Information for Funeral Directors

Cremation Authorization / Irreversible Disposition

When the intended disposition of any person whose death occurred in Wayne County is to be irreversible, (i.e. Cremation, Body Donation to Science, Burial at Sea, etc.), the Licensed Funeral Director overseeing the disposition MUST obtain written authorization from the Coroner or a Deputy Coroner prior to the disposition.

The Law pertaining to this can be found in Section 1237 A.9. of the Pennsylvania Code.

5 Steps to Obtain Authorization

  1. Before Disposition: Fax a completed copy of the Death Certificate to our office (FAX: 570-647-1594) with “Request for Permission to Cremate” written or typed in the margin on the right, or you may include a cover sheet indicating your request in addition to the Death Certificate. Please be sure to include your return fax number.
  2. When the Coroner or Deputy Coroner has completed his or her review of the death, the requestor will be provided written authorization, if it is granted, OR the requestor may be made aware of a denial or delay. Submitting a request does not automatically result in authorization.
  3. There is a $50 fee for this service payable to “Wayne County Treasurer.” Checks may be mailed to the Office of the Coroner.
  4. It is advisable for Funeral Directors to include a copy of the Coroner’s Authorization for Cremation/Irreversible Disposition to their crematory operator in addition to the Burial/Transit Permit and Family Authorization. This may prevent crematory operators from proceeding based on a verbal directive or assumption.
  5. If you have any questions, or need additional help with a request, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

General Information

Requests for Statistics or Records

We are frequently contacted by individuals and agencies looking for information for specific death statistics. Please know that all records which are for public inspection are filed in accordance with the following law:

Section 1251 - Official Records of Coroner

Every coroner, within 30 days after the end of each year, shall deposit all of his official records and papers for the preceding year in the office of the prothonotary for the inspection of all persons interested therein.
1955, August 9, P.L. 323, Sec. 1251

Based on the above, we are unable to compile specific data at any given point through the year. Please know that you are able to obtain the public records of the Office of the Coroner via the Office of the Prothonotary. As stated in the law, records are compiled annually for public review. Therefore, for example, all deaths certified by the Coroner in 2018 become an accessible public record on or around January 31, 2019, and can be obtained in the Office of the Prothonotary.

2019 Annual Report

Prior Annual Report Data is included in our archive center for your convenience. 

Death Certificates

This office does not provide certified copies of death certificates. If you are looking for a death certificate for someone who died in Pennsylvania, you must contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Vital Records. You can contact them by phone at 570-963-4595. The Scranton Office is located at: 

Scranton State Office Building
100 Lackawanna Avenue
Room 112
Scranton, PA 18503