Where can I find Maine law and regulations relating to cemeteries, crematoria, and funeral homes?
Links to the relevant sections of Maine law and rules are available on this site, on our Maine Laws and Rules page. For more detailed information, you can search Maine laws at the Maine Legislature’s web site.
Who regulates funeral homes?
The Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Board of Funeral Service regulate the operation of funeral homes and associated facilities. (207) 287-624-8603.
Who regulates cemeteries?
The Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Environmental Health has the responsibility for overseeing the registration of new or expanded burial grounds, cemeteries, mausolea (above ground burial vaults), crematoria and columbaria (cremated remains depositories).
Can I bury a family member on my private property?
Yes, if you register a family burial ground on that property, following all the registration requirements.
Does the Department of Health and Human Services also regulate pet cemeteries?
No, the Department only regulates facilities for the disposal or interment of human remains. To the extent that pet burials are regulated, it is via municipal ordinances administered by the Local Health Officer as a nuisance abatement.
What are the requirements to register a cemetery?
To register a new or expanded cemetery, burial ground, or mausoleum with the Department, the registrant must submit an application for review and approval to the Division of Environmental Health.
What are the requirements to license a crematorium?
To license a crematorium with the Department, one must submit an application for review and approval to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Environmental Health.
Who can authorize cremations?
You may pre-authorize your own cremation with a signed, written document without the consent of another person. If you do not make pre-arrangements for cremation, the following people may authorize cremation:
• Your spouse
• Your adult children
• Your parents
• Your siblings
• Your representative acting under your signed authorization.
What if none of these family members can be located?
If the funeral home or crematorium is unable to locate the next of kin after making a good faith effort to find them, the most responsible person available may authorize a cremation.
Where can I scatter cremated remains in Maine?
Title 13, Chapter 83, §1032 simply states that cremated human remains “…may be deposited in a niche of a columbarium or a crypt of a mausoleum, buried or disposed of in any manner not contrary to law.” Specific locations are not specified, although the Division recommends obtaining permission prior to scattering remains on private property.
How can I file a complaint against a cemetery or crematorium?
You can file a complaint by:
• calling the Department at (207) 287-5689 or
• sending a written complaint with copies of all substantiating documents to:
Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Environmental Health
Subsurface Wastewater Program
286 Water Street, Augusta, ME 04333
from Maine Death Care.