How can I transport cremated remains?

December 9, 2022

When the loss of a loved one occurs, it can be a very confusing and challenging time for many people. Every person will handle grief differently and arrangements differently. Finding a funeral home, you will be asked many questions regarding your loved one and their final wishes. But when it comes time to get your loved ones’ ashes to their final resting place, Reliable Couriers is here to help.

  • Step 1: Legal Documentation

    If you have decided to have your loved one cremated before transportation, then a few steps will need to be taken. The first step is to select and notify a funeral home of your plans. This depends mainly on where your loved one is located before cremation. If your loved one is in another state and is to be cremated before being transported to you or their final place of rest, the funeral home will be in contact with the crematorium responsible on your behalf. Once the funeral home and crematorium are in touch with one another and the proper paperwork has been signed and filed, the cremation will occur. The paperwork necessary for a cremation to take place is a death certificate signed by the doctor or corner and a cremation authorization signed by the next of kin. Next of kin is determined differently by state; the funeral home will be familiar with the laws and regulations of your state and will help you through the process.

  • Step 2: Notify Funeral Home

    The next step is to inform the funeral home of how you would like your loved one to be transported. Many funeral homes default to USPS, which has frequent delays, places your loved one among thousands of other packages, and may not be handled as carefully as a family would like. There is another option, and that is to hire a same-day courier service. The funeral home completes the same steps and documents as they would with USPS or other regular couriers, but the difference is in the service. The funeral home may have you sign another form, depending on where you live and the funeral home itself, authorizing them to ship your loved one via the method of your choice.

    Recap of documentation:

    • Signed death certificate
    • Signed cremation authorization
    • Document from the crematorium that the urn contains cremated remains
    • Authorization to transport cremated remains via next of kin selected method*
  • Step 3: Packaging

    The packaging of your loved ones’ cremated remains will vary slightly based on the method of transportation you choose, but will all follow similar procedures, guidelines, and regulations. If you decide to transport your loved one via regular mail or any other ground transport, the remaining will need to be placed inside a sealable plastic bag inside a sealable urn. The crematorium usually performs this, so you will not need to worry about this. The next thing is to find a box large enough to fit the container or urn and some cushions, such as bubble wrap, polyethylene, and polyurethane. These materials are light enough to keep your shipping cost down but durable enough to protect your loved one. Once the box is closed, it will need to be properly labeled with the correct addresses, fragile stickers, cautionary tape, and labels stating that cremated remains are contained inside the package. Most funeral homes will perform all steps required and ship your loved one for you if you so choose; however, if you wish to complete the process yourself, you will need to have all the necessary documentation to transport your loved one.

  • Step 4: Transportation

    If you choose to transport your loved one via aircraft, you must ensure that the container your loved one is in follows TSA guidelines and regulations. Funeral home staff can help you meet these requirements when selecting your container or urn. TSA must be able to clearly identify what is contained in the urn or container and look over proper documentation. This documentation includes but is not limited to, proof of your relationship to the decedent (Birth certificate, official obituary from the funeral home, etc.), Death certificate or certificate of cremation, and a document from the funeral home stating the urn contains cremated ashes of the deceased. You will also want to review the individual airlines’ rules and regulations, as they may vary. For example, not all airlines will allow cremated remains in carry-on luggage.

    The last option you can choose is a private courier service. Many private courier services, like Reliable couriers, can offer many different options for transporting your loved one and will take care of everything. We are familiar with the proper packaging methods for cremated remains, no matter which mode of transportation you choose.

    There are many different ways you can choose to transport your loved ones’ ashes; here are a few options you may choose:

    • USPS regular mail
    • UPS ground
    • Overnight flight
    • Private courier service
    • Rush delivery
    • Same-day delivery
    • Next-flight-out

    Many people and funeral homes may utilize regular courier services like USPS. These regular couriers frequently miss delivery times and provide no tracking or updates. They may treat your loved one as just another package placed among the others, going to stop after stop, being tossed around in the back of a truck. This can cause a lot of discomfort among grieving families and is a big reason why many use a same-day courier service. When you entrust us with your loved one, we make things simple, providing you with an alternative way to safely and securely get your loved one to their destination without worrying about anything during the transportation process. Our delivery drivers are familiar with all procedures for transporting your loved one and will be the only delivery in their care. The delivery drivers of Reliable Couriers will pick up your loved one as soon as possible and carefully transport them directly to you or their final resting place.