1. Security Clearance FAQs
  2. Security Clearance Status

How to know if your security clearance is active, current or expired

Learn how to define whether or not your security clearance is active.

People either have a clearance or they do not have a clearance.

The Personnel Security Investigation (PSI) on which the clearance is based can be either current or expired . PSIs are current if the individual has held access within the past two years and remains within a continuous vetting program.

Generally, if the PSI is out-of-date (expired) or there has been a break-in-service of two years or more, a person must be nominated for a new clearance and must complete a new application in the same manner as a person who never had a clearance.

The exception is for individuals who are currently employed and still utilizing their security clearance in the scope of their work.


Your clearance is active as long as you’re in a job requiring access to classified information. In the midst of investigation delays, the Department of Defense clarified eligibility doesn’t expire – even if your investigation technically does. The moment you leave a cleared position or contract, your clearance is no longer active, it’s considered current – assuming your investigation hasn’t expired. Obtain another cleared position within two years, and your clearance can be reactivated without a new investigation.