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Funeral Directors

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icons8-people-96 (1).pngFuneral Home Information

Oregon House Bill 2574 added a new disposition type and clarified other authorized processes for human remains. The bill went into effect on July 1, 2022. 

Natural organic reduction (human composting): the contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil.

Alkaline hydrolysis or hydrolysis (formerly known as dissolution): the technical process for reducing human remains by placing them in a dissolution chamber that uses heat, pressure, water and base chemical agents, in a licensed hydrolysis facility to reduce human remains to bone fragments and essential elements.​

  • ​For questions regarding technical changes to the OVERS system, call the OVERS Helpdesk at 971-673-0279.

  • For questions about the registration of a specific record, contact

  • For questions about amending a record with a new disposition type, contact the Amendments Unit at​

​Change: Effective April 12, 2021

What This Means: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020 for deaths related to COVID-19. For information about this program, please visit the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program page.​

ORS 432.380(2)(a) states that an applicant for a certified copy of a vital record shall submit a signed application, documentation of identity and evidence of eligibility. The law defines documentation of identity as being at minimum:

  • Government issued identification that includes a photograph or

  • At least three forms of identification; or

  • Identification submitted through an electronic process adopted by the state registrar by rule.

This law has been in effect since January 2014, but in the past funeral directors had not been consistently asked to provide ID with their orders. ​The state outlined consistent procedures to ensure that all who work with vital records meet the law and the State Registrar has approved final procedures outlined in the below memos for funeral home staff and County Vital Records Offices. ​The procedures went into effect January 1, 2023.

If you have questions regarding identification requirements or procedures, please contact

​Death records for individuals who were homeless at the time of death must list “Domicile Unknown" in the Street Name field on the Resident Address page in OVERS. This includes decedents who were houseless but receiving care at a hospital or other institution. For more information visit the Senate Bill 850 web page.​

icons8-news-96.pngFuneral Home Resources

Funeral homes may now fax Form 45-106, the 24-Hour Notice of Receipt of Body, directly to the county of death. Provided here is a list of fax numbers for county vital records offices.

When sending a hybrid or fully paper report of death to a medical certifier for signature, you may include this Electronic Registration of Death Records brochure.​

The purpose of the Indigent Disposition Program is to provide licensed funeral homes with reimbursement for services for the disposition of unclaimed indigent bodies. This is a limited fund created to offset the costs incurred in providing final disposition.

The Oregon Legislature passed a bill to move administration of the fund and reimbursement program to the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board beginning in 2016.

Visit the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board (OMCB) website for instructions on submitting a claim.​

Informational data for funeral directors.

​The sex designation on the death record includes the following categories:

  • Female

  • Male

  • Undetermined

  • Unknown

  • X

  • Unknown is used if sex cannot be determined after verification with medical records, inspection of the body, or other sources.

  • Undetermined is used in cases where the sex cannot be determined due to a medical condition.

  • X (non-binary) indicates individuals whose gender identity is not exclusively male or female.

Informants can make the decision to have the sex be X on the death record. However, please remind the informant or family members that the sex designation on the death certificate should match the sex designation on other legal documents, especially the decedent's birth record.

Many states no longer require individuals who are affirming their gender identity to go to court and prove they have sexual reassignment surgery to change their sex designation on legal documents. Individuals who have affirmed their gender identity may have legally changed their name and sex designation on legal documents through an administrative process.

It is important to respect the request of the informant, while at the same time letting the informant know if the name and sex designation on the death certificate do not match other legal documents there may be difficulty processing benefits and handling legal matters.

Quick Reference Guide for Sex Designation for Death Certificates.

What if the sex designation does not match with Social Security Administration (SSA) Online Verification Service (OVS)?

The SSA allows five attempts to successfully verify a social security number (SSN). If unsuccessful, OVS will not allow additional attempts. Continue processing the death record with the best-known SSN. As a courtesy to the family, you can fax a SSA-721 form to your local office since the SSA verification through the Online Verification Service was unsuccessful. The Social Security Administration provides an electronic version of Form SSA-721 on their website.

