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Information for Funeral Professionals

Florida Dept. of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics

Funeral directors are responsible for ensuring the completion of the death certificate, pursuant to §382.008 (2)(a), Florida Statutes. The funeral director who first assumes custody of the decedent will create the death record. They must obtain the demographic information from either family or from the best source available, enter that information on the record and make that record available to the practitioner or medical examiner, when applicable, for medical certification of the cause of death.

In general, funeral directors’ duties are to:

  • Complete all demographic items on the death certificate.
  • Obtain the cause-of-death information and certification statement from the attending practitioner or the medical examiner.
  • Review the certificate for completeness and accuracy.
  • File the certificate with the state or local official within the time limit specified by Florida law.
  • Notify the medical examiner of any death that is believed to have been due to an accident, suicide, or homicide, or to have occurred without medical attendance.
  • Obtain and use all necessary permits and other forms associated with the death registration system.
  • Cooperate with state or local registrars concerning queries on certificate entries.
  • Be thoroughly familiar with all laws, rules, and regulations governing the vital statistics system.

The role of the funeral director in the death registration process is important. The death certificate is a permanent legal record of the fact of death of a person. As a permanent legal record, the certificate is extremely important to the decedent’s family. It is also needed for a variety of medical and health-related research efforts. The Bureau of Vital Statistics Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) enables funeral directors to create and file Florida death records conveniently and securely with the state office. The electronic filing of the death record via EDRS results in a more accurate review, analysis and distribution of health statistics in an efficient, secure and convenient manner.

The Bureau of Vital Statistics, in cooperation with the Division of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services, has developed an online tutorial for funeral professionals wishing to become EDRS users. The tutorial provides an overview of the death registration process in Florida and the funeral director’s responsibilities, and how to go about properly completing the death record. 

If you are a licensed funeral director or staff member interested in becoming an online user of EDRS, you can Request Access Forms and training tutorials. The required access forms and a link to the training tutorial will be emailed to you shortly after submitting a request above. If you wish to receive EDRS training with a Bureau of Vital Statistics Quality Assurance representative, please contact our office at 904-359-6900 extension 9020.


Changes to the demographic portion of a death or fetal death record requires the completion and submission of an application and affidavit to the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Instructions, fees and mailing address can be found on the forms. There is a $20.00 amendment fee associated with an amendment to the demographic portion, but one certificate is included in the amendment fee. Questions on the amendment affidavit should be directed to the Bureau of Vital Statistics Amendment Unit at (904) 359-6900, extension 2808. Click on the form titles below to download and complete:


DH524 Application for Amendment to Florida Death or Fetal Death Record (955K pdf)

DH434A Affidavit of Amendment to Medical Certification of Death (74K pdf.)