Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 3. PROFESSIONS AND VOCATIONS GENERALLY [5000 - 9998.11]

  ( Heading of Division 3 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 30. )

CHAPTER 12. Cemetery and Funeral Act [7600 - 7746]

  ( Heading of Chapter 12 amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 395, Sec. 3. )

ARTICLE 2. Funeral Establishments and Directors [7615 - 7636]
  ( Heading of Article 2 amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 970, Sec. 31. )

7615.
  

A funeral director is a person engaged in or conducting, or holding himself or herself out as engaged in any of the following:

(a) Preparing for the transportation or burial or disposal, or directing and supervising for transportation or burial or disposal of human remains.

(b) Maintaining an establishment for the preparation for the transportation or disposition or for the care of human remains.

(c) Using, in connection with his or her name, the words “funeral director,” or “undertaker,” or “mortician,” or any other title implying that he or she is engaged as a funeral director.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1151, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)

7616.
  

(a) A licensed funeral establishment is a place of business conducted in a building or separate portion of a building having a specific street address or location and devoted exclusively to those activities as are incident, convenient, or related to the preparation and arrangements, financial and otherwise, for the funeral, transportation, burial or other disposition of human remains and including, but not limited to, either of the following:

(1) A suitable room for the storage of human remains.

(2) A preparation room equipped with a sanitary flooring and necessary drainage and ventilation and containing necessary instruments and supplies for the preparation, sanitation, or embalming of human remains for burial or transportation.

(b) Licensed funeral establishments under common ownership or by contractual agreement within close geographical proximity of each other shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) if at least one of the establishments has a room described in those paragraphs.

(c) Except as provided in Section 7609, and except accredited mortuary science programs engaged in teaching students the art of embalming, no person shall operate or maintain or hold himself or herself out as operating or maintaining any of the facilities specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), unless he or she is licensed as a funeral director.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a funeral establishment to conduct its business or financial transactions at the same location as its preparation or storage of human remains.

(e) Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to render unlawful the conduct of any ambulance service from the same premises as those on which a licensed funeral establishment is conducted, including the maintenance in connection with the funeral establishment of garages for the ambulances and living quarters for ambulance drivers.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 308, Sec. 86.5. Effective January 1, 2010.)

7616.2.
  

A licensed funeral establishment shall at all times employ a licensed funeral director to manage, direct, or control its business or profession. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, licensed funeral establishments within close geographical proximity of each other, may request the bureau to allow a licensed funeral director to manage, direct, or control the business or profession of more than one facility.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 568, Sec. 103. Effective January 1, 2001.)

7617.
  

The business of a licensed funeral establishment shall be conducted and engaged in at a fixed place or facility.

No person, partnership, association, corporation, or other organization shall open or maintain a place or establishment at which to engage in or conduct, or hold himself or herself or itself out as engaging in or conducting, the business of a funeral establishment without a license.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1151, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1997.)

7617.1.
  

The applicant for a funeral establishment license, or in the case the applicant is an association, partnership, or corporation, all officers of the corporation or association or all general partners of the partnership shall be at least 18 years of age and shall not have committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 305, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2002.)

7618.
  

An application for a funeral director’s license shall be written on a form provided by the bureau, verified by the applicant, accompanied by the fee fixed by this chapter and filed at its Sacramento office.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 568, Sec. 104. Effective January 1, 2001.)

7619.
  

The applicant for a funeral director’s license shall be at least 18 years of age, possess an associate of arts or science degree, or the equivalent, or a higher level of education as recognized by the Western Association of Colleges and Universities, or any other nationally recognized accrediting body of colleges and universities, and shall not have committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1151, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1997.)

7619.3.
  

No licensed funeral director shall engage in or conduct, or hold himself or herself out as engaging in or conducting, the activities of a funeral director without being employed by, or without being a sole proprietor of, a licensed funeral establishment.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1151, Sec. 7.5. Effective January 1, 1997.)

7622.
  

Before an individual is granted a funeral director’s license, he or she shall successfully pass an examination upon the following subjects:

(a) The signs of death.

(b) The manner by which death may be determined.

(c) The laws governing the preparation, burial and disposal of human remains, and the shipment of bodies dying from infectious or contagious diseases.

