e-QIP (Electronic SF86) 101


Welcome to the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e‐QIP) system. e‐QIP is a web-based automated system that was designed to facilitate the processing of standard investigative forms used when conducting background investigations. e‐QIP allows the user to electronically enter, update and transmit their personal investigative data over a secure internet connect to a requesting agency. The requesting agency will review and approve the investigative data.


e‐QIP is compatible with most well‐known browsers including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. The following settings should serve as a guide for configuring your browser.

Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)
If using Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), you must have version 6.0 or higher. Internet Options for IE should be set as follows:

  • Select Tools (top of Internet Explorer Tool Bar)
  • Select Internet Options
  • Select the Advanced Tab (far right button)
  • Select Security
  • Click "Do not save encrypted pages to disk"
  • Click "Empty temporary Internet Files Folder when browser is closed"
  • Select General Tab (top left)
  • Select Temporary Internet Files
  • Click Delete Cookies box and Delete Files box

To enable TLS 1.0 in IE, on the top menu:

  • Select Tools
  • Select Internet Options
  • Select the tab labeled Advanced
  • Scroll down to the Security section
  • Check the box to enable TLS 1.0
  • Click the OK button to save

Mozilla Firefox
If using Mozilla Firefox (or Netscape), you must have version 0.9.4 or newer. Although security settings may be preset to default to appropriate settings, you should verify.

  • Select Tools
  • Select Options
  • Select Advanced
  • Select the Encryption tab
  • Under Protocols, check the boxes to enable SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0
  • Select Privacy
  • Select Accept Cookies From Site
  • Uncheck "Remember what I have entered in format and the search bar"
  • Uncheck "Remember what I have downloaded"
  • Check "Always clear my private data when I close Firefox"
  • Select Setting
  • In the "Clear Private Data Window" ensure that "Download History, Saved Form and Search Data, Cache, Cookies, Offline Website Data and Authenticated Sessions" are checked, then click "OK"

Apple Safari
If using Safari, you must have Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher version or Firefox ‐ Mac version web browser at the "User Agent" category or higher for Firefox. Use the following instructions to configure your Safari browser to access e‐QIP.

On the Menu Bar:

  • Select Edit box (top of screen)
  • Preferences
  • Security
  • Accept Cookies (only from site that you navigate to)
  • Advanced
  • Check the box labeled "Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar"
  • Click proxiesChange settings box (Opens to Internet Explorer (IE) Properties Boxes)
  • Advanced tab
  • Security category is located near bottom of page
  • Click "Do not save encrypted pages to disk"
  • Click "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed"
  • Click/enable SSL 2.0
    -SSL 3.0
  • Exit Preferences Window

On Menu Bar select "Develop User Agent"
Once you have been notified that you have access, login by entering your social security number and click the ‘Submit’ button.


1. Start your internet browser and enter the following URL Website address: http://www.opm.gov/e-qip/
2. The e‐QIP Gateway Page will appear. Scroll down and click the button labeled ENTER e‐QIP APPLICANT SITE.
3. A "browser checker" utility will automatically run and test your computer for e‐QIP compatibility. Be sure that you have three green checkmarks and click the CONTINUE button to proceed to the application. If you receive the error message "Page Cannot Be Displayed" please follow the instructions to enable TLS 1.0 on the "Testing Your Web Browser for Compatibility" page.

To enable the TLS 1.0. Go to:

  • Tools
  • Internet Options
  • Advanced Tab (top right)
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and check
  • Use TLS 1.0
  • Then Click "OK"

4. A Security Alert box may appear asking "Do you want to proceed?" Click the YES button using the mouse or type {ALT Y} on your keyboard to continue.

The e‐QIP Welcome Screen will appear. "Enter your Social Security Number" in the text entry boxes and click the "SUBMIT" button to logon to the e‐QIP applicant site. Use tab when entering SSN to move to next box

You will be prompted to answer your three Golden Questions. Please follow these steps:
1) To view the answers as you type, check the box ‘Allow me to see my Golden Answers as I type them.’
2) Answer Question #1 “What is your LAST name?”
3) Answer Question #2 “In what CITY were you born? (DO NOT provide the State)”
4) Answer Question #3 “In what four‐digit YEAR were you born?”
5) Click the ‘Submit’ button

After logging in the first time, you must complete an Authentication process and change your Golden Questions and Answers. A Warning message may be displayed.

You will then be prompted to change your Golden Questions and Answers to ensure the security of your data. Be sure these are memorable to you. To view the answers as you type, check the box ‘Allow me to see my Golden Answers as I type them’. Once your Golden Questions and Answers have been changed, click the ‘Submit’ button.

After changing your Golden questions, e‐QIP presents you with the Main Menu. Select the link entitled, “Enter Your Data” from the main menu screen.

After reading all instructions, you can now begin entering your personal data. In order to ensure the completeness of your data, a validation routine will run after each page is submitted. The validation routine will point out any errors and provide detailed instructions on how to satisfy each incorrect or missing item.

When you are satisfied that your form is complete, select the “Display your Data” link from the main menu.

After a final review of your data, select the “Certify Investigation Request” button to finish your form. On the last screen, make sure to print and sign each form. Click “Display the Archival Copy of this Investigation Request for Printing” and print a copy of the forms for your records and for returning signature forms to the IRS. If you do not have printer access, logout of e‐QIP and go to a computer with printer access. Then log back into e‐QIP to print the forms.

Sign and date the signature documents and return to your FSO:

  • Authorization for Release of Information
  • Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing – Signature Forms
  • Fair Credit Reporting Disclosure
  • Medical Release form only if applicable

Please follow the instructions outlined in the letter you received from IRS (requesting completion of these forms) for specific submission information. Failure to return these forms timely will impact your ability to continue in the hiring process (be sure to make a copy of signature pages for your records).

After printing and signing the appropriate signature forms, click on the final link entitled “Release Request/Transmit to Agency”.

NOTE: You will not be able to access your investigation forms after you click “Release Request/Transmit to Agency”. Be sure you have printed ALL forms, including signature forms, before clicking on “Release Request/Transmit to Agency”.