Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV)

Person typing on laptop

In accordance with National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Supplemental Directive (SD) 206.2, Implementation of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) for Uncleared Contractors, any uncleared Member of the Workforce who requires physical and/or logical access to Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) for greater than 179 calendar days and who is not otherwise in process for a DOE security clearance (i.e., a clearance applicant), must be processed for PIV. At SNL, this NNSA-mandated process for uncleared Members of the Workforce is called Uncleared PIV (UPIV).

PIV is a government-wide standard for identification, authentication, and authorization of federal employees and contractors to access federal facilities and information systems. It has long been a preliminary part of processing security clearance requests, requiring applicants to confirm their identity, provide fingerprints, and be photographed. UPIV now implements the PIV process for uncleared contractors at NNSA facilities. UPIV employs the same identity-proofing elements of PIV with the addition of a minimal federal background investigation. Results of this investigation are adjudicated by NNSA for a final access determination.

More information can be found below and in the UPIV FAQ.


UPIV is applicable to a Member of the Workforce based upon their actual or expected duration of uncleared physical and/or logical access at SNL. The 179 calendar days or greater threshold for initiation of UPIV is a lifetime cumulative total—once the threshold is reached through a continuous or intermittent manner, or otherwise anticipated based on the nature of work (e.g., expected duration of employment or length of contract), UPIV is required. Under this criterion, all Members of the Workforce in an enduring or repetitive uncleared status will eventually undergo UPIV.


As applicable, and in keeping with current practice, Members of the Workforce will begin their position with an automatically generated uncleared authorization that commonly includes being issued an uncleared Local Site-Specific Only (LSSO) badge. Thereafter, deliberate action to maintain solely uncleared access—or, alternatively, request a clearance—will be initiated well in advance of the UPIV 179-calendar-day threshold, as described below.


Employees: SNL managers are advised early during hiring that unless they request a clearance for their employee via the Sandia Total Access Request Tool (START), the individual will be automatically initiated for UPIV.

Contractors:All contractors not otherwise in process for a clearance will be automatically initiated for UPIV at such time they have accumulated (over their entire association with SNL) a total of 120 calendar days of uncleared access. The 120-day threshold is established to ensure sufficient time for processing prior to reaching the mandated 179-calendar-day limit.


Personnel Security will engage the applicant to produce valid identification, be photographed, provide fingerprints, and complete documentation for a federal background investigation. Applicants will be allowed to retain their uncleared authorizations and LSSO badges (if issued) provided all UPIV application instructions are complied with in a timely manner. Failure to comply with UPIV requirements will result in prompt deactivation of the uncleared authorization, retrieval of any issued badges, and notification to all necessary parties (SNL management, contractor representatives, Protective Force, etc.). Authorization can be reactivated with renewed compliance.

Once begun, the UPIV process will proceed to conclusion, ultimately resulting in an NNSA-rendered “favorable” or “unfavorable” determination. However, if an applicant is subsequently initiated for a DOE security clearance prior to a UPIV decision, the UPIV request will be withdrawn. 

More information can be found in the eQIP Tip Sheet.


NNSA is the sole authority for making UPIV determinations. If favorable, continued uncleared physical and/logical access is permitted for the duration specified in applicant’s uncleared authorization (START) request. In addition, a favorable UPIV determination will remain valid with NNSA indefinitely and may be used in association with future uncleared physical and logical access requests at other DOE-affiliated locations. If a favorable UPIV determination by NNSA is already on record for an individual at the time he or she establishes a relationship with SNL only limited UPIV processing steps will be required.   

If NNSA issues an unfavorable UPIV determination, all means of retaining physical and/or logical access to SNL, to include any badges issued, will be removed. NNSA will inform the individual of the decision and provide additional administrative information. A final unfavorable UPIV decision will remain in force for a period of one (1) year, after which UPIV reconsideration may be requested provided there is a legitimate access need.