TEXAS LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

The following information is in regards to the state of Texas.

The Texas Funeral Service Commission is the licensing and regulatory agency for all funeral establishments, funeral directors, and embalmers in the State of Texas.

  • Texas law requires funeral service providers to secure and file a certificate that has been authorized by a licensed physician (or medical examiner/J.P.). This document is then filed with the health department and certified copies of the death certificate are issued by the registrar.
  • There is statistical data required by the state. Prior to filing a death certificate, you will need to provide are vital information – either by phone or through the secure website.
  • A statement of death and a death certificate are legally required. Generally, local ordinances or deed restrictions prohibit private burials within city limits. Check with the State Health Department and local zoning authorities for applicable laws.
  • Embalming is not required by Texas law. Most common carriers will require a body to be embalmed prior to shipping. The laws of the destination country or state will apply. Because of the rapid deterioration of a body after death, Texas law requires that bodies held for over 24 hours or in transit must be embalmed, refrigerated, or encased in a leak and odor proof container.
  • Caskets are not required by Texas law, however, there may be cemetery or mausoleum restrictions regarding caskets and outer burial containers or vaults. The law does not require a casket for cremation but some type of container such as a cardboard box or canvas pouch is usually required by the crematory.
  • You may secure additional information regarding mortuary laws in the State of Texas by requesting a complete copy of the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 651, and the Commission Rules, by contacting the Texas Funeral Service Commission at P. 0. Box 12217, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas, 78711, (512)936-2474 or 1-888-667-4881, fax (512) 479-5064.