Planning to travel with cremated remains requires planning and a knowledge of state and aviation laws prior to your trip. It is a good idea to allow your crematory or local funeral home assist with the transport, or at least make them aware of the necessary trip with the remains. Cremated remains normally weigh about nine pounds, although they can be reduced to complete ashes upon request. Knowing the weight of the remains is a consideration when choosing how you will travel with or independently transport the human remains.
Traveling With Remains
A cremation certificate is necessary to transport cremated remains. You will receive this receipt, or certificate with the cremated remains. This certificate identifies the remains to people in the course of your chosen method of travel. Even if you are traveling by car within one state, across state lines or internationally with the remains, you must have identifying paperwork.
A cardboard box will be necessary to transport the remains to a final resting place where they can be placed in a permanent urn or scattered. If you are traveling by air, the Transportation Safety Agency requires cremated human remains be regarded as carry on luggage. Cremated remains may not be checked through as regular baggage. The cremated remains should be transported in a temporary plastic or cardboard container that will pass through screening procedures. Most airlines will not permit metal or stone urns unless they are transported separate from the remains. You should contact your airline carrier for regulations concerning the transport of human remains.
A second outer container is required by the U.S. Postal Service if you choose this type of transport. The durable container must be sealed with the original container inside. Remains must be transported by registered mail with return receipt only. Remains will not be sent overnight or by regular mail. A copy of the cremation certificate form must also be enclosed. Your crematory may have the proper containers specifically designed to ship human remains, so you will want to tell them your travel plans prior to cremation. Many crematories will package the remains properly according to your mode of travel. When you arrive at your destination you may want a funeral home to assist in placing the remains in your chosen urn.
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Rhonda Donaldson began writing for a daily newspaper in 1991. She was published by the Associated Press and the National and International Wire, as well as a Texas college alumni magazine. Her work includes writing the history for one of Texas' oldest television stations. Donaldson has won several Associated Press awards and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.