Board Licensure Application

A valid license from the Board of Funeral Service is required to practice funeral service in the state of South Carolina.

Qualifications for Licensure

Funeral Director, Embalmer, Funeral Director/Embalmer Licensing Requirements, Apprentice and Student Certificates Requirements, and Funeral Establishment Permit Requirements

Embalmer

(1) is at least eighteen years of age;

(2) has not been convicted of a violent crime or found guilty of a felony or crime of moral turpitude;

(3) has a high school education or the equivalent of a high school education, the equivalence to be determined by the board;

(4) has completed successfully a regular course in an embalming college accredited by the National Conference of State Examining Boards and approved by the board;

(5) has completed a minimum of twenty-four months of full-time service as an apprentice under the direct supervision of a licensed embalmer actively engaged in the practice of embalming in this State;

(6) has passed an examination prescribed by the board. A person holding a valid embalmer's license in another state or territory which has been in effect continuously for at least five years is not required to serve an apprenticeship to qualify for examination.

Funeral Director

(1) is at least eighteen years of age;

(2) has not been convicted of a violent crime or found guilty of a felony or crime of moral turpitude;

(3) has a high school education or the equivalent of a high school education and has a minimum of two years of successful attendance at an accredited academic college or successful completion of a regular course of not less than one year, twelve scholastic months, in an accredited mortuary college

Regulation 57-05 defines accreditation for bachelor’s degrees or two academic college years as regional accreditation. 

For applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, no specific course breakdown is required.

Requirements to meet the “minimum of two years of successful attendance at an accredited academic college are:      

Successful completion of sixty (60) semester hours at a regionally accredited college or university, including a minimum of twenty-four (24) semester hours divided among at least four (4) of the following areas:

(1) Psychological Sciences: This area may include courses in General Psychology, Guidance/Counseling,

General Sociology, and other Psychology courses; and

(2) Business: This area may include courses in Accounting, Business Law, Math/Logic, Business

Management, Typing, and Computer Science; and

(3) English: This area may include English, English Literature, and English Composition; and

(4) Natural/Biological/Physical Sciences: This area may include courses in Chemistry, Biology,

Pathology, Microbiology, and Physiology; and

(5) Religion: This area may include courses in Religion, Bible, and Bible History;

(4) has completed a minimum of twenty-four months of full-time service as an apprentice funeral director under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director actively engaged in the practice of funeral directing in this State;

(5) has passed an examination prescribed by the board. A person holding a valid funeral director's license in another state or territory, which has been in effect continuously for at least five years, is not required to serve an apprenticeship to qualify for examination.

Licensure for Persons Licensed in Other States

A person holding a current, valid embalmer or funeral director license in another state or territory having substantially similar requirements to the requirements of this chapter may apply for a license to practice in this State by submitting the appropriate nonrefundable fee, an application on a board-approved form, and a board-certified statement from the state or territory in which the person holds the license and has successfully taken and passed that state law exam. The board may approve an applicant who presents evidence of licensure in another jurisdiction, even though that jurisdiction does not require substantially similar requirements, upon a showing that the applicant has engaged in the licensed practice of funeral service for at least five years and the applicant has achieved a passing score on an examination approved by the board. An individual licensed in another jurisdiction that does not meet these requirements may be licensed upon the completion of additional conditions as determined by the board.

Apprentices

Must be at least 18 years of age

Must be a full-time employee of the funeral home working under the direct supervision of a licensed funeral director and/or embalmer in the state of South Carolina.

Supervising funeral directors and/or embalmers may not have more than two apprentices under their supervision at a time.

Student certificates to engage in practice of funeral service.

Upon registration with the South Carolina State Board of Funeral Service, the board shall issue a student permit authorizing the student to engage in the practice of funeral service if:

(1) the student is enrolled in an accredited mortuary science college or mortuary science college or a program in the process of seeking accreditation in South Carolina;

(2) the funeral service activities in which the student engages are in conjunction with the student's academic training; and

(3) the student's funeral service activities are under the supervision of a licensee designated by an accredited mortuary science college in South Carolina.”

