Funeral Home FAQ

Funeral Home FAQ

Funeral Home Questions

Can the Funeral Director certify while the staff is logged in?

No, in order for a Funeral Director to certify a case the staff needs to logout of the death record completely. The Funeral Director must then log in, search for the record, and certify the case with their fingerprint.

How do I request a Cremation Authorization approval through the EDR System?

There are two ways to request cremation approval through the Electronic System:

  1. First, after the medical section has been certified, a ‘Cremation Request’ button will appear at the bottom of the death record. If you click the ‘Cremation Request’ button it will take you to a message screen. Using the address book you will need to send a request to a Medical Examiner and then add a subject with a message quickly detailing your request, and then click ‘Send’.
  2. When referring a case to a Medical Examiner, after certifying the personal section, a Funeral Director can check a small box in the messages tab indicating that they would like to send a referral and request cremation at the same time.

What if the Medical Certifier does not use the EDRS?

There are a few different ways to finish the filing process:

  1. You can drop the death record to paper and fax it over to the Medical Certifier, so they can fill out the medical section, sign the record, and fax it back to you. You would then need to enter the medical section with the information you received and scan in the signed death certificate to the EDR System, attesting with your finger print.
  2. Instead of dropping to paper and faxing the record to the Medical Certifier, he or she could fill out and sign a Medical Worksheet and then fax it to you. You would fill in the information and scan the Medical Worksheet, attesting with your fingerprint.
  3. Another option would be to drop the record to paper and complete the record as if it was a hard copy death certificate.

How are the Medical Professionals notified to sign the Death Certificate?

Medical professionals (Examiners and Certifiers) can be sent case referrals directly through the EDR system through a built in messaging function located at the top of the Death Certificate, However, this method only applies in the event that the Medical Professional (certifier or examiner) are current EDRS users. If they are not on the EDR system you would have to send them a hard copy to complete.

Does a hard copy of the medical certificate need to be handed to the Local Registrar?

No, in the event that a Medical Certificate of death has been filled out and sent to a Funeral Home the Funeral Director or Staff needs to scan the document into the system and attach the image to the electronic death certificate. Make sure the image includes a visible signature of the Medical Professional. Then after the Funeral Director attests to the medical section with their fingerprint the Death Certificate is automatically sent to the Local Registrar for review.

How do you know your cremation request has been approved by the Medical Examiner?

A message will be sent within the system, stating it has been approved.

When attesting to the medical section, what if I cannot read the Doctor’s hand writing?

Give the medical professional a call to determine what is written on the record.

Is there a timeline for the Physicians to complete and sign the Medical Certificates?

The timeline is the same as before.

Will we be notified when Physicians sign up and use the EDR system?

Currently, there is no way of notifying everyone. A way to check if a Medical Professional you are looking for is in the system is to check the address book in the Messages tab.

Can another Funeral Home obtain ownership of a record I have already started when they search potential matches?

No, it will let them know that a record has been created and they can view a summary of that record but they can take ownership of that record.

How do out of State Tradecalls work in the EDR System? What will appear on the Record?

The Funeral Director or staff will enter in the name and address of the facility handling the disposition in field 26e. When the record is printed, the name and address that was entered will appear on the record; however, the Funeral Director that certified the record, their name and licenses number will appear on the record.

Can I print a record I have started and continue to file on paper?

​Yes, you would need to print on the specified paper by clicking “Drop to Paper”. Please note that if you attested to the medical information the doctor’s signature must be on the printed record before continuing to file on paper.

If I need to drop to paper and continue filing on paper, what kind of paper should I be printing on?

Some key characteristics to note are:

  • Purchase 24 lb paper for stability with rag content to resist crinkling and having a high tear resistance.
  • You will also need coated paper, (these specifications list requirements for coated and uncoated), with the coating designed for laser printers.  Without the laser coating, laser print powders will easily rub off the page.

Note: that it is important for you to use good archival paper any time you make file copies that you will be planning to preserve.  This would include local birth certificate copies.  This type of paper with proper storage will last for many decades, if not centuries. 

The specs below also provide the ANSI standard which most office supply houses should be able to confirm the paper meets the standard, even if it may vary somewhat on specific characteristics.

