DEA Reverses Course on Registration Renewal DEA Reverses Course on Registration Renewal

DEA Reverses Course on Registration Renewal

In early December, the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) announced that starting January 1, 2017 it would no longer allow a grace period for registrants who fail to file a timely renewal application. See our previous post here. In late December, the DEA reversed course and decided to retain its existing policy of allowing a grace period for registrants who file a timely renewal application. As a result, registrants who fail to file a timely renewal application will not have their DEA numbers automatically retired on the expiration date. The DEA posted the following statement on its website:

Starting January 2017, DEA will no longer send its second renewal notification by mail. Instead, an electronic reminder to renew will be sent to the email address associated with the DEA registration.
At this time, DEA will otherwise retain its current policy and procedures with respect to renewal and reinstatement of registration. This policy is as follows:
  • If a renewal application is submitted in a timely manner prior to expiration, the registrant may continue operations, authorized by the registration, beyond the expiration date until final action is taken on the application.
  • DEA allows the reinstatement of an expired registration for one calendar month after the expiration date. If the registration is not renewed within that calendar month, an application for a new DEA registration will be required.
  • Regardless of whether a registration is reinstated within the calendar month after expiration, federal law prohibits the handling of controlled substances or List 1 chemicals for any period of time under an expired registration.
Although this policy change is welcome news, a number of issues remain unclear. For example, whether the filing of a renewal application during the one-month grace period automatically reinstates the registration number or whether DEA must adjudicate the renewal application before the number becomes valid.  As a result, physicians should make sure they timely renew their DEA registration. If you want to check your registration expiration date, you can contact the DEA Registration Service Center at 1-800-882-9539 or e-mail and include your DEA Registration number in your email.

For more information about DEA registration, please contact Robert J. Cochran or the Ice Miller attorney with whom you work.  

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances. 
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