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Transporting Human Remains Out of State and Internationally

Transportation of a Human Body

The most frequent way to transport a human body to another state or another country is by air.

Airlines have their own regulation about shipping human remains. Usually it is required that the body be embalmed and contained in an approved container (or “air tray”).

For domestic air transportation, the paperwork is fairly straightforward: a transportation permit, certified copy of the death certificate, and the airline's shipping paperwork. You will need to choose a receiving funeral home, and the shipping will be coordinated with them. You will need to contact them to arrange for the services they provide on their end. We can help you with all of this.

For international shipping, each country has its own regulations on receiving human remains. Some additional requirements may be an embalming report, passport (for the deceased) and a letter from the doctor that the deceased did not die from, or have as a complicating factor, a communicable disease (in addition to the death certificate document). Some countries will require that the remains be contained in a sealed casket in addition to the air tray.

Almost every country has a consulate here on the east coast, some right here in Atlanta. We can help you coordinate with them regarding their country's requirements.

Transportation of Human Cremated Remains

Transporting cremated human remains is simpler by virtue of the fact of the size of the container and that the remains are sterile.

For domestic transportation, whether you drive, fly or take a train, you will need to have the basic paperwork on hand: transportation permit and a certified death certificate. Most major air carriers have no restrictions on carrying (or checking) cremated remains on the planes, other than passing the security checks. For this reason, it is recommended that you use the temporary plastic urn for transportation instead of an urn you purchase. The plastic urn will usually pass the security check with no problems.

We can help you coordinate with a funeral home at your destination, but for cremated remains, it is not required if your final disposition will not involve the services of a funeral director.

For international transportation of cremated remains, the process is also easier. However, it is always wise to check with us or the country's consulate to determine current regulations regarding bringing cremated remains into the country. Typically the same basic documentation will be required.

We often ship cremains via United States Postal Service, this fee normally cost $125.00 which includes the document procurement fee for mailing. 

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