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Law: Requiring Patient Identification Before Dispensing

What are Identification Requirement Laws?

Laws that require patients to provide identification prior to filling a controlled substance are designed to prevent prescription fraud and diversion by ensuring persons obtaining a prescription are who they claim to be. CDC included a law in this resource if it requires a person to identify himself or herself or requires or permits a pharmacist to request identification prior to dispensing a controlled substance. This might occur at the discretion of the pharmacist or in certain circumstances, e.g., the person has similar prescriptions from multiple practitioners or the prescription was written in another state, or the prescription was not covered at least in part by a health plan. 

Among the laws requiring identification prior to dispensing, CDC identified a subset requiring that a pharmacy submit a patient’s “identification number” to the state prescription drug monitoring program. “Identification number” is defined as the unique number contained in the state-issued valid driver’s license of the recipient and/or the person for whom the drug is intended, a valid military identification card, a valid identification card issued by the bureau of motor vehicles, or an assigned unique identification number that could be linked to other personal identifiers.

States with Laws Requiring Patient Identification before Dispensing

This map shows the 22 states requiring patient identification in the list below.

22 States: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia

Note: All laws enacted as of August 31, 2010.

Features of Identification Requirement Laws by State

Features

Aspects of Feature

States

Circumstances under which identification (ID) is required before dispensing

All controlled substances

DE, MA

If person is unknown to pharmacist

CT, HI, ID, LA, MA, MI, MN, NV, NM, NY, OK, SC, TX, VA

At the discretion of the pharmacist (includes statutes that require an ID, but only to the extent that the pharmacist is satisfied)

FL, ME, NC, OR, VA

When certain criteria are present (e.g., patient pays in cash, patient has prescriptions for the same or similar controlled substance from more than one practitioner)

FL, NV, VA, WV 

For out-of-state prescriptions

DE, ME

If prescription is not covered at least in part by a health plan

ID, MN, NV

Types of ID required

Photo ID

CT, DE, FL, HI, ID, LA, ME, MI, MN, NV, NM, NC, SC, VA, WV

"Positive" or "appropriate" (or similar language) documents/ID

MI, NY, NC, OK, VA

Government ID

DE, HI, ID, ME, MA, MI, NV, NM, NC, OK, SC, VA, WV

If person filling prescription does not have ID, pharmacist may still dispense if

Pharmacist can confirm ID and/or the validity of the prescription by other means

FL, HI

Pharmacist determines that a detriment to patient will result otherwise

MA, MI, TX

Documentation requirements for the pharmacist

Must record "unique number" and/or ID source

DE, HI, ID, MA, NV, SC

Obtain photocopy of ID

FL, HI, ID, NV, VA

Capture patient’s signature

HI, ID

Record in specific location

DE, FL, HI, NV, SC

Unique ID number must be reported to electronic database

 N/A

CT, HI, IN, KY, MA, OK

 

 
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