Paper to be 25% Rag, Alkaline base,  24#.  Paper to meet standards (abbreviated) of ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992, A Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives@:

Requirement   Uncoated   Coated
pH 7.5-10.0 Core paper: 7.0-10.0, provided that the paper as a whole, including the coating, meets the alkaline reserve requirements.
Alakline reserve (CaCO equivalent) 2% minimum 2% minimum (for entire paper, including coating)
Tear resistance:                                    2

Tear index: 5.25 mNm/g


Tear index: 3.50 mNm/g

Paper stock: 1% lignin maximum (Kappa number no greater than 7) Same as for uncoated

When a Local Registrar declines filing does a message get sent to the Funeral home?

Yes, a message will be sent to the Funeral Director that certified the case.

When a Funeral Home verifies the Social Security Number, do they need to re-verify when a correction has been made?

Only if the Name, Date of Birth, Date of Death, or the social security number has changed, then they should re-verify. However, if the social security number has already been verified, it should catch if any of that information is incorrect, besides the Date of Death.

Can a downloaded Medical Certificate of Death from the blank forms link be sent to the Medical Professional through email to be completed?

Yes, the required fields and the physician’s signature must be visible on the record when the medical professional sends it back.

What if a physician is a hospitalist and doesn’t have a specific hospital they are station at, how do I fax them the medical certificate to be filled out when attesting to the medical section?

In cases such as this, it might be better to work through email. Otherwise the Funeral Home may need to see if the hospital has a staff person to coordinate receiving faxes for a signature.

As a funeral home, how do I submit a correction after the record has been filed for 30 days?

The Correction Requests process in the EDR System is only for the first 30 days from when the record was filed before they are registered and accepted at the State level. After 30 days, to submit a correction, you must contact the changes unit at the State of Michigan. 

Does the Funeral Home have the ability to print File Copies after the Local Registrar Files the Death Certificate?

Yes, after the Local Registrar accepts and files a record the Funeral Home can search for that particular record and print a File Copy with the file numbers and Clerk’s signature on the record. The File Copy death certificate will print out with a ‘File Copy’ watermark across the middle of it.

If the Funeral Home and Medical Certifier or Medical Examiner certify the personal and medical section electronically, can they Drop to Paper and continue to file on paper? (If filing at Macomb, Oakland, or Wayne County office)

​Yes, however the Physician’s physical signature must be on the record when filing on paper.

Can I submit more than one correction request at a time?

No, more than one request cannot be submitted at a time. However, multiple corrections can be submitted in one request. When submitting a correction request you can change more than one field at a time. (Refer to ‘How to Submit a Correction Request’ video under the resources tab)

If there was a pending cause of death would that record be filed and then when its updated will you be notified?

Yes, pending cause of deaths will get filed and you will be notified in your messages when that record is updated.

Can Funeral Directors still issue and sign burial permits?

​We are encouraging all EDRS users to use the application to print their burial transit permits.

General Questions

Is there a way to be notified if I have a message without logging in?

No, the system does not currently ping your personal email if you receive a message through EDRS. The only way to receive notification of new messages is to log into the EDRS application and check the upper-right hand corner of your Home Page.

Can more than one person work on a case at a time?

Yes, you will receive a message stating that someone else is currently working on the case you entered. Certain fields will be available when someone else is working on the case, the unavailable fields will be grayed out.

Does the system have spell check?

Currently there is no spell check offered in the EDR system, but in the near future we hope to have spell check functionality in the Medical Section of the Death Certificate.

What is the difference between the ‘Print’ button and the ‘Drop to Paper’ button at the bottom of the death certificate?

If you select the ‘Print’ button at the bottom of the Death Certificate you will be presented with a series of options such as a file copy death certificate, Burial Transit Permit, Cremation Permit, Fact of Death Copy, and many more depending on your role. However, if you click on the print button and select the File Copy Death Certificate to print you will generate a copy of the Death Certificate with a watermark across the front. Now, in the event that you would like to send a version of the Death Certificate without the “File Copy” watermark you could select the Drop to Paper button at the bottom of the Certificate. This option will allow you to print out a clean version of the Death Certificate for you to have and fax to others.

When would I ‘Drop to Paper’?

If the Medical Certifier, Medical Examiner or a nonparticipating County is not an EDRS user you would select the ‘Drop to Paper’ option. This would allow the Non-EDRS user to perform one of two actions:

  1. Complete the death certificate with a paper document and turn it into the nonparticipating county.
  2. A Medical Certifier or Medical Examiner could hand write in the necessary medical information for a decedent and fax the Death Certificate back to the respective funeral home where the Funeral Director/Staff to complete the Death Case electronically through the EDRS application.

