Courtesy Card Information
By Lindsay Castle, OFDA Administrative Assistant
Ohio joined surrounding states West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan in adopting a courtesy card through the passage of House Bill 481in 2012.
That law allows funeral directors in surrounding states to obtain a courtesy card to come into Ohio to remove bodies, file death certificates, and supervise funerals and interments.
A courtesy card only allows individuals to perform the duties of a funeral director. One may not embalm with the card. These individuals must also be licensed and working in a bordering state to the one where the courtesy card is obtained.
The fee for an Ohio Courtesy Card is $150 and needs to be renewed every two years ending on December 31 on even numbered years, said Vanessa Niekamp, Executive Director of the State of Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
It is important to note that under all courtesy card laws, no funeral director is permitted to sell preneed contracts or advertise in the state where they hold a courtesy card.
West Virginia cards
In West Virginia, courtesy cards allow individuals to direct funerals and burials in the state but he or she must be licensed as a funeral director and working for a funeral home in a state that borders West Virginia (Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio or Virginia).
With a WV courtesy card, funeral directors may transport to and from West Virginia, direct a funeral at a church, cemetery or other location, and bury a decedent. However, courtesy cards do not allow funeral directors to open or operate a funeral home or business office in West Virginia. It also does not allow funeral directors to embalm or otherwise prepare a body for burial or other disposition.
One must complete an application for a courtesy card and a courtesy card license verification form by visiting http://www.wvfuneralboard.com/Home/COURTESYCARD/CardInformation/tabid/649/Default.aspx
Cards must be renewed every two years at the rate of $300.
Under Indiana law, a courtesy card is defined as a special permit issued by the State Board to funeral directors licensed in states the border Indiana.
The card will be issued if all of the following requirements are met:
- The individual is licensed as a funeral director in a state that borders Indiana.
- The bordering state issues courtesy cards or similar permits to funeral directors licensed in Indiana.
- The individual completes an application for a courtesy card on a form provided by the board and includes certification with the seal of the state where the individual is licensed.
- The individual certifies on the application that the individual has reviewed and understands materials prepared by the board for individuals seeking courtesy cards.
- The individual pays the established fee. The Application fee is $150, renewal fee is $150 and late fee is $50. These must be renewed every two years.
A courtesy card holder in the state of Indiana will be allowed to remove and transport unembalmed and embalmed human bodies to and from Indiana (to and from) the state where the card holder is licensed as a funeral director. This person may also prepare and complete sections of a death certificate and other disposition permits needed for disposition of deceased human remains, and sign and file death certificates and permits. Courtesy card holders will not need assistance of or be under the supervision of a funeral director licensed in Indiana in order to sign and file death certificates or other disposition permits. They may also supervise and conduct funeral ceremonies (in churches, funeral homes, cemeteries, creamatories, or elsewhere) without the assistance of an Indiana licensed funeral director.
Card holders are not permitted to transfer the courtesy card to another individual or own or operate a funeral home, crematory, or office that provides or offers to sell or arrange funeral or disposition services in Indiana.
For more information or to download applications, visit http://www.in.gov/pla/funeral.htm
Courtesy cards in Kentucky permit licensed funeral directors to receive and transport embalmed and unembalmed dead human bodies to and from Kentucky for a funeral and to conduct funeral services and burials in Kentucky. The card holder may also prepare and complete sections of death certificates and other disposition permits needed for the disposition of deceased human remains, without the assistance of, or being under the supervision of, an embalmer or funeral director licensed in Kentucky.
The courtesy card does not allow the funeral director to advertise in, establish a place of business or be employed within the state boundaries of Kentucky, or solicit business in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
A person holding an embalmer’s or funeral director’s license issued in another state or federal district, may obtain a courtesy card only if the following conditions are met:
- The person is licensed as an embalmer or funeral director in another state or federal district.
- The other state or federal district issues courtesy cards or similar permits to embalmers or funeral directors licensed in Kentucky.
- The person completes an application for a courtesy card on a form provided by the board; and
- The person pays a fee that shall not exceed the amount of the fee an embalmer or funeral director licensed under the law is required to pay for license renewal.
Courtesy cards in the state of Kentucky, expire on July 31 each year.
For more information, please visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/statute.aspx?id=42564
The fee for a Kentucky courtesy card application is $75 and renewal each year is $75.
In late 2013, Michigan also joined Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky and may now issue a courtesy license to engage in the practice of mortuary science to an individual if the license and regulatory department determines that all of the following are met:
1. The individual holds a valid license to practice mortuary science, funeral directing, or another occupation that is the equivalent of the practice of mortuary science or funeral directing, issued by the state of Indiana, Ohio, or Wisconsin.
2. The state that issued the license described in subdivision (1) by law provides individuals licensed under this article substantially the same opportunity to practice in that state as its licensees are authorized to practice in this state under this section.
A courtesy license is valid for two years, beginning on the date it is issued or renewed. An individual who holds a courtesy license may do any of the following:
1. Remove a dead human body from the place of death in Michigan.
2. Register with a local registrar.
3. Transport a dead human body to or from the state in which he or she is licensed.
4. Supervise the final disposition in this state of the human body of an individual who died in the state in which he or she is licensed.
An individual who holds only a courtesy license shall not do any of the following in this state:
1. Operate a funeral establishment.
2. Engage in the practice of embalming.
3. Advertise mortuary science, funeral directing, or cremation services.
4. Directly or indirectly own, manage, operate, maintain, or be employed by a cemetery or crematory or engage in any similar activity for which registration is required under the Cemetery Regulation Act, 1968 PA 251, MCL 456.521 to 456.543.
To obtain a courtesy license, an individual must complete an Application for a Mortuary Science Courtesy License and submit it to the address on the form, along with the required $405.00 fee. That fee covers the first two years then must be renewed every two years at a rate of $135.