Expired Clearance - Should I worry about past?

Hello and thanks in advance,

I was active duty military for nearly 10 years and has a Secret clearance while serving. That clearance expired over a year ago and now that I am applying for a federal job that requires a Secret clearance, I have to have a new investigation.

How likely is it that my clearance would be denied if I already had one in the past? I ask because I had a couple misdemeanors when I was 17 and 19 years old (19 and 17 years ago). One involved alcohol and another involved marijuana. Since then, I have nothing on my record, great credit, and I filled out my eQIP honestly.

I assume the answer technically may be something along the lines of “it ultimately depends on the agency”. But I was hoping to get advice from someone with experience.

You could certainly be denied a new clearance despite having been cleared in the past…

But I wouldn’t worry too much about misdemeanors that are almost 20 years old. Still, be prepared to give additional details about these incidents, as they may attract attention and additional scrutiny.

Chances are it will not be a problem.

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If you had a clearance 10 years ago and these issues happened prior to that, then they are no longer considered relevant if no similar conduct has happened more recently. Hopefully you answered the questions accurately on the SF-86 to prevent any perceptions of a lack of candor.


Thanks for the response. Follow-on question that I should have mentioned: Would it potentially effect my ability to get an interim clearance?

I’m not sure if I will be getting an interim clearance, to be honest. The SM said a suitability test is performed and the agency will then sign a clearance waiver. So I’m really not sure if the waiver is in lieu of an interim clearance or if I need the waiver and the interim clearance.

I lean towards Marko’s answer with a slight tick towards what SBSquirrel implied. Differing agencies may look at something differently but time is the great equalizer. 17 and 19 years ago…technically can mitigate certain felonies. Think whole person concept. DoD took a chance and if your record was clean there you proved you moved beyond that youthful indiscretion. If you had hiccups along the path post DoD I would want to explore more. But as Marko spoke to lack of candor is usually what kills the canary in the coal mine. Be open and honest and give more detail than necessary. With the good credit speaking for how you live that aspect of life I predict you clear with out even a conduct letter on the 17 and 19 year old behavior.

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