The vast majority of clearance holders are cleared through the National Industrial Security Program (NISP). The Defense Information System for Security (DISS) can be used by your FSO to check your clearance status for Department of Defense security clearance holders. Scattered Castles is the security clearance system of record for Intelligence Community security clearance holders. Unfortunately, the two systems don’t communicate information back and forth, so if you hold a security clearance with multiple agencies and need to verify your status, you may need to have your security officer check multiple systems.

Your Personnel Security Investigation (PSI) may be either current or expired. Your PSI is current if it is not more than six years old for a Top Secret clearance or not more than 10 years for a Secret clearance. With the increasing implementation of Continuous Evaluation for security clearance holders, government agencies are increasingly using CE enrollment as establishing a current versus expired clearance. It’s still useful to inquire about your most recent investigation date and CE status before you depart one cleared position for another, or separate from military service.

Privacy Act Requests

If you’re not currently employed, the process of ascertaining your security clearance status becomes a bit trickier. If you’re on friendly terms with your last employer or security officer, you can make an inquiry of them. If you’re currently working with a cleared recruiter to pursue a new opportunity, they should also be able to verify your security clearance status in DISS or Scattered Castles.  For the majority of clearance holders, a Privacy Act request through the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency provides the necessary information. DCSA has a form that can be used to ensure all of the required information is provided, and investigation requests can be made through mail, fax, or email.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.