The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 38.632 "Headstone and Marker Application Process" became effective on July 1, 2009. This regulation describes the processes required to apply for a Government headstone and marker, as well as request a new emblem of belief be added to the list of emblems available for inscription on headstones and markers.
Who Can Apply for a Headstone, Marker or Medallion?
Under this rule, only the following individuals may apply for a headstone, marker or medallion:
If someone other than the NOK is applying for the headstone, marker or medallion, the application package must include a written statement signed by the NOK or decedent authorizing that person (the applicant) to apply for this benefit. A notarized statement is not required for these purposes.
When burial is in a private cemetery, VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker or VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion must be submitted by the next of kin, a person authorized in writing by the NOK, or a personal representative authorized in writing by the decedent, along with Veterans military discharge documents, to request a Government-provided headstone or marker. Do not send original documents, as they will not be returned.
When burial or memorialization is in a national, post, or state Veterans' cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin.