How to obtain a CDS license? - medtigo



How to obtain a CDS license?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

A Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) license is a legal permit that allows individuals or entities to handle, store, distribute, or dispense controlled substances for medical or scientific purposes. If a person is interested in obtaining a CDS license, there are several steps they will need to take to ensure that they meet the requirements and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.  

Why is a CDS license required in the US? 

​​People need a CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance) license in the US because it is required by law for individuals or organizations that handle, store, distribute, or dispense drugs classified as controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) or similar state laws. The CSA categorizes controlled substances into five schedules based on their potential for abuse, accepted medical uses, and potential for causing dependence. Examples of controlled substances include opioids, stimulants, sedatives, and hallucinogens. 

Individuals or organizations that handle or distribute controlled substances must have a CDS license to ensure that they are doing so safely and within the confines of the law. This helps prevent the misuse, diversion, or abuse of controlled substances and ensures that they are used for legitimate medical purposes. CDS licenses may be required for various professions, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers, as well as for organizations such as hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics. The specific requirements for obtaining a CDS license may vary depending on the state and the sought license type.  

Steps to obtain a CDS license  

Step 1: Determine the requirements in their state  

The process of obtaining a CDS license varies by state, so the first step is to research the requirements in their state. Those interested can visit their state’s pharmacy or medical board website for information on the licensing process and requirements. They may also need to obtain a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration before applying for a state license.  

Step 2: Complete the necessary education and training  

To qualify for a CDS license, individuals may need to complete specific education and training requirements, such as a degree in pharmacy or completion of a pharmacy technician training program. Some states may also require continuing education credits to maintain their license.  

Step 3: Obtain the necessary documentation  


To apply for a CDS license, individuals must provide various documents, such as their degree or training certificate, state ID, social security number, and proof of citizenship or legal residency. They may also need to provide information about their previous employment, criminal background, and professional references.  

Step 4: Apply for the license  

Once physicians have completed the necessary education and training and have the required documentation, they can apply for a CDS license. The application process typically involves the following: 

  • Completing an online or paper application. 
  • Paying a fee. 
  • Providing any additional documentation or information requested by the state board. 

Step 5: Maintain compliance with state and federal laws 

After obtaining a CDS license, individuals must maintain compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations. This includes maintaining accurate records, securely storing controlled substances, and reporting any theft or loss of these substances. To apply for a CDS license, one can visit their state’s pharmacy or medical board website for information on the licensing process and requirements. Links to the sites where one can register for a CDS license in some states are provided below: 

In summary, obtaining a CDS license involves determining the requirements in their state, completing the necessary education and training, obtaining the required documentation, submitting an application, and maintaining compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.  

Leave a Reply


Free CME credits

Both our subscription plans include Free CME/CPD AMA PRA Category 1 credits.

Digital Certificate PDF

On course completion, you will receive a full-sized presentation quality digital certificate.

medtigo Simulation

A dynamic medical simulation platform designed to train healthcare professionals and students to effectively run code situations through an immersive hands-on experience in a live, interactive 3D environment.

medtigo Points

medtigo points is our unique point redemption system created to award users for interacting on our site. These points can be redeemed for special discounts on the medtigo marketplace as well as towards the membership cost itself.
  • Registration with medtigo = 10 points
  • 1 visit to medtigo’s website = 1 point
  • Interacting with medtigo posts (through comments/clinical cases etc.) = 5 points
  • Attempting a game = 1 point
  • Community Forum post/reply = 5 points

    *Redemption of points can occur only through the medtigo marketplace, courses, or simulation system. Money will not be credited to your bank account. 10 points = $1.

All Your Certificates in One Place

When you have your licenses, certificates and CMEs in one place, it's easier to track your career growth. You can easily share these with hospitals as well, using your medtigo app.

Our Certificate Courses