Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 33.2
Funeral Director/Embalmer and Funeral Service Establishments

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-1

§ 5-33.2-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Board” means the state board of funeral directors/embalmers.

(2) “Cremation” means a two-part (2) procedure where a dead human body or body parts are reduced by direct flames to residue that includes bone fragments and the pulverization of the bone fragments to a coarse powdery consistency.

(3) “Department” means the Rhode Island department of health.

(4) “Division” means the division of professional regulation created under chapter 26 of this title.

(5) “Embalmer” means any person who has completed an internship; full course of study at an accredited mortuary science school; has passed the national board examination; and is engaged in the practice or profession of embalming, as defined in this section.

(6) “Embalming” means the practice, science, or profession of preserving, disinfecting, and preparing in any manner dead human bodies for burial, cremation, or transportation.

(7) “Funeral” means a period following death in which there are religious services or other rites or ceremonies with the body of the deceased present.

(8)(i) “Funeral directing” means:

(A) Conducting funeral services; or

(B) The arrangement for disposition of dead human bodies, except in the case of any religion where the preparation of the body or the provision of funeral services should be done according to religious custom or belief.

(ii) Only funeral directors/embalmers working for a licensed funeral establishment are allowed to meet with families for the purpose of arranging funerals. Provided, that any person who assumed an ownership interest from his or her spouse or any widow or widower of a licensed funeral director who at the time of November 1, 1995, has been meeting with families to arrange for the conducting of funeral services is allowed to continue this practice.

(9) “Funeral director/embalmer” means any person engaged, or holding himself or herself out as engaged, in the practice or profession of funeral directing, and the science, practice, or profession of embalming as previously defined, including a funeral director of record, who may be a funeral director at more than one establishment or any other word or title intending to imply or designate him or her as a funeral director/embalmer, undertaker, or mortician. The holder of this license must be the holder of an embalmer’s license.

(10) “Funeral director/embalmer intern” means any person engaged in learning the practice or profession of funeral directing and the science, practice, or profession of embalming under the instruction and supervision of a funeral director/embalmer licensed and registered under the provisions of this chapter and actively engaged in the practice or profession of funeral directing and embalming in this state.

(11) “Funeral establishment” means a fixed place, establishment, or premises, licensed by the department, devoted to the activities that are incident, convenient, or related to the care and preparation, arrangement, financial and otherwise, for the funeral, transportation, burial, or other disposition of human dead bodies and including, but not limited to, a suitable room with all instruments and supplies used for the storage or preparation of dead human bodies for burial or other disposition.

(12) “Funeral merchandise” means those items that are normally presented for sale as part of the funeral home operation on a for-profit basis. These items include caskets, sealed, warranted outer-burial containers, and burial clothing. Not included are urns, grave markers, and non-sealed outer-burial containers. All persons engaged in the sale of funeral merchandise must comply with the provisions of chapter 33.1 of this title.

(13) “Person” includes individuals, partnerships, corporations, limited-liability companies, associations, and organizations of all kinds.

(14) “Practice of funeral service” means a person engaging in providing shelter, care, and custody of human dead remains; in the practice of preparing of the human dead remains by embalming or other methods for burial or other disposition; in entering into a funeral service contract; engaging in the functions of funeral directing and/or embalming as presently known, including those stipulated within this chapter and as defined in the Federal Trade Commission “Funeral Rule.” The practice of conducting funeral services shall be conducted in the presence of a licensed funeral director/embalmer.

History of Section.
P.L. 1995, ch. 255, § 2; P.L. 2019, ch. 308, art. 1, § 13.