EDRS Information for Funeral Directors

New York State began registering deaths in the state in 1881. Public Health Law, Article 41, Title 4, Section 4140 designates the roles and processes established to register a death and arrange for disposition of a body. As of 1953, the death of each person who has died in this state shall be registered immediately and not later than seventy-two (72) hours after death or the finding of a dead human body.

Purpose of EDRS

The primary purpose of EDRS is to enable death registration users - funeral firms, hospitals, nursing homes and hospice facilities, physicians, and medical examiners and coroners - to file death records electronically with the local registrars and New York State within the required 72-hour period after a death occurs.

EDRS provides on-line access for all parties involved to work on the same case to complete decedent fact of death and cause of death information without the need for a physical paper trail.

Online Verification of Social Security Number in EDRS

EDRS includes the ability for Funeral Directors to perform online verification of the decedent's Social Security Number with the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). For cases in which you obtain successful online verification in EDRS (achieve SSN verification status of PASSED), you will no longer need to submit form SSA-721 to the SSA. If you cannot achieve successful SSN verification in an EDRS case, then the SSA wants you to send them the SSA-721 form as you have in the past.

The SSA has issued a notice to Funeral Directors regarding their guidance on the use of form SSA-721 and online verification in EDRS. Click the following link to view the SSA Notice to Funeral Directors Using New York State's EDRS, August 2017 (PDF).

Pilot Program for Spontaneous Fetal Death Module

New York State Department of Health is currently in the pilot phase of a new electronic Fetal Death Module in EDRS. The Fetal Death Module will be implemented throughout New York State, excluding the five boroughs of New York City. The module allows for electronic registration of spontaneous fetal deaths.

Selected medical facilities across the state are participating in the Fetal Death pilot program, with pilot medical facilities being phased in during 2018. Current status of the pilot program is as follows:

  • 1st pilot facility: NYU Winthrop Hospital in Nassau County began using the Fetal Death Module on April 2, 2018.
  • 2nd pilot facility: St. Peter's Hospital in Albany County began using the Fetal Death Module on August 21, 2018.
  • 3rd pilot facility: Crouse Hospital in Onondaga County began using the Fetal Death Module on September 24, 2018.
  • 4th pilot facility: Bellevue Woman's Center in Schenectady County began using the Fetal Death Module on October 1, 2018.

Statewide roll-out of the Fetal Death Module is expected to begin during winter 2018-2019.

Funeral Directors and funeral firm staff in New York State had the Fetal Death Module added to their EDRS user accounts in April 2018 to allow access to electronic cases as needed during the pilot program. In your user account you should see a link to Fetal Death in the EDRS Life Events menu on the top menu bar within EDRS.

If you are contacted by a medical facility or a family to make arrangements for fetal death disposition, then you will first need to verify with the medical facility if the case is being processed electronically as part of the New York State Fetal Death pilot program. If the case is electronic, the medical facility will need to provide you with specific information to search for and take ownership of the case in the EDRS Fetal Death Module. If at that time you do not yet see the Fetal Death link in your Life Events menu or are not able to Sign a case, then send an email to EFDR@health.ny.gov, or contact the EDRS Call Center at 1-844-866-EDRS (3344).

Please review the following materials to become familiar with how Funeral Directors will use the Fetal Death Module in EDRS:

Training Resources


User Account Information

EDRS Procedures and Reference Guides

Video Tutorials

The following Tutorials will launch in a new window/tab.

  • Locating A Case in EDRS
  • Checking Your Workload in EDRS
  • Sign a Case in EDRS
    This tutorial shows funeral firms how to complete the personal information pages for a decedent and sign the case in EDRS.
  • Verifying the Decedent's Social Security Number in EDRS
    This tutorial shows funeral directors and funeral firm staff how to process online verification of the decedent's SSN. Upon successful SSN verification in EDRS, funeral directors will no longer need to submit form SSA-721 to the Social Security Administration.
  • Change Case Ownership
    This tutorial shows how to change case ownership using the transfer and relinquish functions in EDRS.
  • Manage a Trade Call in EDRS (not yet available)
  • Complete a Cremation Clearance in EDRS (not yet available)

Tutorials in SCORM 1.2 Format to Install in Your Learning Management System

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

New York State's EDRS training curriculum was previously accredited by the NYS Bureau of Funeral Directing, awarding Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to funeral directors for attending a live training course (either online or in-person). NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Records, is pursuing re-accreditation of the EDRS training curriculum from the NYS Bureau of Funeral Directing. During the re-accreditation application process, NYS has temporarily discontinued awarding of CEUs. At this time, we are not certain if we will be able to apply credit retroactively. Status of the re-accreditation application will be announced here as updates become available. If you have questions or wish to inquire about CEUs previously earned, please send your questions by email to the EDRS team: edrs@health.ny.gov

Burial Permits

Effective September 28, 2013, each burial and removal permit issued to a New York State licensed funeral director requires a $20.00 payment to the Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Records.

This new fee is a result of the amendment of New York State Public Health Law (PHL) Article 41 to add section 4148, which establishes an Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS). Subdivision 5 of PHL §4148 mandates that the establishment and support of the system will be funded by funeral directors through a payment of $20.00 for each burial–transit permit that is issued. The payment shall be remitted by the funeral directors directly to the Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Records.

In an effort 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).

The necessary information above can be provided by submitting a copy of each burial–transit permit or by submitting a listing with the required information. A sample template form for the listing is available below.

Payments should be sent monthly to the address below and include a listing or copies of the burial–transit permits and a check or money order made payable to NYS DOH-BVR.

New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Records EDRS Unit
800 N Pearl St Rm 205
Albany, NY 12204