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Cemeteries and Cemetery Administration

This page contains information on the administration of public cemeteries and cemetery districts in Washington State, including statutory authority and sample documents, as well as the regulation of private cemeteries.


At our last count, there were 103 cemetery districts and 77 cities and towns that are known to operate municipal cemeteries in Washington. Many municipal cemeteries are operated by the city parks department and maintained by the department's grounds personnel.

General Cemetery Statutes

  • Title 68 RCW - Cemeteries, Morgues, and Human Remains
  • Ch. 68.52 RCW - Public Cemeteries and Morgues - Provides for county morgues, burial, cemetery acquisition and improvements, city and town cemetery boards, cemetery improvement funds, and the creation of cemetery districts.
  • Ch. 68.60 RCW - Abandoned and Historic Cemeteries and Historic Graves
  • RCW 68.20.080 - Provides that cities and counties may regulate private cemeteries
  • Title 98 WAC - Licensing, Department of (Cemetery Board)
  • Washington State Department of Licensing Cemetery Licensing
  • WAC 458-16-180 - Property Tax exemptions - Embalmers - Cemeteries

Municipal Cemetery Statutes

Cemetery Districts

Disposal of Remains of Indigent Persons

Historic Preservation

Examples of Cemetery Documents

General Ordinance Provisions - Cemetery Board, Rules and Regulations, Fees

Historic Public Cemeteries

Cemetery Plans

  • Camas Cemetery Master Plan (2009) – Identifies five major goals regarding database/information system, service expectations, financial stability, maximizing property to meet future needs, and developing a strong volunteer/donation program.
  • Kirkland Cemetery Business Plan (2008) – Plan to increase cemetery revenue without substantially increasing costs; cemetery has no more burial plots remaining. Includes discussion of revenue and expenditure funds, costs of service, SWOT analysis, and debt service schedule.\
  • Mabton Parks and Cemetery Comprehensive Plan (2015) – Five-year plan includes community needs, desired improvements, and level of service goals.
  • Washougal Cemetery Operational Plan (2012) – 20-year plan includes improvements and phased projects to streamline customer service, enhance aesthetics, and address current trends in environmental awareness for maintenance methods and burial options.

RFPs/Bid Documents

Interlocal Agreements

Job Descriptions

Fee Schedules

Recommended Resources

Last Modified: October 02, 2019