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Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers
Questions related to Licensure by Exam and Endorsement

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Questions related to Licensure:

What are the requirements for a funeral director license by examination?

The requirements for licensure can be reviewed in the Board’s regulations under 18VAC65-20-231 Requirements for funeral director license by examination.

What are the requirements for an embalmer license by examination?

The requirements for licensure can be reviewed in the Board’s regulations under 18VAC65-20-232 Requirements for an embalmer license by examination.

What examinations will I be required to take for licensure?

Effective January 1, 2023, the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (“The Conference”) will no longer administer two versions of the national exams for funeral service licensure – previously the State Board Exam and the National Board Exam. The Conference will administer only the National Board Examination (NBE – Arts and/or NBE – Sciences).   

This means that all applicants will take the NBE (Arts and/or Sciences), whether or not they completed an ABFSE accredited mortuary science or funeral service program. The requirement for an applicant to take the Arts or Sciences portion (or both) of the NBE depends upon the license type sought:

All applicants are required to pass the Virginia State Exam on Laws, Rules, and Regulations (VA-LRR) prior to licensure regardless of license type.

For more information on the Conference’s Exam Changes as of January 1, 2023, please visit the Conference’s FAQ page.

What are the requirements for licensure by reciprocity or endorsement?

Licenses for the practice of funeral service, funeral directing, embalming, or its equivalent license issued by other states, territories, or the District of Columbia may be recognized by the board and the holder of such license or licenses may be granted a license to practice funeral service, funeral directing, or embalming within the Commonwealth.

Licenses may be granted to applicants by the board on a case-by-case basis if the applicant holds a valid license for the practice of funeral service, funeral directing, embalming or its equivalent license in another state, territory, or the District of Columbia and possesses credentials which are substantially similar to or more stringent than required by the Commonwealth for initial licensure at the time the applicant was initially licensed.

An applicant for licensure by reciprocity or endorsement shall pass the Virginia State Board Examination.

(18VAC65-20-350)

How do I renew my license or registration?

A person, establishment, crematory, courtesy card holder or surface transportation and removal service that desires to renew its license or registration for the next year shall submit the renewal form and applicable fee no later than the yearly March 31 deadline provided in 18VAC65-20-120.

1. In order to renew an active funeral service, funeral director, or embalmer license, a licensee shall be required to comply with continuing competency requirements set forth in 18VAC65-20-151.

2. The board shall not renew a license for any licensee who fails to attest to compliance with continuing competency requirements on the renewal form.

B. A person who or entity that desires to renew an expired license for up to one year following expiration shall comply with requirements of subsection A of this section and also submit the applicable fee for late renewal.

C. A person who or entity which fails to renew a license, registration, or courtesy card by the expiration dates prescribed in 18VAC65-20-120 shall be deemed to have an invalid license, registration, or courtesy card and continued practice may subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the board.

(18VAC65-20-130)

How do I reinstate an expired license or registration?

A. The board may consider reinstatement of an expired license or registration that has not been renewed within one year of expiration for up to three years following expiration. An application request for reinstatement shall be submitted to the board and shall include payment of the reinstatement fee prescribed in 18VAC65-20-70.

B. If the Virginia license of a funeral service provider licensee, funeral director, or and embalmer is lapsed three years or less and the applicant is seeking reinstatement, he the applicant shall provide evidence of having completing the number of continuing competency hours required for the period in which the license has been lapsed.

C. When a license is not reinstated within three years of its expiration date, an applicant shall reapply for licensure and pass the state examination.

(18VAC65-20-140)

What are the continuing competency requirements for renewal of an active license?

A. Funeral service licensees, funeral directors, or funeral embalmers shall be required to have completed a minimum of five hours per year of continuing education offered by a board-approved sponsor for licensure renewal in courses that emphasize the ethics, standards of practice, preneed contracts and funding, or federal or state laws and regulations governing the profession of funeral service.

1. One hour per year shall cover compliance with laws and regulations governing the profession, and at least one hour per year shall cover preneed funeral arrangements. The one-hour requirement on compliance with laws and regulations may be met once every two years by attendance at a meeting of the board or at a committee of the board or an informal conference or formal hearing.

2. One hour of the five hours required for annual renewal may be satisfied through delivery of professional services, without compensation, to low-income individuals receiving health services through a local health department or a free clinic organized in whole or primarily for the delivery of those services. One hour of continuing education may be credited for one hour of providing such volunteer services, as documented by the health department or free clinic. For the purposes of continuing education credit for volunteer service, an approved sponsor shall be a local health department or free clinic.

B. Courses must be directly related to the scope of practice of funeral service. Courses for which the principal purpose is to promote, sell or offer goods, products or services to funeral homes are not acceptable for the purpose of credit toward renewal.

C. The board may grant an extension for good cause of up to one year for the completion of continuing education requirements upon written request from the licensee prior to the renewal date. Such extension shall not relieve the licensee of the continuing education requirement.

D. The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the continuing education requirements for one renewal cycle due to circumstances determined by the board to be beyond the control of the licensee.

(18VAC65-20-151)

Where do I find more information regarding the Virginia LRR examination?

The Virginia state exam (Laws, Rules, and Regulations “LRR”) for Funeral Service Licensees is administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. For more information, exam candidates may click here to visit their website or click here to access the “LRR” Candidate Handbook.