Can I work on a death certificate that another coworker started?

Yes, the Funeral Home owns the death record if they started it and anyone from that Funeral Home can work on the record.

What if I make a mistake after certifying the record?

If the death record has not been filed by the Local Registrar, you can go into the record and edit information yourself. If the Local Registrar has ‘Filed the record then you have thirty days to submit a correction request through the EDR system for review by the County Clerk. In the event that the record has been filed for over thirty days then you will have to submit a paid correction through the state of Michigan.

When searching for potential matches, what if the date of birth is unknown?

Currently you would enter in a made up date on the ‘Search Potential Matches’ page and once you are in the death certificate you would delete the value in the ‘Date of Birth’ field. In the future there will be a check box that allows you to bypass some of the information for when certain instances arise such as found bodies.

If the Social Security number is wrong, will the system let me know?

When verifying the Social Security number through the EDR system you will be informed if the Social Security information for a decedent cannot be verified by the Social Security Administration in Maryland. However, you will not be notified as what information is specifically incorrect.

How far back do the search results go?

All records that have been filed electronically within your jurisdiction will be in the system.

Will the Funeral Director, Medical Professional or Local Registrar’s signature still appear on the death record?

The County Clerk’s signature will appear on the Death Certificate after the Local Registrar accepts and files the case.

Can images that were previously scanned (to the local computer) be uploaded to the system?

No, at this time we are unable to accept pre-scanned images into our system because it has been known to cause viruses. In order to upload an image you must scan it directly into the EDR application and click the ‘Upload’ button.

Who sets up the address book? What if who I am looking for is not in the address book?

Contacts in the address book are all those who are currently using the EDR System. If who you are looking for is not in the system, contact the State of Michigan and inform them of the situation.

Does the system recognize incorporated towns?

Some incorporated towns are recognized. If the incorporated town is not in the system you can select “Other” and specify in the available field. Commonly used incorporated towns that are not in the system can be added by contacting the State of Michigan and informing them of the situation.

Why is the Social Security Number not required when searching potential matches? And should I enter one if I know it?

The Social Security Number is not required, so in the event of a found body or a pending cause of death and the decedent’s Social Security number is not known, the filing process can continue.

If you have the Social Security number and would like to enter it, that is fine. A disadvantage of that would be, if a second party already started the case and did not enter the Social Security Number, the system would not recognize that as a potential match and a duplicate would then be created.

When entering information into the Death Certificate, what if a City is not in a drop down?

Click Specify Other option and a field will generate where you can type in the city name. Let the State of Michigan Vital Records know the City that is missing from the dropdown and they can add it.

Once the Local Registrar Accepts and Files a Death Certificate, will a message be sent through the system?

No, a way to determine if a record has been filed or not, is to open the record and check the Info tab and look at the Status. If the status is Active and the workflow step is Filed, you know the record has been filed.

Do the AKA names show up on the Death Certificate when printed?


Why isn’t the Electronic Death Registration System mandatory in Michigan?

​The State of Michigan wants Funeral Homes comfortable with the system before making it mandatory. Also, some Physicians may only register one death a year and may forget the electronic filing process by the time a death occurs.

Is there a chance for duplicate records in the system?

Yes, a decedent’s name may be entered with different spellings. The Date of Death may be entered as the Pronounced Date of Death or the actual Date of Death. The Social Security may not be entered and while searching for potential matches, it could have been entered. The State of Michigan Vital Records is working to make the system “smarter” to recognize similar death records when searching potential matches.

If a duplicate is created, that is fine, after a while the record will receive an abandoned status.

Does Vista Windows support EDRS?


Would “unavailable” instead of “unknown” be acceptable in the fields that information is not available?

The State of Michigan prefers “Unknown” in all the fields that information is not available.

Why is ‘Separated’ an option in field 17, Marital Status, and when should I use it?

If the person is married, but the informant states they are separated or legally separated, ‘Separated’ can be selected in field 17. However, please note that field 18, Surviving Spouse, must be completed if ‘Separated’ is selected.

What if my office wants to remove a previous employee from the EDR System?

A security agreement needs to be completed with the employee’s information, the ‘Discontinue Access’ box checked, and the expiration date filed out.