Welcome to the California Department of Consumer Affairs
The Department of Consumers Affairs (DCA) administers more than 3.9 million licenses in more than 280 license types including certificates, registrations and permits, from architects to accountants, dentists to veterinarians. DCA protects and serves consumers in many ways:
- DCA is a licensing entity – Through its licensing entities, DCA licenses more than 3.6 million professionals and enables consumers to check the license status of these professionals online or by phone.
- DCA is a regulator – DCA investigates consumer complaints on issues under its jurisdiction. If violations are found, license holders can face discipline that includes probation, suspension or revocation of a license, fines and citations, letters of reprimand, or cease and desist orders.
- DCA is an educator – DCA educates consumers by giving them information they need to avoid being victimized by unscrupulous or unqualified people who promote deceptive or unsafe services.
How To Get Vaccinated
Learn more about how to get vaccinated by visiting the state’s COVID-19 website https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#How-to-get-vaccinated. The state’s website has information on vaccination eligibility, how to sign up for an appointment via MyTurn.ca.gov, local health jurisdiction resources, and more. Additionally, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen pharmacies now offer limited appointments for free COVID-19 vaccinations in select areas. Visit https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#How-to-get-vaccinated for more information.
Expedited Licensure for Refugees, Asylees, and Holders of Special Immigrant Visas
Starting January 1, 2021, Refugees, Asylees, and Holders of Special Immigrant Visas who apply for licensure by DCA boards and bureaus may seek an expedited licensure process. For more information, click here: https://www.dca.ca.gov/about_us/ab2113.shtml
Notice Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Administration
As the COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, the Department of Consumer Affairs is supporting the State’s effort to ensure that all providers follow the standards for allocating and administering COVID-19 vaccines. In particular, healing arts licensees must adhere to the current federal and state prioritization standards for allocating and administering COVID-19 vaccines in phases. The standards are available on the California Department of Public Health’s website at the following link: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Drafting-Guidelines-Workgroup.aspx
For more information, please see the Vaccine Distribution Guidance document.
Consumer Alert: New Controlled Substance Prescription Form Requirements Begin January 1, 2021
Starting on January 1, 2021, the only controlled substance prescription forms that will remain valid and acceptable by California pharmacies will be those possessing a 12- character serial number and a corresponding barcode, compliant with the requirements introduced in a new state law, AB 149. Pharmacists will not be permitted to fill any new or refill prescriptions submitted on the old noncompliant form beginning January 1. The requirements do not affect prescriptions that are electronically transmitted from the prescriber to the pharmacy, or prescriptions for non-controlled substances such as antibiotics. If you have questions about whether your controlled substance paper prescription form is compliant, talk to your prescriber.
NEW Prescribing and Reporting Rules for Controlled Substances Effective January 1, 2021.
Starting January 1, 2021, new laws will impact licensees who prescribe and/or dispense controlled substances.
1. Updated Prescription Pad Security Requirements - California state law requires 15 security elements, including a 12-character serial number and corresponding barcode, to appear on California Security Prescription Forms. State law also requires California Security Prescription Forms to be produced by printers approved by the California Department of Justice’s California Security Prescription Printers Program. For more information, please refer to the AB 149 Joint Statement.
2. Revised Reporting Requirements for Controlled Substances – starting January 1, 2021, the dispensing of a controlled substance must be reported to the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) within one working day after the medication is released to the patient or the patient’s representative. Previously, the deadline to report was seven days after dispensing. Further, this law requires reporting the dispensing of Schedule V drugs, in addition to Schedules II, III, and IV. This requirement applies to pharmacists and prescribers who dispense controlled substances. For more information, please refer to the AB 528 Joint Statement.
Notice of CURES Fee Increase
Effective April 1, 2021, the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) fee will increase from $6 to $11 annually for a period of two years. The increase will be applied to licenses expiring after July 1, 2021, and is assessed at the time of license renewal on specified licensees of DCA allied health boards that prescribe, order, administer, furnish, or dispense Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V controlled substances.
Most licensees will see a $22 CURES Fee due to the biennial renewal cycle. The fee covers the reasonable regulatory costs of the Department of Justice for operating and maintaining CURES, a critical element in the state’s effort to address the growing danger of opioid addiction stemming from prescription drug abuse.
For more information about CURES, visit: https://oag.ca.gov/cures.