Lied about drug use on SF-86-Am I completely screwed


I have submitted three SF-86s for various jobs. On the first two SF-86s (August and October 2017) I minimized past drug use (I omitted 6 times of using marijuana/hashish and misuse of Ambien). On the third one (November 2017) I admitted all of my drug use. In addition, I listed being let go for a temp job in 2008 because I asked two days off of work, which I honestly forgot about. For the third SF-86, I knew that I would have to take a polygraph which prompted me to be completely honest about my past drug use. I intend to be completely honest about my falsifications on my past SF-86s in my Personnel Subject Interview, though I am really scared about it.

My question is this this: Do I have a chance of being approved? I have read that sometimes falsification can be mitigated if a good-faith, prompt effort is made to correct past falsifications. Would this apply though since I only made the corrections after the prospect of facing a polygraph? I’m so ashamed of my falsifications that it is honestly causing me to lose a lot of sleep. I am thinking now that I need to seriously start looking for other career options (my particular skill set doesn’t have a lot of other career prospects outside of government jobs that require security clearances). I have also considered asking the contractor/agency sponsoring my security clearance application to discontinue my application/investigation since I may have no chance of being approved. I don’t want to waste everyone’s time/money if have no chance of being approved.

I greatly appreciate any advice.


When you say you filled out two prior SF-86 applications for jobs, that indicates they have not hired you but rather were using them as prescreening tools and have not initiated actual background investigations. If that is the case then most likely they will not see the light of day (only exception is FBI jobs where they provide application information for background investigations).

This discrepancy would not in and of itself prevent you form getting cleared as long as you are honest about it during the security interview. As far as the poly, that would be up to the requesting agency.


Dear Marko,

Thank you for your reply. I apologize for the late reply. The first SF-86 was for a TSA job for which I am still in the process of being considered though I have not advanced to the next stage of the application. The second SF-86 was not for the FBI itself but one that the FBI does the background investigation for. It was not a cleared job but I did have to fill out an sf-86 and pass a background check. I passed the background check and was “cleared” to begin work (it was contract work on an as needed basic and I never received any assignments) and they said that I may have had to be interviewed by an FBI agent in the future.I have since withdrawn my name for consideration for this job.

Would the sf-86 for the second job still be in the system? Also, would I be prosecuted for admitting my falsification in my PSI? I have read that falsification is rarely results in prosecution unless it involves serious criminal conduct. I have also read DOHA cases online where applicants who admitted falsification for things like drug use were sometimes cleared. It seems odd that some would be granted a clearance but others get prosecuted. But I am worried about taking that risk.

Thank you


If all you did was falsify drug use, you will likely not face criminal charges. You are correct in noting that people have falsified SF-86’s and have still been favorably ajudicated.

Bit of advice: Lying requires commitment, keep that in mind next time you decide to do it on a government form. Also, if you get an SOR, retain counsel, your odds of getting cleared increase by about 20%.


Oh, and if you want to figure out which sf-86’s are on record with OPM complete and submit an FOIA.


What ever happened with this?