(d) Local health and sanitary ordinances and regulations relating to funeral directing and embalming.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1151, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 1997.)

7622.2.
  

A person shall not open or maintain a place or establishment at which to engage in or conduct, or hold himself, herself, or itself out as engaging in or conducting, the activities of a funeral director without a license.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 395, Sec. 17. Effective January 1, 2016.)

7622.5.
  

An applicant for examination under Section 7622 shall pay the funeral director’s examination fee fixed by this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1338.)

7623.
  

If an applicant for a funeral establishment license proposes to engage in or conduct more than one funeral establishment, the applicant shall make a separate application and procure a separate license for each separate establishment.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 305, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)

7624.
  

Not more than one person, partnership, association, corporation, or other organization engaged in business as a funeral establishment shall transact business in one specific funeral facility.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1151, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 1997.)

7625.
  

Upon receipt of an application for a license, the bureau shall cause an investigation to be made of the physical status or plans and specifications of the proposed funeral establishment, and of the other qualifications required of the applicant under this chapter, and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and take testimony.

The bureau shall grant a license if it finds that the proposed funeral establishment is or will be constructed and equipped as required by this chapter and that the applicant is qualified in all other respects as required by this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 568, Sec. 107. Effective January 1, 2001.)

7626.
  

The bureau shall examine and pass upon the qualifications of the applicant as to ability and experience before passing upon the physical status or plans and specifications of the proposed funeral establishment.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 568, Sec. 108. Effective January 1, 2001.)

7626.5.
  

Where a hearing is held to determine whether an application for a license should be granted, the proceeding shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the bureau shall have all of the powers granted therein.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 568, Sec. 109. Effective January 1, 2001.)

7627.
  

Every application for a funeral director’s license under this article shall be granted or refused within ninety days from the date of the filing of the application, or within thirty days after the close of the hearing upon the application, in case a hearing is held.

(Added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 39.)

7628.
  

Any person, partnership, association, corporation, or other organization desiring to change the location of a licensed funeral establishment shall apply therefor on forms furnished by the bureau and shall include a fee fixed by this chapter.

The application shall be granted by the bureau upon the filing with the bureau of a favorable report from an inspector concerning the physical status or plans and specifications of the proposed licensed funeral establishment to the effect that it conforms to the requirements of this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 568, Sec. 110. Effective January 1, 2001.)

7629.
  

No funeral establishment shall be conducted or held forth as being conducted or advertised as being conducted under any name which might tend to mislead the public or which would be sufficiently like the name of any other licensed funeral establishment so as to constitute an unfair method of competition.

Any funeral director desiring to change the name appearing on his or her license may do so by applying to the bureau and paying the fee fixed by this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 308, Sec. 87. Effective January 1, 2010.)

7630.
  

(a) A funeral establishment’s license may be assigned upon payment of the fee fixed by this chapter, the filing of a completed application, and upon submission of an audit report prepared and signed by an independent certified public accountant or public accountant currently licensed in this state. The audit report shall include an unqualified opinion on the accuracy of the trust fund balances and a report of compliance with the provisions of this article and Article 9 (commencing with Section 7735). Any shortages in the trust funds shall be funded.

(b) (1) If the applicant cannot submit the audit report required in subdivision (a) due to estate matters or litigation for which the director or his or her designee is a party, the applicant may request approval from the bureau to secure a bond by an admitted surety insurer guaranteeing the payment to each account of any shortages in the trust funds. Along with the fee and the application to assign the license and transfer ownership, any applicant requesting an exception to subdivision (a) shall submit to the bureau a report, signed by an authorized representative, setting forth the reasons requested for the exception to the audit requirement and a list of all trust accounts for the funeral establishment showing the corpus of the trust, accumulated income, and current account balances for each account. If the bureau approves the request to secure a bond, the bureau shall notify the applicant of the approval and of the requirements of this section.

(2) Any applicant who knowingly provides false or misleading information pursuant to the requirements of this subdivision shall be subject to an administrative citation, which may include an order of abatement and a fine in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation, in addition to any other remedies that may be available to the bureau for violations of this chapter.

