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Who We Are and What We Do

The California Department of Consumer Affairs, Cemetery and Funeral Bureau (Bureau) licenses, regulates, and investigates complaints against 13 different licensing categories in California, totaling approximately 13,500 licensees. The licensing categories include funeral establishments, funeral directors, embalmers, apprentice embalmers, cemetery brokers/branch/additional, cemetery salespersons, cremated remains disposers, crematories, crematory managers, cemetery managers, and the nearly 200 licensed private cemeteries in the State.

(NOTE: The State does not license cemeteries operated by religious organizations; cities, counties, or cemetery districts; the military; Native American tribal organizations; or other groups. If you don’t know who regulates the cemetery you’re interested in, ask the cemetery manager.)

The Bureau is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on State holidays. We work hard to answer every call we receive, but please have patience if you get a voice-mail message. Calls will be returned as quickly as possible. You can also email us through our website, www.cfb.ca.gov, where you will find all of our applications, laws, regulations, complaint forms, a list of Advisory Committee members and meeting notes, and the informative Consumer Guide to Funeral and Cemetery Purchases, as well as several other helpful consumer publications. 

We often receive calls and email inquiries from consumers and licensees in other states asking for assistance in areas where the Bureau has no jurisdiction. Here are some resources for areas the Bureau does not cover.

Cemeteries Not Licensed by the Bureau

The Bureau has no jurisdiction over cemeteries operated by religious organizations, cities, counties, cemetery districts, the military or Native American tribal organizations.

  • For information on a religious cemetery, contact the governing religious body (i.e., the archdiocese in the case of a Catholic cemetery).
  • For information on a city or county cemetery, try the white pages of your local telephone directory or an internet directory search, or contact the city offices or county board of supervisors.
  • For information on a military cemetery, visit the State of California Department of Veterans Affairs’ website at www.calvet.ca.gov. For a Federal veterans’ cemetery, such as Riverside National Cemetery, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at www.cem.va.gov.
  • For information on Native American burial sites, visit the Native American Heritage Commission at www.nahc.ca.gov/.

Genealogical Research

For individuals engaged in genealogical research, rootsweb and www.ancestry.com, may be a resource for you.

If you need a copy of a death certificate, contact the California Department of Public Health at www.cdph.ca.gov/.

September 2018