California Requirements

The following information is in regards to the state of California.

The California Cemetery & Funeral Bureau is the licensing and regulatory agency for all funeral establishments, funeral directors, and embalmers in the State of California.

  • California law requires funeral service providers to secure and file a certificate that has been authorized by a licensed physician (or medical examiner/J.P.). This document is then filed with the health department and certified copies of the death certificate are issued by the registrar.
  • There is statistical data required by the state. Prior to filing a death certificate, you will need to provide are vital information – either by phone or through the secure website.
  • A statement of death and a death certificate are legally required. Generally, local ordinances or deed restrictions prohibit private burials within city limits. Check with the State Health Department and local zoning authorities for applicable laws.
  • Embalming is not required by California law. Most common carriers will require a body to be embalmed prior to shipping. The laws of the destination country or state will apply.
  • Caskets are not required by California law, however, there may be cemetery or mausoleum restrictions regarding caskets and outer burial containers or vaults. The law does not require a casket for cremation but some type of container such as a cardboard box or canvas pouch is usually required by the crematory.
  • You may secure additional information regarding mortuary laws in the State of California by accessing the California Cemetery & Funeral Bureau’s website or by contacting them.
    emailcfb@dca.ca.gov
    Cemetery and Funeral Bureau
    1625 North Market Blvd., Ste. S208
    Sacramento, CA 95834

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