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149A.93 Transportation of dead human bodies.

Subdivision 1. Permits required. After removal from the place of death to any location where the body is held awaiting final disposition, further transportation of the body shall require a disposition or transit permit issued by the local registrar of the place of death, a subregistrar as defined by Minnesota Rules, part 4600.0100, subpart 5, or, if necessary to avoid delay, the commissioner. Permits shall contain the information required on the permit form as furnished by the commissioner and shall be signed by the local registrar or subregistrar and the person in legal custody of the body, and, where appropriate, the mortician, intern, or practicum student who embalmed the body, the person in charge of the conveyance in which the body will be moved, or the person in charge of the place of final disposition. Where a funeral establishment name is used in signing a permit, it must be supported by the personal signature of a licensee employed by the funeral establishment.

Subd. 2. Transit permit. A transit permit shall be required when a body is to be:

(1) moved within a registration district and legal and physical custody of the body is transferred;

(2) removed from a registration district;

(3) removed from the county where the death occurred;

(4) transported by public transportation; or

(5) removed from the state.

Subd. 3. Disposition permit. A disposition permit shall be required before a body can be buried, entombed, or cremated, or when a body will be retained for more than five calendar days. No disposition permit shall be issued until a death certificate has been completed or the issuing authority receives firm assurances that the death certificate will be completed within a reasonable amount of time not to exceed seven calendar days from the issuance of the permit.

Subd. 4. Possession of permit. Until the body is delivered for final disposition, the permit shall be in possession of the person in physical or legal custody of the body, or attached to the transportation container which holds the body. At the place of final disposition, legal custody of the body shall pass with the filing of the disposition permit with the person in charge of that place, the health board authorized under section 145A.04, where local disposition permits are required, or the commissioner where there is no legal entity in charge of the place of final disposition.

Subd. 5. Death outside state; disposition permit. When a death occurs outside of the state and the body travels into or through this state, the body must be accompanied by a permit for burial, removal, or other disposition issued in accordance with the laws and rules of the state where the death occurred. The properly issued permit from the state where the death occurred shall authorize the transportation of the body into or through this state, but before final disposition in this state, a separate Minnesota disposition permit must be issued and filed, together with the foreign permit, according to subdivision 4.

Subd. 6. Conveyances permitted for transportation. A dead human body may be transported by means of public transportation provided that the body must be properly embalmed and encased in an appropriate container, or by any private vehicle or aircraft that meets the following standards:

(1) promotes respect for and preserves the dignity of the dead human body;

(2) shields the body from being viewed from outside of the conveyance;

(3) has ample enclosed area to accommodate a regulation ambulance cot, aircraft ambulance stretcher, casket, alternative container, or cremation container in a horizontal position;

(4) is designed to permit loading and unloading of the body without excessive tilting of the casket, alternative container, or cremation container; and

(5) if used for the transportation of more than one dead human body at one time, the vehicle must be designed so that a body or container does not rest directly on top of another body or container and that each body or container is secured to prevent the body or container from excessive movement within the conveyance.

Subd. 7. Transportation procedures. When a dead human body is transported by public transportation, it must be properly embalmed and enclosed in a casket or alternative container and an appropriate outside shipping container. When transportation is by any private vehicle or aircraft, the outside shipping container may be omitted or the casket or alternative container and the outside container may both be omitted and, in such case, the body shall be wrapped in a sheet that is impervious to liquids, covered in such a manner that the body cannot be viewed, encased in a secure pouch, and placed on a regulation ambulance cot or on an aircraft ambulance stretcher.

Subd. 8. Who may transport. Subject to section 149A.09, a dead human body need not be transported under the direct, personal supervision of a licensed mortician or funeral director. In circumstances where there is no reasonable probability that unlicensed personnel will encounter family members or other persons with whom funeral arrangements are normally made by licensed morticians or funeral directors, a dead human body may be transported without the direct, personal supervision of a licensed mortician. Any inadvertent contact with family members or other persons as described above shall be restricted to unlicensed personnel identifying the employer to the person encountered, offering to arrange an appointment with the employer for any person who indicates a desire to make funeral arrangements for the deceased, and making any disclosure to the person that is required by state or federal regulations. A licensed mortician or funeral director who directs the transport of a dead human body without providing direct, personal supervision shall be held strictly accountable for compliance with this chapter.

Subd. 9. Embalming required. Except as provided in section 149A.94, subdivision 2, a dead human body that is being transported by public transportation or will not be buried, cremated, or entombed within 72 hours following death or release by a competent authority with jurisdiction over the body must be properly embalmed.

HIST: 1997 c 215 s 39