This post is actually a revised, updated version of a post I made on this topic way back in May 2010. But as I was revamping this Web site in February 2017 I saw this old post. I thought it still had merit. But it did need updating. So here’s the updated version. I hope it’s helpful to some of my current and prospective clients…

To be frank, I thought twice before writing an article on this free resource that could decrease clients’ use of my services. I decided to do it for essentially two reasons, one being noble and the other being more self-interested. First, to make my clients aware of this resource that can support their security programs for free is to provide good service and is just the right thing to do. Second, when you empower your clients with great information and guidance, you may reduce their reliance on your services but you also strengthen their sense of loyalty. That last part I actually learned from my attorney. It’s not that he told me that, but rather I just observed that when he gave me great advice that reduced my reliance on him it actually had the effect of cementing my loyalty to him. Because of that, I wouldn’t want to use another attorney. But enough of my philosophy, let’s get back to that free resource I was talking about.

The Defense Security Service runs a call center/help line that they have recently renamed the Knowledge Center. Its phone number is 888-282-7682. As of this writing, their hours are 8 a.m. to 4, 5, or 6 p.m. EST. Of course, they’re closed on weekends and federal holidays. The call center is not an all-purposes hotline. Its range of services is much more narrow than ours are. But here are some of the services they offer:

  • Verification of personnel and facility security clearances
  • Guidance in the use of:
    • STEPP/CDSE (their online security education platform)
    • eQIP (for completing personnel security clearance questionnaires)
  • OBMS
  • Unlocking your account or resetting your password for the above Web sites

Here’s the DSS’ statement about their Knowledge Center as of this writing:

When calling (888) 282-7682, customers will hear the following menu options:

  • 1 – Account Lockouts and Passwords- Office Hours: 8:00AM to 6:00PM Eastern Time
  • 2 – Personnel Security Inquiries to include e-QIP – Office Hours: 8:00AM to 5:00PM Eastern Time
  • 3 – Facility Clearance Inquiries – Office Hours: 8:00AM to 5:00PM Eastern Time
  • 4 – OBMS
  • 5 – STEPP/CDSE – Office Hours: 8:00AM – 4:00PM Eastern Time
  • 6 – Industrial Policy International – Please select the following link for after hours information regarding NISP Policy and International issues:
  • 7 – Industrial Policy –Please select the following link for after hours information regarding NISP Policy and International issues:

I will not likely be updating this post frequently or reliably. So if you’d like to check for updates to that phone menu or other information related to it, you can visit their Web page at

Defense Security Service Knowledge (Call) Center

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