Direct Cremate

Cremation Permits: What They Are & How to Get Them

How does a funeral home get approval to perform a cremation? Here’s what you should know about the purpose of cremation permits and how to get one.
Cremation Permits: What They Are & How to Get Them
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There are a lot of regulations for disposition, which is understandable. You can’t have people disposing of the deceased without there being some sort of record that it happened. That’s why cremation permits exist. 

Each state creates their own practices for approving cremation, but a common requirement is receiving a permit that officially allows the cremation to take place. Here’s what you should know about the purpose of cremation permits and how to get one. 

What is a Cremation Permit?

Cremation permits serve a few purposes. First and foremost, cremation permits serve as documentation that a cremation was planned to take place and the specifics involved. It’s part of a paper trail that establishes who the deceased was and how their body was disposed of.

The cremation permit also serves as proof that an official looked over the details and everything was in order. The permit is a legal tool that makes it clear the cremation was legitimate and approved to remove liability for the crematorium.  

A cremation permit isn’t the same as cremation authorization that’s provided by the family. The cremation authorization simply shows that the next of kin is opting for cremation rather than burial. In states like Texas, a cremation permit won’t be issued without the signed cremation authorization in addition to the death certificate. 

How to Get a Cremation Permit

A funeral home is needed for a few things beyond the act of actually cremating. One of the vital services they provide is securing the cremation permit. 

Every state has their own process for approving a cremation. So even if you’re familiar with the process in one state it could be very different in another. For example, in California you need a Permit for Disposition of Human Remains, which is also commonly called a burial permit even though it’s used for cremation as well. 

In Texas, a cremation permit is issued by the county where the death occurred. Typically, the county medical examiner’s office is in charge of issuing cremation permits. The funeral home must request a cremation permit by submitting a: 

  • Completed medical examiner request form
  • PDF of the death certificate
  • PDF of the death report 
  • Cremation authorization form

After the cremation permit is issued then and only then can the cremation take place. It usually takes just one or two days to receive the cremation permit once the request has been made. However, keep in mind some states have regulations stating that a cremation can’t take place until a certain amount of time has passed. If that’s the case, even if you have the cremation permit you may have to wait.

Once the cremation is complete more documentation still needs to be created. The funeral home will provide a cremation certificate to verify that the cremation was carried out as planned. 

Need help arranging a direct cremation? Direct Cremate can work with families to arrange funeral services no matter where you are located. Call or text our team to get the process started.