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Funeral Director – License Information

1) Complete educational requirements.

Applicants must submit evidence of having completed 9 months or more instruction in a prescribed course in a mortuary science school; and two years of academic instruction in a college or university with coursework in specific areas. For details concerning requirements, see ch. FD 1.04, Wisc. Admin. code. ​​​​​​​

2) After completing one year of college or university, applicant may submit Form 385, Application for Initial Apprentice Contract and Forms.

3) Complete the apprenticeship application, required documents and application fee.

4) Complete application to sit for the examination. Applicant does not need to have completed the 1 year apprenticeship in order to be eligible to sit for the exams, but must complete the apprenticeship to be eligible for licensure.

5) Submit Form 1590, Application for Examination with the required documents and examination fee. 

6) Pass the Wisconsin State Laws exam and the National Board exams (Arts & Sciences). The Department will send a licensure application with the examination results.

7) Submit the completed licensure application with the required documents. Apprenticeship must be completed before submitting the licensure application.

Application by Reciprocity

Any person holding a valid license as a funeral director or embalmer in another state having requirements equal to those in Wisconsin may apply for a license by reciprocity.  For current Wisconsin requirements, refer to ch. FD 1.04, Wisc. Admin. code. ​​​​​​​

An applicant for licensure by reciprocity must provide evidence of:

9 months or more of schooling in mortuary science

2 years of academic coursework

Certification of licensure from each state in which you are licensed or have been licensed.

The applicant must also pass the Wisconsin State Laws exam.

Reinstatement of Licensure

A credential holder who fails to renew the credential within 5 years after the renewal date will need to complete ALLof the following requirements before the credential can be reissued:

1) Complete a total of 30 hours of continuing education. You must complete at least:

a) 6 hours in "professional conduct, busines ethics or legal aspects specifically related to practice in the profession" (Category 2)

b) 10 hours in "technical or practical aspects of the profession" (Category 4)

c) 3 hours in "grief counseling or communication" (Category 1)

d) 3 hours in "business management concepts relating specifically to delivery of services to a consumer" (Category 3)

e) The remaining 8 hours can be in any of the four categories.

A list of approved Continuing Education Programs can be obtained from our website.

2) Complete 9 embalming services within 12 months under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director.

Because embalming sevices can only be performed by a person holding a current funeral director license or current apprentice permit, you will need to obtain an apprentice permit to be able to perform the embalming services.  The apprentice permit would be solely for this purpose and the apprentichesip would end when you complete the 9 embalming services.  The 9 embalming services may be completed at more than one funeral establishment.

3) Successfully pass the Wisconsin State Laws exam.

The examination is held every other month in Madison.  Please refer to the Application for Examination (Form #1590) for examination dates and fees.  The filing deadline is 30 days prior to the examination date.

The requirements may be completed in any order but all requirements must be completed before the credential can be reissued.

Application Process


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The Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR) is Wisconsin's initiative to pre-register, manage, and mobilize clinical and non-clinical volunteers to help in responding to all types of disasters. The volunteer management system is part of a nation-wide effort to make sure that volunteer professionals can be quickly identified and their credentials checked so that they can be properly utilized in response to a public health emergency or disaster. WEAVR is coordinated administratively by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Public Health Emergency Preparedness Section (PHEP). WEAVR is Wisconsin's Emergency System for Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP), part of a national initiative to form an interoperable emergency health volunteer network.