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Information and Instructions for Embalmer Licensure

An embalmer is an individual who is duly qualified to (1) disinfect or preserve dead human bodies by the injection or external application of antiseptics, disinfectants, or preservative fluids; (2) prepare human bodies for transportation in cases where death was caused by contagious or infectious diseases; (3) use derma-surgery or plastic art for restoring mutilated features; (4) and who is duly licensed as an embalmer under the laws of the State of California.

To be eligible for licensure as an embalmer, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Have committed no acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure under Section 480 of the Business and Professions Code.
  • Have completed at least two years of apprenticeship under an embalmer licensed and engaged in practice as an embalmer in this state in a funeral establishment which shall have been approved for apprentices by the bureau and while so apprenticed shall have assisted in embalming not fewer than 100 human remains; provided, however, that a person who has been licensed and has practiced as an embalmer for a minimum of three years within the seven years preceding his or her application in any other state or country and whose license has never been suspended or revoked for unethical conduct shall not be required to serve any apprenticeship in this state.
  • Have graduated from a mortuary science program approved by the bureau and accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, or its equivalent, as determined by the bureau, and furnished official transcripts from that program or equivalent.
  • Pass the sciences section of the national examination administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, or its equivalent, as determined by the bureau.
  • Pass an examination, administered by the bureau, on the state's laws and the rules and regulations of the bureau, including those sections of the Health and Safety Code, which pertain to the funeral industry.


  • Have you completed and signed your application for submission and enclosed the required fee?
  • Have you requested your "official transcripts" from the mortuary science program you attended?
  • Have you requested "official certified copies" of your National Board Examination (sciences section) score from The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, Inc?
  • Have you included your completed "Request for Live Scan Service" form or provided information about when your fingerprints were previously submitted to the Bureau (see Section F of the application)?

"Official Transcripts" are transcripts sent directly from the educational institution, in a sealed envelope, to the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau at 1625 North Market Blvd., Suite S-208, Sacramento, CA 95834.

"Official Certified Copies" are examination scores sent directly form The International Conference of Funeral Services Examining Boards, Inc., in a sealed envelope, to the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau at 1625 North Market Blvd., Suite S-208, Sacramento, CA 95834.


  • Has Section H been completed by the applicable state? If more than one certification is required, copies of the certification form may be made for completion by any additional state(s) where you hold an embalmer license.
  • Has Section I of the application been completed by your former employer(s), if applicable? The certifications are to be completed by former employers or associates who have personal knowledge of and can attest to your practice as a licensed embalmer, and must include exact dates of employment. The certification may be copied if additional forms are needed.

To request an application, or for more information about licensure as an embalmer, call the Bureau's Licensing Division at (916) 574-7870.