Specimen Collection and Preparation

Instructions by Specimen Type

Find instructions about collecting and preparing specimens based on specimen type.

Light Protection Tests

View a list of tests that require amber-colored tubes.

Category A Infectious Substances

View the classification of infectious substances and learn which are considered Category A.

Microbiology Culture Tests

View a list of tests that require the “C” label.

Urine Preservatives

View a chart listing preservatives for the collection and transportation for 24-hour urine specimens.

Specimen Transport

Customized Shipping Instructions

Find customized instructions by answering a questionnaire (requires sign in).

Dangerous Goods Training

Access self-paced online training and certification for safe collection, handling, packaging, and shipment of specimens.

Shipping Guides

View and print comprehensive shipping guides for U.S. and international locations.

Transportation Regulations

View transportation rules published by federal and international agencies.

Courier Instructions

View information about how to safely and legally package and ship medical specimens.

Phlebotomist Instructions

View and print a guide for packaging and shipping medical specimens.

CDC Permit

Print the CDC permit to send with the specimen (international only).

Additional Resources


Order specimen handling supplies.


Read FAQ about preparing specimens for transport.