149A.95 CREMATORIES AND CREMATION.
Subdivision 1. License required.
No person shall cremate a dead human body or cause
any dead human body to be cremated in this state without being licensed by the commissioner
Subd. 2. General requirements.
Any building to be used as a crematory must comply with
all applicable local and state building codes, zoning laws and ordinances, and environmental
standards. A crematory must have, on site, a human cremation system approved by the
commissioner, a motorized mechanical device for processing cremated remains and must have,
in the building , a holding facility for the retention of dead human bodies awaiting cremation.
The holding facility must be secure from access by anyone except the authorized personnel
of the crematory, preserve the dignity of the remains, and protect the health and safety of the
Subd. 3. Unlicensed personnel.
A licensed crematory may employ unlicensed personnel,
provided that all applicable provisions of this chapter are followed. It is the duty of the licensed
crematory to provide proper training for all unlicensed personnel and the licensed crematory shall
be strictly accountable for compliance with this chapter and other applicable state and federal
regulations regarding occupational and workplace health and safety.
Subd. 4. Authorization to cremate required.
No crematory shall cremate or cause to be
cremated any dead human body or identifiable body part without receiving written authorization
to do so from the person or persons who have the legal right to control disposition as described in
or the person's legal designee. The written authorization must include:
(1) the name of the deceased and the date of death;
(2) a statement authorizing the crematory to cremate the body;
(3) the name, address, relationship to the deceased, and signature of the person or persons
with legal right to control final disposition or a legal designee;
(4) certification that the body does not contain any implanted mechanical or radioactive
device, such as a heart pacemaker, that may create a hazard when placed in the cremation chamber;
(5) authorization to remove the body from the container in which it was delivered, if that
container is not appropriate for cremation, and to place the body in an appropriate cremation
container and directions for the disposition of the original container;
(6) authorization to open the cremation chamber and reposition the body to facilitate a
thorough cremation and to remove from the cremation chamber and separate from the cremated
remains, any noncombustible materials or items;
(7) directions for the disposition of any noncombustible materials or items recovered from
the cremation chamber;
(8) acknowledgment that the cremated remains will be mechanically reduced to a granulated
appearance and placed in an appropriate container and authorization to place any cremated
remains that a selected urn or container will not accommodate into a temporary container;
(9) acknowledgment that, even with the exercise of reasonable care, it is not possible to
recover all particles of the cremated remains and that some particles may inadvertently become
commingled with disintegrated chamber material and particles of other cremated remains that
remain in the cremation chamber or other mechanical devices used to process the cremated
(10) directions for the ultimate disposition of the cremated remains.
Subd. 5. Limitation of liability.
A licensed crematory acting in good faith, with reasonable
reliance upon an authorization to cremate, pursuant to an authorization to cremate, and in an
otherwise lawful manner shall be held harmless from civil liability and criminal prosecution for
any actions taken by the crematory.
Subd. 6. Acceptance of delivery of body.
No dead human body shall be accepted for final
disposition by cremation unless encased in an appropriate cremation container or wrapped
in an impermeable sheet or pouch and placed on a tray rigid enough for handling with ease,
accompanied by a disposition permit issued pursuant to section
149A.93, subdivision 3
a photocopy of the completed death record or a signed release authorizing cremation of the body
received from the coroner or medical examiner, and accompanied by a cremation authorization
that complies with subdivision 4. A crematory shall refuse to accept delivery of a cremation
container where there is:
(1) evidence of leakage of fluids from the cremation container;
(2) a known dispute concerning cremation of the body delivered;
(3) a reasonable basis for questioning any of the representations made on the written
authorization to cremate; or
(4) any other lawful reason.
Subd. 6a. Bodies awaiting cremation.
A dead human body must be cremated within 24
hours of the crematory accepting legal and physical custody of the body.
Subd. 7. Handling of cremation containers for dead human bodies.
employees handling cremation containers for dead human bodies shall use universal precautions
and otherwise exercise all reasonable precautions to minimize the risk of transmitting any
communicable disease from the body. No dead human body shall be removed from the container
in which it is delivered to the crematory without express written authorization of the person or
persons with legal right to control the disposition and only by a licensed mortician. If, after
accepting delivery of a body for cremation, it is discovered that the body contains an implanted
mechanical or radioactive device, that device must be removed from the body by a licensed
mortician or physician prior to cremation.
Subd. 8. Identification of body.
All licensed crematories shall develop, implement, and
maintain an identification procedure whereby dead human bodies can be identified from the time
the crematory accepts delivery of the remains until the cremated remains are released to an
authorized party. After cremation, an identifying disk, tab, or other permanent label shall be
placed within the cremated remains container before the cremated remains are released from the
crematory. Each identification disk, tab, or label shall have a number that shall be recorded on all
paperwork regarding the decedent. This procedure shall be designed to reasonably ensure that the
proper body is cremated and that the cremated remains are returned to the appropriate party.
Subd. 9. Cremation chamber for human remains.
A licensed crematory shall knowingly
cremate only dead human bodies or human remains in a cremation chamber, along with the
cremation container and the sheet or pouch used for disease control.
Subd. 10. Cremation procedures; privacy.
The final disposition of dead human bodies by
cremation shall be done in privacy. Unless there is written authorization from the person with
the legal right to control the disposition, only authorized crematory personnel shall be permitted
in the cremation area while any dead human body is in the cremation area awaiting cremation,
in the cremation chamber, being removed from the cremation chamber, or being processed and
placed in a cremated remains container.
Subd. 11. Cremation procedures; commingling of remains prohibited.
