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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 497
FUNERAL, CEMETERY, AND CONSUMER SERVICES
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F.S. 497.466
497.466 Preneed sales agents, license required; application procedures and criteria; appointment of agents; responsibility of preneed licensee.
(1) GENERAL PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO PRENEED SALES AGENTS.All persons who offer preneed contracts to the public, or who execute preneed contracts on behalf of a preneed licensee, including all persons who offer, sell, or sign contracts for the preneed sale of burial rights, shall be licensed as preneed sales agents, pursuant to this section. Persons licensed as funeral directors pursuant to this chapter may engage in preneed sales for the preneed licensee with whom they are affiliated without preneed sales agent licensure or appointment under this section.
(2) PRENEED SALES AGENT LICENSE; APPLICATION PROCEDURES.
(a) A person may hold only one preneed sales agent license at a time.
(b) No preneed sales agent license shall be issued to a person under age 18.
(c) Persons desiring a preneed sales agent license shall apply to the department for such license. The application shall require the name, residence address, residence phone number if any, and date and place of birth of the preneed sales agent applicant.
(d) The application shall require the preneed sales agent applicant to disclose any criminal record, as required by s. 497.142.
(e) The application shall require the preneed sales agent applicant to disclose whether the preneed sales agent applicant has ever had a license or the authority to practice a profession or occupation refused, suspended, fined, denied, or otherwise acted against or disciplined by the licensing authority of any jurisdiction. A licensing authority’s acceptance of a relinquishment of licensure, stipulation, consent order, or other settlement, offered in response to or in anticipation of the filing of charges against the license, shall be construed as action against the license.
(f) The application shall require identification by the preneed sales agent applicant of the preneed licensee whom the preneed sales agent applicant believes will initially appoint the preneed sales agent applicant if a preneed sales agent license is issued.
(g) The application shall be signed by the applicant. The licensing authority may accept electronic signatures.
(h) The application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $150 if made through the department’s online licensing system or $175 if made using paper forms. Payment of either fee shall entitle the applicant to one initial appointment without payment of further fees by the preneed sales agent or the appointing preneed licensee if a preneed sales agent license is issued. The licensing authority may from time to time increase such fees but not to exceed $300. A member of the United States Armed Forces, such member’s spouse, and a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who separated from service within the 2 years preceding application for licensure are exempt from the application fee. To qualify for the application fee exemption, an applicant must provide a copy of a military identification card, military dependent identification card, military service record, military personnel file, veteran record, discharge paper, or separation document that indicates such member is currently in good standing or such veteran was honorably discharged.
(3) ISSUANCE OF A TEMPORARY PRENEED SALES AGENT LICENSE.
(a) Upon receipt of a duly completed application and the required fee, a temporary preneed sales agent license shall be issued to the applicant if:
1. The applicant is at least 18 years of age.
2. The application indicates that the applicant has no disciplinary or criminal record and the department has no record indicating the applicant has any disciplinary or criminal record.
3. The applicant has never previously held a temporary preneed sales agent license that lapsed for failure to submit fingerprints as required by this section.
(b) A temporary preneed sales agent license shall be valid for only 120 days from the date issued and may not be renewed.
(c) An applicant for a preneed sales agent license who has previously been issued a temporary preneed sales agent license that for any reason expired without becoming permanent shall not thereafter be eligible for another temporary preneed sales agent license. Such person may apply again for a preneed sales agent license, but no license shall be issued until fingerprints are provided as required by s. 497.142, a report is received from the Department of Law Enforcement advising that the applicant has no criminal record, and the applicant is otherwise determined by the department and board to qualify for preneed sales agent licensure.
(4) CONVERSION OF TEMPORARY PRENEED SALES AGENT LICENSE TO PERMANENT PRENEED SALES AGENT LICENSE.
(a) A temporary preneed sales agent licensee who desires to obtain a permanent preneed sales agent license shall, within 90 days after issuance of the temporary preneed sales agent license, submit his or her fingerprints to the licensing authority for a criminal background check, in accordance with s. 497.142. Unless the department determines prior to the expiration of the temporary preneed sales agent license that the temporary licensee has a criminal or disciplinary record, the temporary preneed sales agent license shall automatically be converted to a permanent preneed sales agent license.
(b) The department shall promptly give written notice to the temporary preneed sales agent licensee, and to all preneed licensees who have the temporary preneed sales agent under appointment, that such preneed sales agent’s temporary license has been converted to a permanent license, or has lapsed, as the case may be.
(5) APPLICANTS WITH A CRIMINAL OR DISCIPLINARY RECORD.
(a) A preneed sales agent applicant having a criminal or disciplinary record shall not be eligible for a temporary preneed sales agent license. No permanent preneed sales agent license shall be issued to any person with a criminal or disciplinary record, except upon approval of the board.
(b) If, while a temporary preneed sales agent license is in force, the department determines that the temporary licensee has a criminal or disciplinary record, the temporary license shall be immediately suspended and shall not automatically convert to a permanent preneed sales agent license. The department shall promptly give written notice of the suspension to the suspended licensee and to all preneed licensees who have the suspended preneed sales agent licensee under appointment. The suspended preneed sales agent licensee may, within 21 days after the date of suspension, petition the board under paragraph (c) for issuance of a permanent preneed sales agent license notwithstanding the criminal or disciplinary record. If no petition for board review is timely received by the department or board, the temporary preneed sales agent license shall be revoked.
