1. Security Clearance FAQs
  2. Getting a Security Clearance

Who should I list as references on my security clearance application?

People you should and should not include on your clearance application.

There are 4 sections of the clearance application (“Where You Have Lived,” “Where You Went To School,” “Your Employment Activities,” and “People Who Know You Well”) that require names and contact information for people who can be interviewed as references. Unless there is no other choice, do not list any relatives in these sections. For your residences you should list current and former neighbors. For employment you should list current and former supervisors. If you believe the investigator will have trouble locating a former supervisor, use the “Add Optional Comments” field and add contact information for a former coworker or second tier supervisor. For schools you should list former classmates or faculty members who will remember you. For “People Who Know You Well” try to list at least one person who has known you for the past seven years and who knows who your other friends are. Try not to list the same person more than once on your clearance application.