As of March 24, 2023, the Oklahoma Funeral Board regulates 404 funeral establishments, 1,069 funeral directors, 995 embalmers, 133 registered apprentice funeral directors and/or embalmers, 7 burial associations, and 63 crematories. These professionals handle approximately 46,000 deaths reported in the State of Oklahoma each year.
About the Board
The mission of the Oklahoma Funeral Board is to act in the public interest, for the public protection and advancement of the profession within the police powers vested in the Board by the Legislature of the State of Oklahoma, entirely without appropriated funds. The Board shall serve as an informational resource on funeral service to the general public and members of the funeral profession
The Board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor. Five of the members must be actively engaged in funeral directing and embalming in this state for not less than seven consecutive years immediately prior to appointment. Two members of the Board are chosen from the general public, one of which shall be a person licensed and actively engaged in the health care field.
In 1905 the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Oklahoma established the Territorial Board of Embalming of the Oklahoma Territory. The original act reads in part "From and after the passage of this Act every person now engaged or desiring to engage in the practice of embalming dead human bodies within the Territory of Oklahoma shall make a written application to the Territorial Board of Embalming for a license, accompanying the same with the license fee of $5.00; where upon the applicant, as aforesaid, shall present himself or herself before said Board, at a time and place to be fixed by said Board, and if the Board shall find, upon due examination, that the applicant is of good moral character, possessed of skill and knowledge of said science of embalming and the care and disposition of the dead, and has a reasonable knowledge of sanitation and the disinfection of bodies of deceased persons, and the apartments, clothing and bedding, in case of death from infectious or contagious diseases, the Board shall issue to said applicant a license to practice said science of embalming and the care and disposition of the dead, and shall register such applicant as a duly licensed embalmer." Following statehood the Board’s name was changed to the State Board of Embalming of Oklahoma. In 1941 the name was changed to the Oklahoma State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
In 2003 following a comprehensive update of the Funeral Services Licensing Act which expanded the powers of the Board to enhance consumer protection including the regulation of crematories the name of the Board was changed to the Oklahoma Funeral Board.