(c) An applicant with a criminal or disciplinary record who desires a permanent preneed sales agent license shall petition the board for issuance of such license using forms and procedures as specified by rule. The board shall issue a permanent preneed sales agent license to an applicant with a criminal or disciplinary record if the board determines:
1. That there was no inaccuracy in the application for license such as indicates the applicant is untrustworthy.
2. That the applicant, if issued a preneed sales agent license, would not pose an unreasonable risk to members of the public who might deal with the applicant in preneed transactions.
(d) The board may issue a preneed sales agent license to an applicant with a criminal or disciplinary record on a probationary basis and subject to reasonable terms of probation not to exceed 24 months in duration.
(6) TERMINATION OF A PERMANENT PRENEED SALES AGENT LICENSE DUE TO LACK OF APPOINTMENTS.A permanent preneed sales agent license shall remain in force without a requirement for renewal until such time as there have been no appointments of the preneed sales agent under the license for 48 consecutive months, at which time the permanent preneed sales agent license will terminate. The former preneed sales agent licensee may thereafter apply for issuance of a new preneed sales agent license under this section.
(7) APPOINTMENT OF PRENEED SALES AGENTS.
(a) A preneed sales agent licensee may be appointed by as many preneed licensees as desire to appoint the preneed sales agent licensee. When a preneed sales agent licensee is appointed by a preneed licensee, the department shall promptly give written notice to all other preneed licensees then having that same preneed sales agent under appointment.
(b) A preneed licensee may appoint a preneed sales agent licensee by identifying to the department the preneed sales agent licensee to be appointed, requesting appointment, and paying the required appointment fee. The appointment request shall be signed by the preneed licensee. The department may accept electronic signatures.
(c) Appointments shall be effective when made and shall expire 24 months from the last day of the month in which the appointment was made unless earlier terminated by the preneed licensee or the preneed sales agent. No initial appointment of a preneed sales agent licensee may be made until 24 hours after a temporary preneed sales agent license is issued to that preneed sales agent. Appointments are effective only so long as the preneed sales agent licensee’s license is in good standing.
(d) A preneed licensee is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that the preneed sales agent licensees it appoints have adequate training regarding preneed sales.
(e) Appointments may be renewed for additional 24-month periods by notification by the preneed licensee to the department that the preneed licensee desires to renew the appointment, accompanied by payment by the preneed licensee of the appointment renewal fee.
(f) Initial and renewal appointment fees shall be nonrefundable and shall be $150 if made through the department’s online licensing system and $175 if made using paper forms requiring manual processing by the department. The board may from time to time by rule increase said appointment fees but not to exceed $300.
(g)1. Appointments may be terminated at any time by the appointing preneed licensee or by the appointed preneed sales agent licensee.
2. Termination of appointment shall be accomplished by notice of termination conveyed to the department and signed by the person or entity requesting the termination. The department may accept electronic signatures. There shall be no fee for termination of appointment accomplished through the department’s online licensing system; however, there shall be a fee of $25 for terminations made using paper forms requiring manual processing by the department.
3. When an appointment is terminated, whether by the preneed licensee or the preneed sales agent licensee, the department shall promptly provide written confirmation of the termination to both the preneed sales agent licensee and the preneed licensee at their respective addresses of record with the department.
4. If a preneed licensee terminates the authority of a preneed sales agent license to sell for the preneed licensee, the preneed licensee shall, within 30 days after such termination, terminate the appointment as indicated in subparagraph 2.
5. If a preneed sales agent licensee terminates the preneed sales relationship with a preneed licensee, the preneed sales agent licensee shall, within 30 days after such termination, terminate the appointment as indicated in subparagraph 2.
6. If the license of a preneed sales agent is suspended or revoked pursuant to disciplinary action by the licensing authority against the preneed sales agent, the department shall promptly give written notice of such action to all preneed licensees then having that preneed sales agent under appointment.
(8) ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS.
(a) The licensing authority shall have rulemaking authority to prescribe forms and procedures for implementation of this section.
(b) As used in this section, “criminal record” means and includes only crimes required to be disclosed under s. 497.142.
(c) As used in this section, “disciplinary record” means and includes any instance wherein the applicant has ever had a license or the authority to practice a profession or occupation refused, suspended, fined, denied, or otherwise acted against or disciplined by the licensing authority of any jurisdiction. A licensing authority’s acceptance of a relinquishment of licensure, stipulation, consent order, or other settlement, offered in response to or in anticipation of the filing of charges against the license, shall be construed as action against the license.
(d) A preneed licensee shall be responsible for the activities of all preneed sales agents, and all funeral directors acting as preneed sales agents, who are affiliated with the preneed licensee and who perform any type of preneed-related activity on behalf of the preneed licensee. In addition to the preneed sales agents and funeral directors acting as preneed sales agents, each preneed licensee shall also be subject to discipline if its preneed sales agents or funeral directors acting as preneed sales agents violate any provision of this chapter.
History.s. 107, ch. 93-399; s. 13, ch. 2000-195; s. 115, ch. 2004-301; s. 99, ch. 2005-2; s. 38, ch. 2005-155; s. 136, ch. 2008-4; s. 28, ch. 2018-7.
Note.Former s. 497.439.