Colorado Funeral Directors Association

Requirements to Practice Funeral Service in Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am licensed as a Funeral Director/Embalmer in another state. How do I transfer my license?
A. Colorado does not license individual practitioners; there is no licensing agency and therefore no requirement to transfer your license to practice. The State of Colorado requires annual registration for funeral establishments and crematories; a funeral director or embalmer MUST be employed by a licensed funeral establishment or crematory.

Q. What must I do to get a job in Colorado?
A. Because Colorado does not license individual practitioners, you may apply for a job directly with a registered Funeral Establishment or registered Crematory. Employment criteria will vary depending upon the employer. You may be required to provide information about previous employment, licenses, disciplinary action, internship, education, and submit to a background check. No examination is required to practice in Colorado, although some firms may require formal education from an accredited mortuary science college and passing the National Board Examination.

Q. How do I start my own funeral business in Colorado?
A. All funeral establishments and crematories must apply and be registered with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. An application form and fee is required. Click here for a list of other regulatory requirements.

Q. I have a felony arrest on my record. Can I open a funeral business in Colorado?
A. You must file application with DORA to register a funeral establishment or crematory. DORA will ask whether you have ever been disciplined in any state, arrested, charged, convicted, or pled guilty to a crime. An arrest, subsequent criminal conviction, or disciplinary action is not an automatic disqualification from licensure. Instead, the appropriate board or program will look at the facts surrounding the criminal conduct and disciplinary action to determine whether you are fit for licensure. There is no excuse not to disclose disciplinary actions and criminal conduct.

Q. Do I need to go to mortuary college to practice funeral service in Colorado?
A. No; the minimum requirement to practice funeral service in Colorado is a high school diploma or GED. Employment criteria will vary depending upon the employer; some funeral homes may offer on-the-job training while others require formal education from an accredited mortuary science college. 

Q. Can I offer my services as Funeral Director without getting a job in a funeral home?
A. No. Title protection statutes prevent individuals from offering services under this job title. Minimum education, on-the-job training and practical standards apply for individuals who advertise or promote their services as a "Mortuary Science Practitioner," "Funeral Director," "Embalmer" and "Cremationist." Also, individuals who practice under these job titles must be employed by a licensed funeral establishment or crematory.

Q. Do I need to be certified with the Colorado Funeral Service Board to practice in Colorado?
A. No; CFSB certification is a voluntary certification program established by the Colorado Funeral Directors Association after the State eliminated the licensing requirement for funeral directors in 1982. CFSB offers certification for Certified Mortuary Science Practitioners (CMSP); Certified Funeral Director (CFD); Certified Embalming Technician (CET), and Certified Intern/Trainee (INT). Individuals who maintain CFSB certification hold themselves to a higher standard through education, supervised training and internship, subscribing to uphold laws and ethics, and ongoing professional development. Funeral establishments often prefer to hire CFSB certified professionals for the following reasons:
  • The individual acknowledges personal level of education and experience among peers.
  • The individual has made a personal commitment to the mortuary science profession.
  • Voluntary certification emphasizes personal integrity.
  • Certification provides recognition in a state that doesn't acknowledge funeral directors as a licensed profession.
  • Certification demonstrates that the business chooses to set higher level of standards and performance.
  • The funeral home is distinguished from others in the community when its employees are CFSB certified professionals.

Colorado Funeral Directors Association,  P O Box 631664, Highlands Ranch, CO 80163-1664 U.S.A. 

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