Permit requirements for funeral establishments

(A) A permit for a funeral home may be issued if the applicant:

(1) submits an application on a form approved by the board;

(2) submits to and successfully passes an inspection approved by the board;

(3) submits the applicable nonrefundable fee;

(4) designates a manager who meets the requirements of Section 40-19-20(16) and is current and in good standing with the board and lives within a radius of twenty-five miles of the establishment; *

(5) possesses the necessary equipment or merchandise, or both, required by regulation;

(6) is in full compliance with Section 40-19-290.

(B) A permit for a branch funeral home may be issued if the applicant:

(1) submits an application on a form approved by the board;

(2) submits to and successfully passes an inspection approved by the board;

(3) submits the applicable nonrefundable fee;

(4) designates a manager who meets the requirements of Section 40-19-20(16) and is current and in good standing with the board and lives within a radius of twenty-five miles of the establishment;*

(5) possesses the necessary equipment or merchandise, or both, required by regulation;

(6) is in full compliance with Section 40-19-290;

(7) provides the name of the parent funeral home.

(C) A permit for a retail sales outlet may be issued if the applicant:

(1) submits an application on a form approved by the board;

(2) submits to and successfully passes an inspection approved by the board;

(3) submits the applicable nonrefundable fee;

(4) is in full compliance with Section 40-19-290.

(D) A permit for a crematory may be issued if the applicant:

(1) submits an application on a form approved by the board;

(2) submits to and successfully passes an inspection approved by the board;

(3) submits the applicable nonrefundable fee;

(4) designates a manager who meets the requirements of Section 40-19-20(16) and is current and in good standing with the board and lives within a radius of twenty-five miles of the establishment;*

*Managers must have been both, licensed in and a legal resident of, the state of South Carolina for a minimum of one year preceding the date of the application to license the facility.

How to Apply for a License

Funeral Director, Embalmer, Funeral Director/Embalmer Licensing Requirements, Apprentice and Student Certificates Requirements, and Funeral Establishment Permit Requirements

  • Check or money order made payable to LLR-Board of Funeral Service
  • Application fee is non-refundable. A returned check fee of up to $30, or an amount specified by law, may be assessed on all returned funds. Application fees are:
  • $100 - Funeral Director
  • $100 - Embalmer
  • $150 - Funeral Director/Embalmer
  • Copy of your valid Driver's License, State Issued ID, Passport or Military ID
  • Copy of your social security card
  • A 2”x2” color Passport-style photo)
  • Completed Verification of Apprenticeship Form, if applicable
  • Official statewide background check from your state(s) of residence covering the past 5 years.
  • (SC: http://www.sled.sc.gov)
  • Legal documentation for name change (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc), if applicable
  • Have submitted directly to the Board office address above from the issuing agent:
  • Official copy of transcripts from an accredited mortuary college of a regionally accredited academic college approved by the Board.
  • Certified copy of National Grades from The International Conference for Funeral Director and/or
  • Embalmer Exam(s). Contact information https://theconferenceonline.org or (479) 442-7076.
  • Verification of out of state licensure, if applicable

Apprentice Funeral Director or Apprentice Embalmer and Supervisors

South Carolina law requires all apprentices to serve a two-year apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed funeral director or embalmer.

During the course of apprenticeship, all apprentices must maintain and submit quarterly reports to the Board that document the cases the apprentice worked on and the activities completed for those cases.  Reports must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the end of the quarter. 

  • January through March reports are due no later than April 30;
  • April through June reports are due no later than July 30;
  • July through September reports are due no later than October 30; and
  • October through December reports are due no later than January 30. 

Staff cannot accept late quarterly reports. 

Apprentices must submit quarterly reports for each quarter, regardless of whether or not they performed any funeral directing and/or embalming activities during that time. 

The apprentice must conduct all funeral activities under the direct supervision of the supervisor.  This requires that the supervisor must be present on the premises when the apprentice is assisting in directing or embalming.

