The SF-85, SF-85P, and SF-86 are standard forms used by the United States government to conduct background investigations of individuals under consideration to work for, or on behalf, of the U.S. government. The SF-85 and SF-85P are for non-sensitive positions and Public Trusts and the SF-86 is for national security clearances.

A properly completed questionnaire is an important step to ensuring a complete and thorough background investigation. It helps investigators complete fieldwork in a timely manner and reduces lengths of interviews.

To increase the efficiency of the personnel security process, DCSA has developed resources that help individuals tackle areas of the investigative questionnaires that are often misunderstood, overlooked, and/or filled out incorrectly.

For individualized answers to questions about your investigative questionnaire:

  • Military: Contact the security officer at your duty station.
  • Federal Civilian: Contact the security officer or HR representative at the agency where you are applying or are currently employed.
  • DOD Contractors: Contact the facility security officer (FSO) at the company where you are applying or where you are currently employed. If you need a password reset or registration code reset for e-QIP, you may contact the Vetting Risk Operations Center (VROC) Knowledge Center Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 888-282-7682. Please choose the option for “Personnel Security Clearance Inquiries to include e-QIP.”
  • Other Federal Contractors: Contact the security officer or HR representative at the agency where you are applying or are currently employed.

Who do I contact to determine if my security clearance is still active?

Security clearances remain active when there is a demonstrated need for access to classified information. If you left employment or changed positions, your clearance may no longer be active. To determine the current status of your security clearance, please contact the agency’s personnel security office that granted your clearance. If you are a contract employee, your company’s facility security officer may also be ableto assist you.

I've only entered a little data, but I have to go to a meeting. What should I do?

Click the "SAVE" button at the bottom of the page to save your data. Then click the "Log-out" button at the top right-hand side of the screen to exit the system.

I have completed this form in the past. Why doesn't this system have that data?

e-QIP can only retrieve data previously entered into the e-QIP system. Data from previously completed paper forms or data from other automated systems has not been loaded into this system.

Where do I get help for completing a specific question?

Click the "Help" link located upper left hand corner of each page general help information, or you may wish to contact the agency that sponsored you for assistance with specific sections or questions.

Can I certify my form with errors?

No, all "Error" and "Warning" messages must be sufficiently satisfied before you can certify and release your e-QIP request to your sponsoring agency.

I don't have a first or middle name. What do I do?

If you have no first name, depending on the form you are filling out, you may have to type in the “First” name field “No First Name” or, if available on the screen, select the drop-down menu option “No First Name”. If you have no middle name, simply use the drop-down menu next to the “Middle” name field and select “No Middle Name”.

I don't know where to start from the Main Menu. What do I do?

Click on the link entitled "Enter Your Data" to begin entering your personal data.


I have to enter a foreign address. What do I enter for the zip code?

If there is a postal code associated with the foreign address, enter it in the comment field.


Can I use my personal computer to fill out my e-QIP while abroad?

Yes, you can use your personal computer - at home or at the office. e-QIP is designed to be accessible from most computers, anywhere in the world.


I forgot to enter information. Is it possible for me to go back?

If you have not certified your responses, please use the navigation bar on the left to navigate to the sections and questions you need to change. You will be able to change your responses and provide additional information, if needed. If you have certified your responses, you cannot make any changes. Please release the form to your agency. Your sponsoring agency has the ability to return the request back to you in a manner that allows you to make amendments to your form. Please contact your sponsoring agency if you would like the form to be returned to you. Note: Each time the form is returned to you from your sponsoring agency in e-QIP, you will need to answer all "Yes/No" questions again and resign the certification and release forms.


I hit the Back button and something strange happened. What's wrong?

As a general rule, do not use your browser's Back button for navigation within the applicant section of e-QIP. Use the section navigation menu on the left or the buttons at the bottom of the screen instead