HB1912 was introduced in February 2017 to simplify Oklahoma disinterment law (O.S.S. Title 63 Section 1-319) to make it work better for funeral directors, cemeteries and most importantly families who wanted to or needed to have a disinterment performed. The changes to the law became effective Nov 1, 2017.
The amendments that were made to the law addressed two major areas – Notification and Scope.
Notification: The law as it was amended in 2013 required proof of notice to the owner of the interment lot and to the surviving adult children. This has now been simplified to consent of the next of kin only. The appropriate next of kin must be determined based on the priority established in O.S.S Title 21 Section 1158 in the following order:
- Representative appointed by decedent
- Surviving spouse
- Sole surviving adult child (or majority of surviving adult children)
- Surviving parent(s) of the decedent
- Surviving sibling (or majority of surviving adult siblings)
- Guardian of decedent
- Persons in the next degree of kinship for estate distribution
- Public office of state
- Funeral director with custody of the body
Scope: Previously all disinterment permits were required to be applied for with the State Registrar regardless of the final interment site. This process has now been split into 1) a Notice of Disinterment/Re-Interment and 2) Request for Disinterment Permit.
If the body is being disinterred/re-interred within the same cemetery, complete only the NOTICE. The Notice does not require the State Registrar’s signature prior to disinterment, but the Notice MUST be submitted to the State Registrar within 5 days of the disinterment.
If you are taking the body out of the cemetery or disinterring it for cremation, complete only the REQUEST. The Request process unchanged other than adopting the simplified next-of-kin consent language. This must be submitted and signed by the State Registrar before disinterment begins.
Copy of DISINTERMENT FORM here
NOTE: The form is one page, but contains both the NOTICE and the PERMIT. You only need to complete one of them – not both. Brief instructions are provided at the top of the form.
If you have questions, please call (405.271.5108) or email (AskVR@health.ok.gov) Vital Records for assistance.