We cannot submit a correction to SSA electronically. SSA's system only accepts a record once. The family can take a certified copy of the amended death record to SSA to show the correct information.​

​​OVERS death registration system includes the ability to confirm a decedent's Social Security Number (SSN) electronically via the Social Security Administration (SSA)'s Online Verification Service (OVS).

SSA OVS availability (Pacific Time)

Monday-Friday 2:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Saturday 2:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

Sunday 5:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

Federal Holidays - Same availability hours as Monday - Sunday for the day on which the holiday occurs​.

If you are attempting to confirm a social security number outside of the hours shown here, you will likely receive a ‘SYSERROR’ message.

Frequently Asked Questions for Online Verificaton Service (OVS)​​

Question: Why did I continue to receive a “name failure” when all verification attempts imply the name is correct?

Answer: All identifying information must match the SSN provided. If the SSN is a valid number, SSA assumes it’s correct and begins to match against the other identifying information, such as Name and Date of Birth. The SSN provided could belong to a different individual, in which case the name would not match. The user should re-check the SSN as well as the name before resubmitting.

Here are some helpful hints in finding the right SSN:

  • Always take the SSN from the Social Security Card of the decedent, when possible.

  • If the SSN provided is from SSA correspondence or the Medicare Card of the decedent, assume that is the SSN of the decedent only if A, T, TA, M, or M1 follows the number.

Question: What should I do if I continue to receive a failed SSN response?

Answer: Oregon requires the funeral service practitioner to collect and submit the SSN of the decedent. Once the family has been asked and any available documents requested/examined, the funeral service practitioner can sign the Report of Death in OVERS and move forward.

Question: When does the funeral home have to send the SSA 721 form?

Answer: If using OVS in OVERS, the SSA 721 form is not required by the Social Security Administration. (This 2007 letter from CHS and SSA provides more details.) If OVS fails after five attempts, it is a courtesy to the family to send the SSA 721 form to your local Social Security Office but it is not required. The Social Security Administration will receive notice of the death through the daily file even when OVS fails.

Question: I received a response that the system is down or unavailable. When will it be available?

Answer: SSA will accept and process requests for SSN verification 2 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 2 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, and 5 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Sunday. OVS is available regular hours on Federal holidays. OVS is not available when maintenance is being performed on the system. A listserv message is sent whenever CHS is notified of scheduled maintenance.

If you receive a SYSERR or other response indicating a connection problem, please contact the OVERS help desk at 971-673-0279.

Question: I tried several name variations with the SSN. OVERS now shows (5) and OVS is inactive. How can I check the SSN?

Answer: SSA allows five attempts to successfully verify an SSN. If unsuccessful, OVS will not allow additional attempts. Co​ntinue processing the death record with the best known SSN. As a courtesy to the family, you can fax a SSA 721 form to your local office since the SSA verification through OVS was unsuccessful.

Question: I’ve only tried three times to verify the SSN. Now OVS is locked up and won’t let me submit the SSN for verification.

Answer: While OVS is used to confirm the SSN of the decedent, that is not the official notification of the death. Each day, records with a ‘Personal Valid’ or ‘Personal Valid with Exceptions’ status that have not previously been sent to SSA are extracted into a file that is sent to SSA. OVS is not available after the record has been extracted to SSA.

Question: How is SSA officially notified of a death?

Answer: While OVS is very useful in confirming the SSA of a decedent, the official notice to SSA occurs when records have ‘Personal Valid’ (with or without exceptions) status regardless of whether the record is signed. The records are extracted from OVERS and a file is sent to SSA each work day.

Question: Now I have the correct SSN, but the record was already sent to SSA and registered. How do I submit a correction for the record?

Answer: If the SSN was not confirmed through OVS, the Center for Health Statistics will amend the record based on a correction affidavit (electronic or paper) from the funeral service practitioner.

If the SSN matched the decedent name, date of birth and sex through OVS, the Center for Health Statistics will amend the death record only if documentation (such as the decedent’s SSA card) is also submitted.

We cannot submit a correction to SSA electronically. SSA’s system only accepts a record once. The family can take a certified copy of the amended death record to SSA to show the correct information.​​​