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FAQs

AUDITS

Q. How do I get an extension for filing my Endowment Care Fund and Special Care Fund Report?

A. Requests for an extension must be in writing and must be received by the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau (Bureau) or post-marked by the final date that the Annual Reports are due. The Bureau can grant an extension of up to 30 days.

Q: When can a funeral establishment file a Declaration of Non-Reporting Status (DNR)?

A: DNRs may be filed by a funeral establishment that does not have reportable pre-need arrangements. Non-reportable pre-need funeral arrangements generally occur where:

  1. The funeral establishment does not have trust funds or have any pre-need sales of funeral services or merchandise; or
  2. The funeral establishment's client directly deposits his or her own money in a bank or savings institution trust account and is the trustee of the money. The client retains the exclusive power to hold, manage, pledge, and invest the funds in that account. The funeral establishment does not receive any money directly or indirectly from the client for deposit into the savings account; or
  3. There is no delivery whatsoever to the funeral establishment of money to pay for the services or merchandise, until such services or merchandise have been provided. Thus, if a consumer purchases insurance for pre-need services and/or merchandise and makes payments directly to the insurance company, this arrangement is exempt. Similarly, if the consumer purchase is made through a trust company, with deposits made directly to the trust company, this arrangement is also exempt.

It should be noted that funeral establishments with pre-need funeral trust funds must file annual reports on these trust funds with the Bureau.

CONSUMER

Who Has the Right to Make Decisions?

The California Health and Safety Code, Section 7100 identifies who has the right to make decisions about disposition arrangements after an individual's death if no directions are left. Family Code Sections 297 and 297.5 were added January 1, 2005 to include registered domestic partners to the following list of individuals. The responsibility for making decisions devolves in the following order: agent under a power of attorney for health care, spouse or registered domestic partner, adult children, parents, adult siblings and other competent adult kin. NOTE: Exceptions may apply in certain situations. You may wish to consult with an attorney.

Always check the license status of the funeral director, funeral establishment, crematory, and private cemetery that you plan to do business with by calling the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau at (916) 574-7870 or the Consumer Information Center at 1-800-952-5210. NOTE: The state licenses and regulates fraternal and private cemeteries only. It has no jurisdiction over cemeteries operated by religious organizations, cities, counties, or cemetery districts; the military; Native American tribal organizations; or other groups. If you do not know who regulates the cemetery you are interested in ask the cemetery manager.

The Law Requires:

  • Funeral establishments to quote prices over the telephone.
  • Funeral establishments to provide you with a general price list (GPL) and a casket price list (CPL) when you inquire in person.
  • Funeral establishments to give you an itemized statement that should include only those items you have selected when you contract for services. Another option is a funeral package. The funeral package statement should describe and include all goods and services. Get a total dollar amount in writing BEFORE you sign the contract.

The Law Allows:

  • Funeral establishments to set a non-declinable fee for professional services which may include:
    • The funeral director's time spent helping you plan the funeral;
    • Making arrangements with the cemetery, crematory, or another funeral establishment if the body will be shipped out of the area (cemetery, crematory, or other funeral establishment fees are separate and in addition to); and
    • Gathering the information for the death certificate, other required permits, and submitting the obituary (filing fees are charged separately and in addition to); and
    • Unallocated overhead, which includes taxes, insurance, advertising, and other business expenses.

The Law Does Not Allow:

  • Funeral establishments to charge a handling fee if you wish to use a family built casket or purchase one elsewhere; however the casket must meet the cemetery's standards.
  • Funeral establishment staff to make false claims about the preservative qualities of a casket or to charge contagious disease fees or fees for protective clothing.

Consumer Guide to Funeral and Cemetery Purchases Available:

For additional information to aid you in making arrangements, especially advance arrangements for a loved one or yourself, click on the following link for the Consumer Guide to Funeral & Cemetery Purchases or call 1-800-952-5210 for a free printed copy. This booklet will tell you how to compare prices and services, prearrangement and prepayment options, burial, cremation, Consumer, Government, and Industry organizations, and what to do under special circumstances.

