EDRS Burial-Transit Fees - Frequently Asked Questions

On September 27, 2013 Governor Cuomo signed into Law Chapter 352 of the Laws of 2013, which amends Article 41 of New York State Public Health Law (PHL) to add PHL §4148 which establishes an electronic death registration system (EDRS). The law authorizes and directs the Department of Health to design, implement and maintain a system for collecting, storing, recording, transmitting, amending, correcting and authenticating information relating to deaths occurring in New York State.

  1. Why is there now a fee for the Burial-Transit Permit?

    Subdivision 5 of PHL §4148 mandates the establishment and support of the EDRS system will be through a payment of $20.00 by the funeral director for the issuance of each burial and removal permit (Burial-Transit Permit). The Law, in relevant part, states,

    “Licensed funeral directors and undertakers shall support the establishment and maintenance of the electronic death registration system through a payment, tendered for each burial and removal permit issued to a licensed funeral director or undertaker, in the amount of twenty dollars, provided that such payment shall be considered a cost of operation and the funeral director or undertaker shall not charge any additional fee related to such payment for funeral or other services.”

  2. What information is needed when submitting a payment for the mandated permit fee?

    In order to appropriately reconcile permit fee payments, the following specific information must accompany each funeral director's payment:

    • Date permit was issued;
    • Registration district name and district number;
    • Name of deceased;
    • Date of death;
    • Funeral director name & registration number;
    • Death registration number (if known).

    This information can be provided by either submitting a copy of each Burial-Transit Permit or listing the information in a spreadsheet format. A template form is available by contacting the Registration Unit at (518) 474-8187 or via email to edrs@health.ny.gov or as a download from the link below.

  3. When are the fees for the burial permits due?

    Burial permit fees should be submitted at least monthly. A high volume firm may want to submit them more often.

  4. Can receipts be obtained for the Burial-Transit Permit fee?

    Funeral directors should record the check number on a copy of the list of decedents or on each Burial-Transit Permit covered by the check. Keep this documentation on file until receipt of the canceled check is obtained.

  5. Will a record of the cashed check be received within a reasonable timeframe?

    Yes. Provided the required information is submitted along with the check. Checks are usually processed in five to ten business days after they are received.

    If additional follow up contact is required to obtain necessary information, processing may be delayed.

  6. Is a Burial-Transit Permit fee required for fetal deaths?

    Yes, any time a Burial-Transit Permit is issued by a local Registrar of Vital Statistics the $20.00 fee must be paid.

  7. Can the Burial-Transit Permit fee be waived for county burials and charitable cases?

    There is no provision in Public Health Law (PHL) for waiving the Burial-Transit Permit fee requirement for charitable dispositions or other circumstances. As stated in PHL §4148, funeral directors are required to make a payment of $20.00 for each Burial-Transit Permit issued to them by the local Registrar of Vital Statistics.

  8. When a person dies at a Veteran's home or hospital, Federal authorities will often transport the body from the facility. Do funeral directors have to pay the fee in these cases?

    Yes, any time a Burial-Transit Permit is issued by a local Registrar of Vital Statistics the funeral director must pay the $20.00 fee.

  9. When a funeral director, hospital or medical examiner files a hold on a death certificate, do they have to pay the permit fee or is it just paid when a funeral director files the final disposition?

    The fee is required when the Burial-Transit Permit is issued. No additional fee is required for any revisions to the original permit.

  10. What if a Burial-Transit Permit is issued by another jurisdiction (this can happen if the death occurs in another state or in New York City)? If the disposition is to take place in a New York State (NYS) jurisdiction (outside of NYC), is submission of the Burial-Transit Permit fee still required?

    In most cases the fee will be required because the out-of-state or NYC permit will have to be exchanged for a NYS permit by the local Registrar of Vital Statistics in the district where the disposition will occur. This is generally necessary in order to correct the method and location of disposition.

  11. When a NYC funeral director requests the services of a NYS funeral director to file a death certificate on their behalf outside of the five boroughs, who is responsible for the permit fee?

    The NYS funeral director can request payment from the NYC funeral director to cover the permit fee. Ultimately, the funeral director filing the death certificate and obtaining the Burial-Transit Permit is responsible for timely submission of the $20.00 permit fee to the Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Records.

  12. Is this fee temporary? Is there an end date for the Burial-Transit Permit fee?

    The fee is to support the establishment and maintenance of an Electronic Death Registration System. Currently, there is no end date for the fee in Public Health Law.