Except with the
express written permission of the person with legal right to control the disposition, no crematory
shall cremate more than one dead human body at the same time and in the same cremation
chamber, or introduce a second dead human body into a cremation chamber until reasonable
efforts have been employed to remove all fragments of the preceding cremated remains, or
cremate a dead human body and other human remains at the same time and in the same cremation
chamber. This section does not apply where commingling of human remains during cremation
is otherwise provided by law. The fact that there is incidental and unavoidable residue in the
cremation chamber used in a prior cremation is not a violation of this subdivision.
Subd. 12. Cremation procedures; removal from cremation chamber.
of the heat and flame reduction process, reasonable efforts shall be made to remove from the
cremation chamber all of the recoverable cremated human remains and noncombustible materials
or items. If possible, the noncombustible materials or items shall be separated from the cremated
human remains and disposed of, in any lawful manner, by the crematory. The cremated human
remains shall be placed in an appropriate container to be transported to the processing area.
Subd. 13. Cremation procedures; commingling of cremated remains prohibited.
with the express written permission of the person with legal right to control the final disposition or
otherwise provided by law, no crematory shall mechanically process the cremated human remains
of more than one body at a time in the same mechanical processor, or introduce the cremated
human remains of a second body into a mechanical processor until processing of any preceding
cremated human remains has been terminated and reasonable efforts have been employed to
remove all fragments of the preceding cremated remains. The fact that there is incidental and
unavoidable residue in the mechanical processor or any container used in a prior cremation
is not a violation of this provision.
Subd. 14. Cremation procedures; processing cremated remains.
The cremated human
remains shall be reduced by a motorized mechanical device to a granulated appearance
appropriate for final disposition and placed in a cremated remains container along with the
appropriate identifying disk, tab, or permanent label.
Subd. 15. Cremation procedures; container of insufficient capacity.
If a cremated remains
container is of insufficient capacity to accommodate all cremated remains of a given dead human
body, subject to directives provided in the written authorization to cremate, the crematory shall
place the excess cremated remains in a secondary cremated remains container and attach the
second container, in a manner so as not to be easily detached through incidental contact, to
the primary cremated remains container. The secondary container shall contain a duplicate of
the identification disk, tab, or permanent label that was placed in the primary container and all
paperwork regarding the given body shall include a notation that the cremated remains were
placed in two containers.
Subd. 16. Disposition procedures; commingling of cremated remains prohibited.
cremated remains shall be disposed of or scattered in a manner or in a location where the
cremated remains are commingled with those of another person without the express written
permission of the person with the legal right to control disposition or as otherwise provided by
law. This subdivision does not apply to the burial of cremated remains at sea from individual
containers, to the scattering or burial of cremated remains in a dedicated cemetery, to the disposal
in a dedicated cemetery of accumulated residue removed from a cremation chamber or other
cremation equipment, to the inurnment of members of the same family in a common container
designed for the cremated remains of more than one body, or to the inurnment in a container or
interment in a space that has been previously designated, at the time of sale or purchase, as being
intended for the inurnment or interment of the cremated remains of more than one person.
Subd. 17. Cremation procedures; disposition of accumulated residue.
shall provide for the removal and disposition in a dedicated cemetery of any accumulated residue
from any cremation chamber, mechanical processor, container, or other equipment used in
cremation. Disposition of accumulated residue shall be in accord with the regulations of the
dedicated cemetery and any applicable local ordinances.
Subd. 18. Cremation procedures; release of cremated remains.
of the cremation, the inurned cremated remains shall be released according to the instructions
given on the written authorization to cremate. If the cremated remains are to be shipped, they
must be securely packaged and transported by a method which has an internal tracing system
available and which provides for a receipt signed by the person accepting delivery. Where there
is a dispute over release or disposition of the cremated remains, a crematory may deposit the
cremated remains with a court of competent jurisdiction pending resolution of the dispute or
retain the cremated remains until the person with the legal right to control disposition presents
satisfactory indication that the dispute is resolved.
Subd. 19. Unclaimed cremated remains.
If, after 30 calendar days following the inurnment,
the cremated remains are not claimed or disposed of according to the written authorization to
cremate, the crematory or funeral establishment shall give written notice, by certified mail,
to the person with the legal right to control the final disposition or a legal designee, that the
cremated remains are unclaimed and requesting further release directions. Should the cremated
remains be unclaimed 120 calendar days following the mailing of the written notification, the
crematory or funeral establishment may dispose of the cremated remains in any lawful manner
Subd. 20. Required records.
Every crematory shall create and maintain on its premises or
other business location in Minnesota an accurate record of every cremation provided. The record
shall include all of the following information for each cremation:
(1) the name of the person or funeral establishment delivering the body for cremation;
(2) the name of the deceased and the identification number assigned to the body;
(3) the date of acceptance of delivery;
(4) the names of the cremation chamber and mechanical processor operator;
(5) the time and date that the body was placed in and removed from the cremation chamber;
(6) the time and date that processing and inurnment of the cremated remains was completed;
(7) the time, date, and manner of release of the cremated remains;
(8) the name and address of the person who signed the authorization to cremate;
(9) all supporting documentation, including any transit or disposition permits, a photocopy
of the death record, and the authorization to cremate; and
(10) the type of cremation container.
Subd. 21. Retention of records.
Records required under subdivision 20 shall be maintained
for a period of three calendar years after the release of the cremated remains. Following this
period and subject to any other laws requiring retention of records, the crematory may then place
the records in storage or reduce them to microfilm, microfiche, laser disc, or any other method
that can produce an accurate reproduction of the original record, for retention for a period of ten
calendar years from the date of release of the cremated remains. At the end of this period and
subject to any other laws requiring retention of records, the crematory may destroy the records by
shredding, incineration, or any other manner that protects the privacy of the individuals identified.
History: 1997 c 215 s 41; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 15 s 32; 2007 c 114 s 64-73