CAC Frequently Asked Questions

An email notice is sent to the CEMML CAC group that a new request has been received. Someone from CEMML CAC group reviews the request and forwards appropriate forms or information for the applicant to complete and upload on the college’s CAC secure upload site. Additionally, if appropriate, the applicant’s on-campus manager will be asked to forward project information.

All information received back from the applicant is reviewed for accuracy before collating and forwarding to the appropriate federal agency’s security team for processing. The federal agency conducts their own review, may request additional information from the applicant.

Flowchart of the entire process for a new CAC request. Renewal CACs and access letters go much quicker.

Yes. In most cases, after a favorable initial background check, the Corps of Engineers may authorize issuance of a CAC.  The full background investigation takes longer and may be completed later, at the discretion of the issuing authority.  However, if an employee misrepresents any aspect of the CAC application, the employee may lose their CAC and the right to access any military installation for up to 10 years. 

Yes, the Department of Defense may issue a CAC to a CSU employee for up to three years.  So, the CAC team will apply for CACs for the total period of performance (POP) on all projects, including option years per the signed agreement that is provided to the team by the project’s on-campus manager.

If the access needed is for a single installation only, approach the installation’s security office directly and follow their instructions.

If access to government computer systems, to restricted areas of an installation, or to multiple installations, complete the CAC Request Form.

CEMML_CAC email address:

After reviewing the previous information provided to employees, we discovered that it could be confusing or ambiguous, and with the input of CEMML Senior Staff members, it has been improved.  In terms of the timing, our USACE partners asked that we not direct any inquiries to them unless potential employees are actually hired, so these guidelines can and should be provided to a candidate as soon as she or he accepts a CSU employment agreement.

New CAC applications take anywhere from four to ten weeks to complete. Some security offices take longer than others, but the CAC team is following up with applicants and security officers on a regular basis. 

CAC renewals are taking anywhere from a week to four weeks to complete. CAC renewals can be requested no sooner than 60 days before the current CAC expires.

Building pass letters take a matter of a couple business days to complete.

Visitor Access Letters for the Pentagon might take a few days to complete.

Due to the limitations on when a Corps of Engineers district or military installation is able to collect fingerprints for a new employee – only after there is a record against which to upload the fingerprints – this remains a challenge.  We alert employees to this important step and encouraging them to take action as soon as that is allowed on the instruction packet that is sent to them.

An employee must have a CAC before he or she can apply for an AKO account.  Consider whether an AKO is really required.  Even for employees on Army installations, if the requirement is for access to training materials, an AKO account may not be necessary, because Security Officers can deliver training in other ways (courtesy of US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Alaska District).

The CAC was adopted across the DOD, and if a non-DOD agency has permission to work on a DOD installation, those instances are handled through that installation’s security office directly. Please contact CEMML_CAC for support if their are issues obtaining a needed clearance for a non-DOD entity.

CEMML_CAC email address:

A Security Officer or Specialist is the person CSU needs to work with in preparing CAC applications and fingerprints.  A Trusted Agent is the person who can review an application once all required information has been provided and grant the CSU employee access to the Trusted Associate Sponsorship System (TASS).  Many times these different roles are performed by the same person. 

Although we recognize how frustrating this can be and wish CSU could fix it directly, we don’t have the authority to issue or repair CACs.  Please contact the security office at your installation, or the office that issued your card to address the problem.

Use the same CAC Request Form (Clearance form). All requests that need a higher level of authorization will be forwarded to the CSU Secure and Global Research group and supported by the CEMML CAC group.