Does top secret clearance expire?

The security authorizations on page 2 2 of top secret must be re-investigated periodically every 5 years and the secret security authorizations must be re-investigated periodically every 10 years. To obtain a government security authorization, a new periodic investigation is required every 15 years to obtain a “confidential authorization”, every 10 years if it is “secret” and every 5 years if it is “top secret”. When an authorization is inactivated (due to changing jobs or leaving the military), it can be quite easy to reinstate it in the first 24 months, as long as it comes within the period of periodic reinvestigation. After that, it gets much harder.

In other words, if your authorization is going to expire, it's important to consider some options to reactivate it within the first two years. There are two other online databases with information on staff security authorizations that can be used to verify authorization data: the Central Verification System (CVS) and Scattered Castles (SC). The amount and detail of information required in an authorization request, the standard form 86 (SF-8), are the same for all levels of security authorization. So, your vaccines are up to date, you have a solid family care plan and your finances are orderly, but are you really ready to deploy and support this global mission? Have you forgotten something? What about your security clearance? Is it current? Just as vaccines, family care plans, and personal finances are crucial to staff preparation, you can't neglect your security clearance.

Ongoing research will eventually replace periodic reinvestigations, which are carried out every 10 years for employees with secret authorization and five years for those with top secret authorization. A collateral security authorization is one that does not include access to information protected within a special access program (SAP), such as sensitive compartment information (SCI) or restricted data (RD). Presidential Executive Order 12968, on access to classified information, prescribes the authorization process for all individuals considering obtaining a national security authorization. The security authorization of an installation (FCL) is an administrative determination according to which, from the point of view of national security, an installation meets the requirements to access classified information with a classification level as high as that of the security authorization that is granted to you.

An interim or temporary security authorization can be issued before a PSI is completed and a final authorization is granted. There is no way to get an official opinion on the requirements for obtaining a security clearance or to pre-qualify for a security clearance. An interim security authorization allows a person to have access to information classified at the level of the provisional authorization, while their final authorization is being processed.

Jasmine Roberts
Jasmine Roberts

Unapologetic internet lover. Lifelong student. Infuriatingly humble twitter evangelist. Subtly charming travel evangelist. Unapologetic web practitioner.

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