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 an 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.

An 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).

Training Resources:


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)

The NYS Bureau of Funeral Directing awards Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to funeral directors for attending live webinar and live in-person training in EDRS. One credit is awarded for attending a live training course (either online or in-person). To register for live webinar training, see the Training Schedule on the EDRS home page.

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