ENFORCEMENT

Q: How can I file a complaint with the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau?

A: You may file a complaint by fax, online, or mail

FAX: (916)928-7988

Q: I've received a solicitation in the mail/telephone call regarding prepaying my funeral expenses. How do I know this business is legitimate?

A: You can verify that a funeral establishment is licensed to do business in California by verifying licensure on the web site for the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau www.cfb.ca.gov or by calling the Bureau directly at (916) 574-7870.

Q: I'm doing some family genealogy and I need to get a copy of a death certificate. Can you help me?

A: The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau does not issue death certificates. That is done by the Department of Public Health, and you can find the necessary information on how to request a death certificate, along with the applicable fees, by visiting their web site www.cdph.ca.gov.

LICENSING/RENEWAL/DENIAL

Q. Are all cemeteries licensed by the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau?

A. No. The Cemetery Act specifically does not apply to cemeteries controlled or operated by religious corporations and entities, public cemeteries or any private or fraternal burial park not exceeding 10 acres in area established prior to September 1939. (Business and Profession Code 9609).

Q: How do I change my name on a personal license?

A: Submit a written request with your signature to Cemetery & Funeral Bureau at 1625 North Market Blvd. Suite S-208, Sacramento, CA 95834. Please include the following: licensee name, license number and supporting document-showing proof of a name change (i.e. marriage license, government issued identification card, divorce decree, etc.) For a duplicate personal license reflecting the new name, please submit the appropriate fee for a duplicate license. The request may also be faxed to (916) 928-7988.

Q: How do I change my address on a personal license?

A:Submit a written request with your signature to Cemetery & Funeral Bureau at 1625 North Market Blvd., Suite S-208, Sacramento, CA 95834. Please include the following: licensee name, license number, the new address and contact phone number. The request may also be faxed to (916) 928-7988.

Q: How do I receive a duplicate license?

A: For a duplicate of an "Original Wall License" (8½" X 11") or "Renewal Wall License" (3½" X 8½"), please submit a written request with the following: the name of the licensee or the establishment, the license number and appropriate fee, mail to: Cemetery & Funeral Bureau, P.O. Box 989003, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9003. You must state whether you are requesting an original wall license or renewal wall license. The fee amount for a duplicate cemetery license is $25.00 and for a duplicate funeral license is $40.00.

Q: How much are the license renewal fees?

A: Certificate of Authority (COA) - $400.00
Crematory (CR) - $400.00
Cemetery Manager (CEM) - $80.00
Crematory Manager (CRM) - $80.00
Cemetery Broker (CEB) - $300.00
Cemetery Broker Additional (CBA) - $100.00
Cemetery Salesperson (CES) - $25.00
Cremated Remains Disposer (CRD) - $50.00
Funeral Establishment (FD) - $400.00
Funeral Director (FDR) - $200.00
Embalmer (EMB) - $100.00

Q: Is there a grace period if my renewal payment is late?

A: No, if the payment is not postmarked by the due date the renewal fee plus delinquent fee is required.
Certificate of Authority (COA) - $200.00 delinquent fee
Crematory (CR) - $200.00 delinquent fee
Cemetery Manager (CEM) - $40.00 delinquent fee
Crematory Manager (CRM) - $40.00 delinquent fee
Cemetery Broker (CEB) - $150.00 delinquent fee
Cemetery Broker Additional (CBA) - $50.00 delinquent fee
Cemetery Salesperson (CES) - $25.00 delinquent fee
Cremated Remains Disposer (CRD) - $25.00 delinquent fee
Funeral Establishment (FD) - $200.00 delinquent fee
Funeral Director (FDR) - $100.00 delinquent fee
Embalmer (EMB) - $50.00 delinquent fee

Q: I did not receive my renewal notice.* How do I renew my license?

A: To renew a license without the original copy of the renewal notice, please submit a written request and include the following: license name, license number and appropriate renewal fee to Cemetery & Funeral Bureau, P.O. Box 989003, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9003.

*Whenever possible, please submit original renewal notice in envelope provided.

Q: How long will it take before I receive my renewal?

