Ch. 445 Cross-reference
See definitions in s. 440.01
As used in this chapter:
“Apprentice” means a person engaged in the learning of the practice of funeral directing under the instruction and personal supervision of a funeral director who is licensed under this chapter and whose funeral establishment is located in this state.
“Compensation" means direct or indirect payment, including the expectation of payment whether or not actually received.
“Embalming" means disinfecting or preserving dead human bodies, entire or in part, by the use of chemical substances, fluids or gases in the body, or by the introduction of same into the body by vascular or hypodermic injection, or by direct application into the organs or cavities for the purpose of preservation or disinfection.
“Examining board" means the funeral directors examining board.
A “funeral director" means any of the following:
A person engaged in or conducting, or holding himself or herself out, in whole or in part, as being engaged in any of the following:
Embalming or otherwise preparing for the burial or disposal of dead human bodies.
Directing and supervising the burial or disposal of dead human bodies.
A person who, in connection with his or her name or funeral establishment, uses the words, “funeral director", “mortician" or any other title implying that he or she is engaged as a funeral director as defined in this subsection.
“Funeral establishment" means any building or part of a building used and held out to the public as being used for caring or preparing for the burial or transportation of dead human bodies or for holding or conducting of funeral services.
“Operator of funeral establishment" means any person who conducts, maintains, manages or operates a funeral establishment.
“Person" includes firm, corporation, partnership, cooperative, unincorporated cooperative association, and association of individuals.
“Preparation room" means any building or part of a building used for embalming, caring for, or preparing for burial or transportation dead human bodies.
Powers of examining board. 445.03(2)(a)
Make and enforce rules not inconsistent with this chapter establishing professional and business ethics for the profession of funeral directors and for the general conduct of the business of funeral directing, and for the examination and licensing of funeral directors and the registration of apprentices.
Grant licenses to funeral directors, certificates of registration to apprentices, and permits to operators of funeral establishments.
Conduct a school of instruction to apprise funeral directors of the most recent scientific knowledge and developments affecting their profession. Qualified lecturers and demonstrators shall be employed for this purpose, who may be selected without regard to the civil service law.
Make and determine reciprocal agreements with other states.
Rules authorized under sub. (2) (a) should be enacted under ch. 227. 63 Atty. Gen. 154.
Funeral directors; licenses. 445.04(1)(1)
Except for conducting funeral services, the business of a funeral director must be conducted in a funeral establishment that has been issued a permit by the examining board.
Except as provided in s. 257.03
, no person may engage in the business of a funeral director, or make a representation as engaged in such business, in whole or in part, unless first licensed as a funeral director by the examining board. Application for a license, other than a renewal, shall be in writing and verified on a form to be furnished by the department. The application must specify the address at which the applicant proposes to conduct the business of a funeral director and shall contain such other information as the examining board requires to determine compliance with the requirements of this chapter. Accompanying the application shall be the initial credential fee determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a)
, together with affidavits of recommendation from at least 2 persons of the county in which the applicant resides or proposes to conduct the business of a funeral director.
Written examinations for a funeral director's license under pars. (b)
shall be held at least once a year and shall be conducted by the examining board at a time and place to be designated by the examining board.
The comprehensive examination shall include the subjects of:
Funeral directing and burial or other disposition of dead human bodies;
Anatomy, bacteriology, autopsy, chemistry and practical embalming; and
Sanitary science, public health, transportation, business ethics and the laws of this state and rules of the department of health services relating to communicable diseases, quarantine and causes of death.
The jurisprudence examination shall test the applicant's knowledge of state law relating to funeral directing.
See also chs. DHS 135
, Wis. adm. code.
License requirements. 445.045(1)(1)
To be eligible for an original funeral director's license, a person must meet all of the following requirements:
The person must have completed 24 semester credits of instruction in a recognized college or university, in a course of study approved by the examining board, or have equivalent education.
The person must have satisfactorily completed 9 months or more of instruction in a prescribed course in mortuary science approved by the examining board.
