Dumb Question About Former Govt. Work with Clearance


I worked for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I left about five years ago. Part of the job was an interview with the FBI (I think it was the FBI). I’m pretty sure it was regarding a security clearance. How do I find out if I actually had a security clearance? If I did have one, how do I find out what level it was?

I know it sounds odd not to know if you had a security clearance, but I’m interested in a job that requires one. I remember filling out a lot of paperwork, and going through an extensive interview. I know the background check is probably expired, but I figure that if I have level “x” in the past, I should be able to achieve level “x” today as well.



You could try a FOIA request via OPM. That would at least get you the type of investigation. You may be confusing Federal Investigative Services (FIS–now the National Background Investigations Bureau), which was under OPM, with the FBI.

I doubt someone at your former employer would help you out, though I could be wrong.

I wouldn’t go with the logic of, “Well if it wasn’t a problem before, it shouldn’t be a problem now,” not because I’m saying you’re likely a scumbag, but because different agencies have different requirements, and things have changed from 5 years ago. But if you’re pretty vanilla you should be okay.


You could try looking on USAJOBS to see if any similar positions are advertised, and see what level of clearance those require.

I’ll wager you had some level of public trust, which is not a security clearance, but does require some degree of background investigation.