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National Cemetery Administration


Order a Headstone, Marker or Medallion for a Veteran Buried in a Private Cemetery

Headstone, Marker and Medallion Application Process

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 or Marker?

Under 38 CFR 38.600(a)(1) only the following individuals may apply for a burial headstone or marker:

1) a decedent’s family member;
2) a personal representative;
3) a representative of a Congressionally-chartered Veterans Service Organization;
4) an employee of a state or local government whose official responsibilities include serving veterans;
5) any individual who is responsible, under the laws of a state or locality, for the disposition of unclaimed remains or matters related to the decedent’s interment or memorialization; or
6) any individual, if the dates of service of the veteran ended prior to April 6, 1917.

Note: For a memorial headstones and markers that commemorate the memory of an eligible individual, the applicant must be a member of the decedent’s family, 38 CFR 38.600(a)(2).

Who Can Apply for a Medallion?

Federal regulation defines "applicant" as a member of the decedent’s family, which includes the decedent’s spouse or individual who was in a legal union as defined in 38 CFR 3.1702(b)(1)(ii) with the decedent; a child, parent, or sibling of the decedent, whether biological, adopted, or step relation; and any lineal or collateral descendant of the decedent.

Burial in a Private Cemetery

For a Government-furnished burial or memorial headstone or marker to be placed in a private cemetery, a VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker must be submitted by an individual as defined above. For a Government-furnished medallion to be affixed to a headstone or marker in private cemetery, a VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion for Placement in a Private Cemetery must be submitted by a member of the decedent's family.

To expedite the processing of the claim, please submit the Veteran's military discharge documents and death certificate. Do not send original documents, as they will not be returned.

Note: VA is not authorized to furnish a Government headstone or marker for dependents buried in a private cemetery.

Ordering a Headstone or Marker in a National, Post, or State Veterans Cemetery

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.