Failed polygraph / military

Is it possible to failed a polygraph for a federal job and then to get your clearance in the military renewed? I failed a poly a few years ago. It never affected my clearance in the military. I have a renewal coming up. Do I need to put this on my sf86? Also, am I totally screwed?

Let me guess, failed CBP poly?

The SF86 does not ask about a failed poly. If your clearance was denied based on the failed poly then you will need to list it.

If the reason you failed the poly is also covered by one of the questions asked on the SF86, then you will need to list it.

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While there is no polygraph question on the SF86 you may be asked if you have had and or failed one during an interview. If you were denied a clearance based on the failed poly then yes you would have to list this on the SF86 since there is a direct question about a clearance being denied, suspended or revoked.
You are not screwed. Many people have failed a poly but still have lower-level (that do not require a poly) clearances etc.

I’ve been interviewed too many times over the years and taken more than a couple of polygraphs (not all of which were “successful”) and I do not recall ever being asked about a polygraph during a subject interview for my own BI.

Polygraph examiners have sometimes had records of previous polys but not the investigators.

just fyi - A number of years ago it was a common question during subject interviews. Some investigators that have been around a while still ask this question during the interview out of habit. Also, some agencies still want this question asked during interviews (when there have been past investigations). Every so often, for reasons unknown and not shared with me, I will be instructed to specifically ask about a failed poly during an interview. Thus the security office was aware of a failed poly and want more information/explanation.

In general about failed polys - I know of people who have failed multiple polygraphs (4-5 times) during the application for a specific job and were still offered the position (vs future jobs with different agencies). My gut tells me this must be unusual as the applicants did not have some specific/special skill that was hard to find etc.

I’m getting mixed signals here. Some people say I have to add it and you’re saying I don’t need to.

The SF86 does not have a specific question about a polygraph, so you do not have to worry about that.
If an investigator happens to ask you if you have ever failed a polygraph during the interview, do not lie in your response.
IF you were denied a clearance (because of the polygraph) you will need to answer a question asking if you have ever had a clearance denied.


So, Iv read that if you were denied a clearance because of a failed poly that you can’t get any clearance. I understand if your if it’s inconclusive and they just say you’re not suitable you can get a clearance. If they denied your clearance because they think your lying are you screwed for your renewal?

I dont think anyone will ever receive a formal written notification that they did not get a clearance because they did not pass the poly. Yeah that’s probably the reason, but they won’t put it in writing.

I’ve personally known numerous people who did not get cleared with one agency, probably due to the poly, who did get cleared with another one. Some even pass a poly with the second agency.

There are two things going on here - 1. What you have to list/disclose on on the SF86 and 2. adjudication. Just because you disclose something on the SF86 that does not mean you cannot get a clearance. This just means you have something to explain.
There are plenty of people who have failed polys and have clearances and there are plenty of people who have failed polys and retaken them with the same and differing agencies and been accepted.
Lying is generally the only one big deal breaker in clearance denials across the board for all agencies and positions.

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