When someone passes away from home, transporting their body is possible, but can be costly. You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $15,000 to transport the body.
This cost will depend on whether the body is being moved between cities within the United States or internationally overseas. If you need to transport remains rather than a body, then you can expect to pay less and have an easier time with the overall process.
Check out the rest of this guide to find out everything you need to know about transporting a body or remains within or to the United States.
In this article…
- How to Transport a Dead Body by Air?
- How to Transport a Dead Body by Train or Automobile?
- Transportation Embalming Requirements by State
- How to Transport Cremated Remains by Mail?
- How to Transport Cremated Remains by Air?
How to transport a dead body by air?
First, if the body is being transported by airplane, then you will need to employ the services of at least two funeral homes. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires anyone transporting a body to be a “Known Shipper”. Most funeral homes will have this designation, but make sure to clarify with each funeral director you speak with beforehand. before following through and scheduling a departure.
You will need a “Known Shipper” to send the body from an origin destination and also to receive the body at its final destination, which is why you may need to coordinate with more than one funeral home.
Furthermore, bodies that will be flown will need to be placed in specialized containers. You may purchase these from the funeral home or a specialized transport company.
How to transport a dead body by train or automobile?
If the body is to be transported via train or automobile, you will still need to coordinate with one or more licensed funeral homes or with a specialized transport company. You will also need to be aware of different state requirements for bodies crossing state lines. Some may require the body to be embalmed or refrigerated.
Shipping a dead body internationally can typically cost between $1,000 and $15,000, although you can expect pricing to vary depending on the funeral home you work with.
Transportation Embalming Requirements by State
|State||Embalming Required for Interstate Transport?||Embalming Required for Air Travel?|
|District of Columbia||No||No|
*Embalming is required if the ultimate destination of the body cannot be reached within 24 hours or if final disposition will not take place within 48 hours.
How to transport cremated remains by mail?
Transporting cremated remains is significantly easier and less expensive than moving a dead body.
If you want to ship remains by mail, you can only do it through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Private companies, like FedEx or UPS, will not ship human remains.
The USPS has specific guidelines that you must follow when shipping. Here’s a summary:
- You must ship cremated remains using either Priority Mail Express® or a Priority Mail Express International® service
- You may use the package of your choice, though you must use Label 139 – this clearly identifies the contents of the package. It can be purchased at the Postal Store.
If you want to read everything the USPS has to say about shipping cremated remains, you can check out their website here.
How to transport cremated remains by air?
If you want to transport remains via airplane, the TSA will allow it. Air travelers are allowed to transport cremated remains in a checked bag, but it’s recommended that you do so within a carry-on bag to better protect the remains and ensure they don’t get lost in transport.
The TSA also has a clear process for screening crematory remains, which should be stored in a secured container that won’t block X-ray scans.
If the X-ray operator can’t clear the remains due to your container blocking the scan, then the TSA may apply other, non-intrusive means of checking the container’s contents. If the TSA is unable to determine that the container does not contain a prohibited item, then your cremated remains will not be permitted on the flight.