Resources for Funeral Directors

When delivering a body for an examination, the transporter should call (844) 337 - 6001, ext. 112. If you are removing a body, you must provide us with an Authorization for Release Form

Death Certificates

If our office is completing the medical portion of a death certificate, we will fax or email you a completed and signed Medical Certificate of Death (MCOD) for you to use in the Electronic Death Registry System for the State of Michigan. 

Cremation Permit Authorizations

To obtain authorization for a cremation permit, please follow these instructions: 

  • Ensure that a death certificate signed by a physician is included with the cremation permit.
  • If our office is signing the death certificate, please indicate this on the cremation permit.
  • A MANNER of death is required (box 39). Only our office can assign a manner of death OTHER than Natural. If this is missing, please contact the signing physician for associated manner of death. If listed as anything other than Natural, please fax or email to our office for possible investigation. 
  • Please ensure decedent name, date of birth and date of death are identical on both the cremation permit and death certificate.
  • Fax cremation permits and accompanying death certificate to (269) 224 - 0262 or email the cremation permit and accompanying death certificate as an attachment to cremationpermits@med.wmich.edu.
  • Cremation permits will be reviewed by our office Monday-Friday, twice daily. 
  • Cremation permit requests received by 9 AM will be reviewed and returned before 11 AM.
  • Cremation permit requests received by 2PM will be reviewed and returned before 4PM. 
  • The majority of cremation permits are authorized by our office following review. These will be faxed back to you at the hours listed above.
  • If the cremation permit requires additional investigation, you will be notified at the time the cremation permits are being returned (approximately 11 AM or 4 PM).
  • Please note that ALL stillbirth cremation permits require a brief investigation by our office. In order to do this, we require the mother''s name, mother''s date of birth and where the stillbirth occurred (hospital name). This is necessary for accessing medical information. Expect up to a 48-hour delay on all stillbirth cremation permits. In order to assist with the investigation, please fill out and submit the Stillbirth Investigation Form with the cremation permit.

Avoiding Delays in Cremation Permit Authorizations

You can help avoid delays in cremation permit authorizations by contacting our office immediately if, when reviewing the death certificate, it has not been reported to our office and you notice a cause or contributory factor, including:

  • Broken bone/fracture
  • A fall or accident
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Subdural hemorrhage
  • Medication overdose or toxicity
  • Asphyxia/anoxia/respiratory failure/ cardiac arrest WITHOUT another associated diagnosis
    • Asphyxia or Anoxic Encephalopathy due to Stroke or Myocardial Infarct is acceptable
  • Asphyxia or Anoxic Encephalopathy or Respiratory Failure or Cardiac Arrest without an underlying cause will not be accepted

There are other diagnoses that may cause delay, but the list above covers most situations that trigger an additional investigation and a delay in authorization of the cremation by our office. If you are notified that the cremation permit request has triggered an investigation, expect up to a 48-hour delay in authorization. In these situations, we typically request medical records and potentially reach out to family and the signing physician. We then wait for the physician's office or the hospital to produce the records. After they send them to us, we review and determine whether an examination of the body is required. If the additional investigation requires more than 48 hours, you will be notified, however, this should be a very unusual situation.

If you faxed a cremation permit Monday-Friday before 9 AM and you do not hear from our office by 12 noon, or you faxed a cremation permit between 9 AM and 2 PM and you have not heard from us by 4:30 PM, please call the main office at (269) 337 - 6173. 

For additional questions or concerns regarding cremation permits, please contact the county in which the death occurred. Below you will find the approximate fees for cremation permits.

County Cost
Allegan No cost
Barry $35.00
Calhoun $50.00
Grand Traverse $75.00
Kalamazoo $50.00
Leelanau No cost
Mason $50.00
Muskegon $55.00
Osceola $50.00
St. Joseph $5.00
Van Buren $10.00