Funeral Directors/Embalmers License Exam

Applicants for a West Virginia Funeral Director/Embalmer license are required to take a state law examination, in addition to the National Boards.  To be eligible to take the state law examination, the applicant must first meet the following requirements:


  • Completed one-year apprenticeship in West Virginia after attending mortuary school.
  • Completed 60 semester hours or equivalent of college credit in a community college, state college, or university.
  • Completed, at minimum, a 12-month mortuary school program which results in a diploma or certificate.  The program must be accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.
  • Passed the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards examination.
  • Submitted documentation of the above and any other documents which may be requested.

OUT-OF-STATE APPLICANTS (aka Reciprocal Applicants):

  • This is for the applicant who has served an apprenticeship in another state and is licensed by another state.  Applicants who were originally licensed in Pennsylvania should contact the Board office for additional information.
  • Must meet the same requirements as in-state applicants, as listed above.  Exception:  the apprenticeship need not be served in West Virginia.
  • Must be licensed in another state.
  • Must be in good-standing with his/her state of licensure.


  1. An Applicant CANNOT obtain a regular West Virginia license or a reciprocal license without meeting the above requirements, unless the Board has a reciprocity agreement with another state which may amend these requirements.
  2. A regular license and a reciprocal license provide equal privilege in West Virginia. There is no real difference between the two types of licenses. The only true difference is that a reciprocal license identifies the licensee as having meet licensing requirements in another state before becoming licensed in West Virginia.  Reciprocal licenses include an "R" in the license number.
  3. An applicant who does not meet the above requirements probably will not qualify for licensure in West Virginia.


  • To register for the examination, send a request in writing or via email to the Board office. If you are an out-of-state applicant, your reciprocal application must be approved prior to registering.
  • The Board will mail you the appropriate paperwork to be completed.  When you receive this information, submit all requested material as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing your application/registration.
  • The following will take place:

    your apprenticeship documents will be reviewed thoroughly. We will then send you a registration packet and any updated study materials.  If any documents are missing from your file, we will send you a list of those documents, which you must submit promptly.  You will not be permitted to take the examination until such time as all documents are submitted.

    once your documents have been received, the Board members will review your reciprocal application at its next meeting. The members will determine, at that time, if you meet all the legal requirements for licensure.  If you do, you will then be sent a registration form for the examination. You will not be permitted to take the examination until such time as all documents are submitted.
  • Once you have been approved to take the examination, you will be given two examination dates from which to choose.  The examination is generally administered monthly.


The test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, both simple and complex.  The answer sheets must be filled out with a #2 lead pencil.  Results of the examination take approximately six (6) weeks.  Once an applicant passes the exam, he/she may apply for a license.


A study packet is available for a fee of $75.  Purchase of the packet is strictly voluntary, however, it is strongly advised that the applicant purchase these materials.  If the applicant chooses not to purchase the study packet, a list of laws covered on the exam will be provided to the applicant at no cost.  Information on how to obtain a study packet will be supplied to the applicant at the time he/she is sent the examination registration form.

For apprentices, the study materials were initially provided in the Handbook and no additional purchase is necessary.  Any updated materials will automatically be supplied at no cost.  However, if the apprentice misplaces the Handbook and thus needs a complete study packet, the apprentice must pay $75 for a new one.