What Is a DEA Background Check?

DEA background checks, controlled substances
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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is the federal agency charged with enforcing laws and regulations regarding controlled substances. DEA background checks can range from investigating prospective employees to verifying DEA registration numbers.

DEA Employment

The DEA conducts extensive background checks on all its prospective employees. The background check will include a criminal records check, credit check and interviews with your past and present employers, co-workers, friends, teachers and neighbors. Some positions may even require a polygraph examination.

DEA Registration Number

Any business involved with controlled substances, whether through manufacturing, distribution or administering, must register with the DEA. A background check of these businesses can include a check of DEA records for a valid registration number, which is issued through the DEA's Office of Diversion Control.

Doctors and Pharmacists

Medical professionals who prescribe or dispense controlled substances must register with the DEA. In general, the DEA will rely on the issuance of a state license to a doctor or pharmacist as a basis for issuing the registration number.


DEA regulations require criminal background checks for principle researchers using controlled substances in any researcher study.

Employee Screening

Although the DEA does not require background checks for every employee that may have access to a controlled substance area, the DEA does provide guidance to employers on proper employee screening.

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