A: Please allow 2-3 weeks for receipt of renewal license.

Q: I have not paid my renewal in a while, how much is it?

A: Accrued renewal fees are collected for each delinquent year plus a one-time delinquent fee. Bureau licenses delinquent for more than 5 years are cancelled and cannot be renewed. You must apply for a new license, and pass the associated licensing examination to be issued a new license.

Q: Can I place my license on hold or inactive status?

A: No

Q: I was Live Scanned for another agency, do I need to complete another Live Scan for the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau?

A: Yes, the information from your Live Scan is electronically transmitted to the requesting agency only.

Q: Can a cemetery salesperson license be renewed or transferred after it is cancelled?

A: A cemetery salesperson license can only be renewed, transferred or reinstated during the fiscal year. If beyond the current fiscal year, a new application is required.

Q: Where can I attend school to receive a Mortuary Science Degree?

A: There are two colleges in California:

Q: Can I send a copy of my diploma in place of transcripts?

A: No, an official sealed copy of transcripts is required for each license type with an educational requirement.

Q: Will an out of state mortuary science education be accepted by the Bureau toward an embalmer’s license educational requirement?

A: The school must be accredited by the American Board of Funeral Science education. A list is of accredited schools is available on their web site: www.abfse.org/html/dir-ca.html.

Q: How long before I receive my score from the exam?

A: Because the examinations are computer based, results are available immediately upon completion of exam at the PSI testing center.

Q: Do I have to have a mortuary science degree to become a Funeral Director?

A: No, the educational requirement for a funeral director license is a possession of an Associate of Arts degree or equivalent (60 units) from an accredited college(s) (the education can be in any subject).

Q: How do I appeal the denial of my application?

A: You have the right in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code to request a Statement of Issues and an administrative hearing. At such hearing you may, but need not, be represented by counsel and may subpoena witnesses. To schedule a hearing, you must file a written request within sixty (60) calendar days after receipt of notice by the Bureau. The written request should be directed to Enforcement Unit, Cemetery and Funeral Bureau, 1625 North Market Blvd., Suite S-208, Sacramento, CA 95834. Upon receipt of your request for a hearing, a Statement of Issues will be prepared by the Office of the Attorney General and filed by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The Office of the Attorney General will notify you of the date your case has been scheduled for an administrative hearing. If we do not hear from you within sixty (60) calendar days, your right to a hearing is deemed waived if you decide not to request a hearing you may reapply for a license one (1) year from the date of this denial. You must submit a completed application, appropriate fees and all evidence of rehabilitation. (Criteria for rehabilitation, pursuant to the California Code of Regulations, Section 2331 for Cemetery Licenses and California Code of Regulations, Section 1253 for Funeral Licenses is available under our link to Laws and Regulations.

Q: Can I be buried on my own property?

A: Yes, however you must apply and be approved for a “Certificate of Authority” (cemetery license). For a list of requirements for a Certificate of Authority license, please visit our link, http://www.cfb.ca.gov/licensee/certauth.shtml. Public Cemetery Districts and religious entities are excluded pursuant to Business and Profession Code Section 9609.

Q: Do I need a funeral directors license to open a funeral establishment?

A: No, you can own a funeral establishment and employ a licensed funeral director to manage the business for you. (Business and Professions Code Section 7616.2).

Q: How do I notify the Bureau of a change of manager for my funeral establishment, crematory, or cemetery?

A: Change of manager for a funeral establishment must be submitted, on a "Notification of Change Application" http://www.cfb.ca.gov/licensing/fdmotchg.pdf with the appropriate fee(s). Both a crematory and cemetery manager change must be submitted on an "Application to Report Designation or Change of Cemetery or Crematory Manger and/or Request Approval to Share" http://www.cfb.ca.gov/licensing/cem_crm_app.pdf with the appropriate fee(s).

Q: Do I have to be licensed by or registered with the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau to scatter human cremated remains?

A: A cremated remains disposer registration is required only if you scatter more than 10 human remains per year. The application can be found at http://www.cfb.ca.gov/licensing/crdapp.pdf.