How to Get Public Trust Security Clearance

Title: How to Obtain Public Trust Security Clearance: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s world, ensuring the safety and security of sensitive information and assets is of utmost importance. Public Trust Security Clearance plays a crucial role in determining an individual’s eligibility to access classified information or perform sensitive duties within the government. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to obtain Public Trust Security Clearance, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

I. Understanding Public Trust Security Clearance:
Public Trust Security Clearance is a level of clearance granted to individuals who require access to classified information or sensitive duties within the federal government. It is usually required for positions that involve handling personal or financial data, law enforcement, national security, and other sensitive roles.

II. Steps to Obtain Public Trust Security Clearance:
1. Determine the level of clearance required: Identify the specific level of Public Trust Security Clearance required for your job position.

2. Application process: Begin the application process by completing the required forms accurately and thoroughly. These forms may include the SF-85 or SF-85P, depending on the level of clearance needed.

3. Background investigation: Be prepared for a thorough background investigation, which may include a review of your employment history, education, criminal records, financial status, and references.

4. Interviews: Be prepared for interviews with investigators or security personnel to discuss your background and suitability for clearance.

5. Fingerprinting and security check: Undergo fingerprinting, as well as a comprehensive security check to ensure your suitability for accessing classified information.

6. Credit history assessment: Be prepared for a credit history assessment, as financial stability is an essential factor in determining eligibility for clearance.

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7. Adjudication: After the investigation is complete, a decision will be made regarding your eligibility for Public Trust Security Clearance. This decision is made based on the gathered information and the criteria set by the relevant government agency.


1. What is the purpose of Public Trust Security Clearance?
Public Trust Security Clearance aims to ensure that individuals with access to sensitive information or performing sensitive duties within the government are trustworthy and do not pose a threat to national security.

2. How long does the Public Trust Security Clearance process take?
The process can vary depending on the level of clearance required, but it typically takes several months to complete.

3. Can I apply for Public Trust Security Clearance on my own?
Generally, individuals cannot apply for Public Trust Security Clearance on their own. The application process is initiated by the employer or government agency.

4. Can having bad credit affect my chances of obtaining Public Trust Security Clearance?
Having bad credit may raise concerns about an individual’s financial stability and potential susceptibility to bribery or financial pressures. However, each case is evaluated individually.

5. What happens if my clearance is denied?
If your clearance is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process varies depending on the agency responsible for granting the clearance.

6. Can an individual with a criminal record obtain Public Trust Security Clearance?
Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify an individual from obtaining Public Trust Security Clearance. The nature and severity of the offense, as well as the time elapsed, will be taken into consideration during the clearance process.

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7. Can non-U.S. citizens obtain Public Trust Security Clearance?
Yes, non-U.S. citizens can obtain Public Trust Security Clearance, but the process may be more complex due to additional security considerations.

8. Do I have to disclose all my previous addresses during the application process?
Yes, it is essential to provide accurate and complete information about your previous addresses. Inaccurate or incomplete information may raise concerns during the investigation process.

9. Can my social media activity affect my clearance application?
Social media activity may be considered during the investigation process. It is important to be cautious about what you post online, as it could impact your clearance eligibility.

10. Can family members or close associates affect my clearance application?
Family members and close associates may be contacted during the investigation process. However, their actions or background should not directly impact your clearance unless there are significant concerns.

11. What can I do to increase my chances of obtaining Public Trust Security Clearance?
Maintain a clean criminal record, be financially responsible, and ensure accuracy and transparency throughout the application process. Cooperate fully during the investigation and provide all requested documentation promptly.

12. Is Public Trust Security Clearance transferable between agencies?
Public Trust Security Clearance is generally transferable between agencies, provided the level of clearance required is the same. However, each agency has the final say in granting or accepting clearance.

Obtaining Public Trust Security Clearance is a rigorous process that requires careful preparation and adherence to strict guidelines. By following the steps outlined in this article and addressing any concerns proactively, individuals can increase their chances of obtaining this crucial clearance. Remember, the process may be complex and time-consuming, but it is essential for maintaining national security and ensuring the trustworthiness of those accessing sensitive information.

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