DEA identification numbers for physicians provide proof of certification in DEA registration in exchanges involving controlled medications. DEA registration gives physicians the federal authority to handle controlled medication.
Physicians and any other practitioners that handle, dispense or distribute controlled substances are required to obtain DEA numbers. Other practitioners include dentists, veterinarians, hospitals, pharmacies and those involved in research of medications. The DEA Certificate of Registration must be kept at the practitioner's registered location where he performs duties involving controlled substances. Practitioners are required to renew their certificates every three years. Federal practitioners, such as Public Health Nurses and those in the Armed Forces, who handle, dispense or prescribe controlled medications are exempt from this requirement.