If the apprentice leaves the supervision of the licensee in whose service he/she has been engaged, the supervisor shall give the apprentice an affidavit showing the length of time served under his/her supervision. If the apprentice shall thereafter seek permission to continue training, he/she must complete a new application to continue.

The apprentice must assist in embalming of at least 50 bodies for an apprentice embalmer or assist the funeral director in at least 50 funerals for apprentice funeral director, and of those cases at least 25 must include specific duties which are outlined on the quarterly reporting forms.

Information for Applicants Applying for a South Carolina Apprentice Funeral Director or Apprentice Embalmer's License

When submitting an application to the Board office for an apprentice funeral director or apprentice embalmer license, the requirements are as follows:

  • Check or money order made payable to LLR-Board of Funeral Service (A returned check fee of up to $30, or an amount specified by law, may be assessed on all returned funds.)

Type of Application:

  • $50 - Apprentice Funeral Director
  • $50 - Apprentice Embalmer
  • $100 - Funeral Director/Embalmer
  • $100 - Apprentice Funeral Director Renewal/Extension
  • $100 - Apprentice Embalmer Renewal/Extension
  • $200 - Funeral Director/Embalmer Renewal/Extension
  • Copy of your valid Driver's License, State Issued ID, Passport or Military ID
  • Copy of your social security card
  • A 2”x2” color Passport-style photo less than 6 months old
  • Official Statewide Background check from your state(s) of residence covering the past 5 years. (SC: www.sled.sc.gov)
  • Supervisor/Location Funeral Director/Embalmer Form
  • Legal documentation for name change (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc), if applicable

Letter of Instructions for a New Funeral Facility, Additional Facility Location Change of Facility Name or Change of Facility Manager

  • When submitting an application to the Board's Office for a new funeral facility, additional facility location, change of facility name or change of facility manager, the requirements are as follows:
  • Complete the Board application form
  • Attach a personal check, certified check or postal money order in the amount of:
  • $200 for a new facility.
  • $200 for an additional facility location.
  • Manager must appear before the Board for a new facility, additional facility, ownership change or location change. Proof of residency required (Must include copies of driver’s license, voter’s registration, manager’s property tax notice, and if you do not own your own home a copy of your rental contract).
  • (Articles of incorporation or minutes showing position and authority). If not incorporated, must submit proof of ownership.
  • If new facility, include recent county zoning application and approval notice.
  • The facility name or name change must not include a name of any unlicensed person(s).
  • Along with the application, applicants must submit a state-wide criminal history conviction record from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) (or equivalent agency located in the applicant’s resident state for any state in which the applicant manager has lived for the five years preceding the date of the application.
  • The completed application packet must be in our office no later than 10 business days prior to the Board meeting date if you wish to be on the Board meeting agenda
Renewal Requirements/Reinstatement

License Renewal Requirements/Reinstatement

Funeral Director and/or Embalmer licenses and facility licenses issued under this chapter are valid from the date issued until June 30th on even years (ex. 2020, 2022, 2024, and so on).  Licenses are renewed for a period of two years. 

Student Permits are valid while the student is actively enrolled in an approved mortuary science program.  Once a student is no longer enrolled in the program, even if just to take time off, the permit is no longer valid.  If a student leaves school and chooses to return later, that student must renew his/her student permit.

Apprenticeship Certificates are initially valid for twenty-four months (two years).  If an apprentice does not complete his/her required months and cases in that twenty-four months, that apprentice may renew the certificate for one year at a time.  Apprentices cannot renew more than three times.

Funeral Director and/or Embalmer Licensees who renew between July 1st and December 31st of even years must pay the renewal fee plus the late $120 late fee established in regulation.

Funeral Director and/or Embalmer Licensees who do not renew by December 31st on even years must pay the renewal fee plus the reactivation/revival fee established in regulation, which is $120 plus the renewal fee for every year the license was expired. Additionally, licensees must submit proof that they completed the required continuing education hours for each year that the license was expired.

Funeral Director and/or Embalmer Licensees who do not renew their licenses within five years of the expiration date must reapply and meet all of the requirements, including re-examination, at the time of the application, for licensure.