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What You Should Know About Traveling with Cremated Remains

Published: October 18, 2021

In case you’re wondering if it’s possible to travel with cremated remains, the answer is yes. It is perfectly legal, but you’d need to make sure that you know the process before doing so.

Traveling by Plane

In most cases, you are allowed to take cremated remains on the plane, whether as a carry-on item or in a piece of checked-in luggage. Of course, it would be best to check with your airline of choice before hopping on the plane so you’d know how the remains should be packed.

Airline standards may vary, but requirements typically include the type of urn material that should be used for the remains.

Since urns are generally left unopened during inspection out of respect for the deceased, you will be required to use a travel urn instead. These urns are made of material that can be easily x-rayed so that travel authorities can check its contents without opening it.

If you’re checking in the cremated remains as travel luggage, you’ll also need to know what labels to add to the outer box and what the allowable package size is.

Travel Documents Required

Here’s what you need to get through the Transport Security Admission (TSA):

◉ Cremation Permit
You’ll get this official document from the crematory itself along with the cremated remains of the deceased.

◉ Copy of the Death Certificate and Proof of Your Relationship with the Deceased
Although these are not required, having these supporting documents ready can help speed up the process.

It might take some time before you get cleared for travel, so make sure that you arrive at the airport earlier than scheduled so you don’t miss your flight.

If you’re traveling internationally, you should also make sure to double-check the requirements of your destination country when it comes to traveling with cremated remains so you don’t run into any issues later.

Mailing Cremated Remains

If it’s not possible for you to travel with the remains, then is it possible to mail them instead? Yes. But only through USPS or via Priority Mail Express. FedEx, UPS, and other international courier services do not accept cremated remains.

Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to declare the content of your package if you’re mailing the remains. It would be best to use Label 139 (bright orange label) to ensure that your package is handled with care during transit.

By visiting your local post office, a mail service representative can help you with these steps.


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