(3) Within 30 days from the date of the approval by the bureau, the applicant shall file satisfactory proof of the posting of a bond meeting the requirements of this section with the bureau. Once satisfactory proof of the bond is filed with the bureau and any other requirements for assignment have been met, the funeral establishment’s license may be assigned.

(c) Any applicant that obtains approval from the bureau to post a bond shall obtain a bond that is in an amount equal to 50 percent greater than the corpus of the trust and otherwise meet the requirements of this chapter. Within one year from the date of acceptance of the surety bond by the bureau and prior to the expiration of the current bond, the funeral establishment shall file a new request with the bureau to post another bond and receive approval by the bureau consistent with the requirements set forth in subdivision (b). This requirement shall be met for each year in which the assignee fails to submit an audit report and fund any shortages as required in subdivision (a).

(d) The assignee shall comply with all provisions previously placed on the assignor. The assignee shall maintain the bond referred to in this section after assignment of the funeral establishment’s license by the bureau.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 364, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2013.)

7631.
  

In case of the death of a licensed funeral director who leaves a funeral establishment as part or all of the assets of his or her estate, the bureau may issue a temporary license to his or her legal representative, unless the legal representative has committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480. A temporary establishment license is valid for six months from the date of issue. However, upon the petition of the estate’s legal representative, the bureau, in its discretion, may grant a reasonable extension to allow for the assets of the estate to be distributed as circumstances warrant.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 874, Sec. 22. Effective January 1, 2004.)

7632.
  

A funeral director shall cause all human remains embalmed in or at the direction of his or her funeral establishment to be embalmed by a licensed embalmer, by an apprentice embalmer under the supervision of his or her licensed supervising embalmer, or by a student in a program accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education under the supervision of a licensed embalmer.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 531, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)

7633.
  

No funeral director shall charge a fee for filing a certificate of death or for providing copies thereof in excess of fees set by statute for filing and providing certified copies of such certificates.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 557.)

7634.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a licensed embalmer, at the request of a licensed physician, may remove tissue from human remains for transplant, or therapeutic, or scientific purposes specified in, and pursuant to, the provisions of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 7150) of Part 1 of Division 7 of the Health and Safety Code), if such embalmer has completed a course in tissue removal for transplant, or therapeutic, or scientific purposes approved by the Medical Board of California of the State of California.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 970, Sec. 44. Effective January 1, 1999.)

7635.
  

(a) Any person employed by, or an agent of, a licensed funeral establishment, who consults with the family or representatives of a family of a deceased person for the purpose of arranging for services as set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 7615, shall receive documented training and instruction which results in a demonstrated knowledge of all applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations including those provisions dealing with vital statistics, the coroner, anatomical gifts, and other laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to the duties of a funeral director. A written outline of the training program, including documented evidence of the training time, place, and participants, shall be maintained in the funeral establishment and shall be available for inspection and comment by an inspector of the bureau.

(b) This section shall not apply to anyone who has successfully passed the funeral director’s examination pursuant to Section 7622.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 568, Sec. 113. Effective January 1, 2001.)

7636.
  

(a) (1) Any person who holds or has held, or was named on, any license or registration under the jurisdiction of the bureau that has been, within the immediately preceding 10 years, revoked, suspended, placed on probation, or surrendered under a stipulated decision, and who is employed by, or who seeks employment with, a licensed funeral establishment in any capacity, shall inform the managing funeral director of that revocation, suspension, probation, or surrender.

(2) A person subject to this subdivision shall inform the managing funeral director upon application for employment by completing a form that shall be made available by the bureau.

(b) A managing funeral director who is informed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall notify the bureau by submitting the form within 30 days of so being informed. Failure of the managing funeral director to notify the bureau shall be a cause for a warning. A managing funeral director shall not be subject to a warning if his or her failure to notify the bureau is due to a false statement made by an employee.

(c) Any person required to notify the managing funeral director under subdivision (a) who fails to do so or who makes a false statement on the required form shall be subject to disciplinary action if that person is a licensee of the bureau, or that failure or false statement shall be cause for denial of a license under Section 480.

(d) For purposes of subdivision (a), the term “named on” applies to a person who was an owner, partner, or corporate officer of an entity that was licensed or registered under the act at the time that entity’s license or registration under the act was revoked, suspended, placed on probation, or surrendered.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 490, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2009.)

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