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How Do I Get NACI Clearance?

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The National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) is required for consideration for all federal employment jobs and certain contracted jobs through the federal government. The NACI itself is not a security clearance; it is a background check and investigation that may open the way for clearances after filing the appropriate paperwork and providing fingerprints. The NACI is the lowest level of background investigation completed by the federal government and is used for employment positions that pose a low risk to the government.

Fill out forms SF-86 to begin the investigation process. The government agency will provide the form. In many cases, forms can be completed online. The forms will ask for history of work, school, addresses and other personal information including past drug use. Be honest and accurate.

Sign the forms certifying all the information entered is true. An authorization for release of information is also included. This allows the government to contact former employers, schools and personal references to verify information along with determining suitability of employment.

Provide fingerprints to the government agency. The prints are cross referenced through databases such as the FBI's to verify no criminal activity by the prospective employee.


The time it takes to complete a NACI investigation varies for each person. it depends on the information included on SF-86. Examples of investigations that may take more time are if the applicant is not a U.S. citizen or if drug use has been indicated.


Michael Carpenter has been writing blogs since 2007. He is a mortgage specialist with over 12 years of experience as well as an expert in financing, credit, budgeting and real estate. Michael holds licenses in both real estate and life and health insurance.

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