DEA stands for Drug Enforcement Agency, and a DEA license is a license issued by a state for the applicant to prescribe controlled substances. Typical applicants are health practitioners and physicians. Before a practitioner or physician can apply for a license, they are required to already have their state’s license. If for some reason their state license has been revoked, they are unable to obtain a DEA license. The DEA license is only valid for three years, and then must be renewed.