Cemetery licensing to begin
applications available July 1
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[June 20, 2012]
CHICAGO -- The regulations needed to
implement the last piece of the Cemetery Oversight Act were recently
adopted by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional
Regulation. The new rules reflect changes adopted late last year by
the General Assembly. Under the new rules, all cemeteries must
obtain a license to operate a cemetery in Illinois or must register
as being fully or partially exempt from the act.
The law has already created a Consumer Bill of Rights that requires
cemeteries to provide a standardized price list to consumers and to
enter into signed contracts with consumers who purchase burial
Since 2011, Illinois cemeteries have been entering burial
data into a statewide database. To date, over 67,000 burials have
been entered into the database.
"These rules strike a balance between protecting Illinois
families who bury loved ones in our cemeteries and the economic
stability of both large and small cemeteries," said Brent E. Adams,
secretary of financial and professional regulation. "This regulatory
framework will enable us to better protect consumers at a
particularly vulnerable time in their lives."
Additionally, all cemetery managers and customer service
personnel at licensed cemeteries will be required to apply for a
license before Jan. 1, 2013. In order to become licensed, applicants
must pass a certification program and test to determine their
knowledge of the industry. Cemetery managers, cemetery customer
service employees and all individuals who have 25 percent or more
ownership of a licensed cemetery must submit to a background check.
The new rules also detail the process by which cemeteries may
apply for partial or full exemptions to the licensing requirement.
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Partially exempt cemeteries include publicly owned and
religious-owned cemeteries and those with fewer than 25 burials each
of the last two years. The partially exempt cemeteries must meet
many of the requirements of licensed cemeteries.
Examples of cemeteries exempt from licensure are family
cemeteries, cemeteries under 3 acres and cemeteries that have not
had any burials within 10 years.
Consumers requesting information or wishing to make a complaint
about a cemetery can call the Cemetery Consumer Helpline at
1-888-RLOVED1 (1-888-756-8331). Since 2010, the Department of
Financial and Professional Regulation has handled over 250 consumer
Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]