How to Search for an Applicant's DEA Number

by Kelli Peacock Dunn; Updated September 26, 2017

Those in the medical profession, including doctors and nurse practitioners, are required to obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number in order to prescribe controlled substances. When a medical professional applies for employment, it is part of the screening process to verify that the DEA number provided on a resume or application is valid. Although DEA officials won't verify a number, the agency does direct those employing medical professionals to different options for validating a DEA number. These include requesting a copy of the DEA registration certificate, searching an on-line DEA number database and subscribing to a directory of active DEA numbers. Review the options and choose the method that works best for you.

Step 1

Request a copy of a DEA registration certificate. Contact DEA and request a copy of the applicant's registration certificate, indicating the DEA number assigned and the date the number was issued. Email, phone the DEA Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 or contact your local DEA office. A directory of local DEA offices is available online.

Step 2

Pay to use the DEA database. Go to and choose the number of queries you would like to purchase. Selections range from one query to 100 queries. Click the "Order now" link and make your purchase at the checkout.

Step 3

Access the DEA database. After your query purchase is complete, you will be directed to the search page. Submit the DEA number the applicant has provided and click "Search". If the number is valid, a record will be displayed. In the event the DEA number the applicant has given you is invalid, a "No results found" message will appear.

Step 4

Call the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Dial 1-800-363-2068 to obtain a list of all active DEA numbers. You will be required to pay for a single purchase or subscribe either monthly or quarterly to receive current lists. You can subscribe on-line at

About the Author

Kelli Peacock Dunn has been a news editor and photographer since 1998, working at a weekly newspaper in Northwest Florida. Her articles have also appeared in "Panama City Living" magazine and "The Lookout."

Photo Credits

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