The person must have completed one year of apprenticeship as prescribed in s. 445.095
, either before or after taking the course in mortuary science required by par. (e)
, and must have satisfied the requirement under s. 445.095 (4)
The eligibility requirements in sub. (1)
shall not apply to:
Any person to whom a certificate of apprenticeship was issued before October 1, 1959, and who satisfies the legal requirements in effect at the time of the person's registration; or
Any person who served actively in the armed forces of the United States between August 3, 1951, and October 1, 1959, and who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, registers with the examining board within 6 months of the date of discharge, and who satisfies the legal requirements in effect at the time the person entered the armed forces.
See also ch. FD 1
, Wis. adm. code.
Renewal of licenses. 445.06(1)(1)
The renewal date for a funeral director's license is specified under s. 440.08 (2) (a)
, and the renewal fee for such license is determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a)
In order to renew a license under this chapter, the applicant shall furnish proof, to the satisfaction of the examining board, of all of the following:
That the applicant is doing business at a recognized funeral establishment.
That the applicant has satisfied the applicable continuing education requirements under s. 445.07
See also chs. FD 1
, Wis. adm. code.
Continuing education. 445.07(1)(1)
In order to renew a license under this chapter, an applicant shall, except as provided in sub. (2)
, furnish proof of having satisfied the following:
For the renewal of a license that expires on the first renewal date after the date on which the examining board initially granted the license, completion of 4 hours of continuing education subsequent to the date the applicant was granted the initial license. The examining board shall, in the rules promulgated under sub. (3)
, specify permitted or required subjects for the continuing education under this paragraph, which shall be subjects that the examining board determines prepare a new licensee for practice as a funeral director.
For each renewal subsequent to the renewal described in par. (a)
, completion of 15 hours of continuing education in the previous 2-year licensure period.
The examining board may waive the requirement under sub. (1) (a)
in cases where the examining board is satisfied that an applicant would be unable to satisfy the requirement prior to the renewal date.
The examining board shall promulgate rules to implement this section.
History: 2019 a. 137
Reciprocity in issuance of licenses.
Any person holding a valid license as a funeral director or embalmer in another state having requirements substantially equal to those in this state for a funeral director's license may apply for a license to practice in this state by filing with the examining board a certified statement from an authorized official of that state that verifies the person's licensure in that state. An applicant for licensure under this section shall pass the jurisprudence examination under s. 445.04 (3) (c)
and shall satisfy the requirement under s. 445.045 (1) (b)
. Thereupon the examining board may, upon the payment of the required fee, issue a funeral director's license.
See also s. FD 1.12
, Wis. adm. code.
Display of licenses.
Funeral director's licenses and certificates of apprenticeship shall be displayed conspicuously in the place of business conducted by the licensee or where the licensee or apprentice is employed.
History: 1979 c. 175
; 1979 c. 221
; Stats. 1979 s. 445.09; 1983 a. 485
Apprenticeship, funeral directors. 445.095(1)(a)1.1.
A person desiring to become an apprentice as a funeral director and who satisfies all of the following shall apply on a form provided for the purpose and appear before the examining board or any duly appointed representative of the examining board:
The applicant holds a high school diploma or possesses equivalent education as defined by the examining board.
The applicant has completed a 16-hour certification class approved by the examining board or has satisfied the requirement under s. 445.045 (1) (e)
The application under subd. 1.
must be substantiated by the oath of the applicant.
When the examining board is satisfied that an applicant for apprenticeship satisfies the requirements for granting a certificate of apprenticeship, it shall grant the applicant a certificate of apprenticeship.
A certificate of apprenticeship issued under this section shall be renewable annually upon the payment on January 1 of each year of the renewal fee specified in s. 440.08 (2) (b)
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, the examining board may recognize only one funeral director apprenticeship at a funeral establishment in a given year for each funeral director that is employed full time at the funeral establishment.
The examining board may recognize up to 2 funeral director apprenticeships at any funeral establishment at which less than 3 funeral directors are employed full time in a given year.