How to Transport and Move Cremains

May 1, 2018

There are many situations where you may need to transport a loved one’s cremains. If you are taking your loved one’s ashes to their final resting place, if you want to give some cremains to a family member in a faraway location, or even if you are sending cremains to an artisan to make memorial jewelry for you, you need to ensure that you transport the cremains safely and legally.

Transporting Cremains by Car

If you want to carry cremains in your vehicle, you don’t have to worry about any regulations or state laws. You can freely transport the cremains. However, you need to ensure that the cremains are sealed and secured so they don’t spill in transport. Some urns come with sealable interior containers just for that purpose.

Alternatively, you may want to look for an urn with a threaded closure lid. This style of lid screws onto the urn, keeping it tightly closed.

Flying with Cremains

According to the Transportation Security Administration, you can fly with cremations in your checked luggage, but again, you need to take special precautions to ensure the urn will not open in transport.

If you want to bring cremains into the cabin with your carry-on bags, put them in a wood or plastic container. To avoid issues, you may want to invest in a temporary plastic container just for this purpose. That can be easily scanned and helps to avoid any hassles or delays as you go through airport security.

Unfortunately, the x-ray machines struggle to scan some other materials, and if the TSA agents cannot tell what is in the urn, they cannot allow that container in the plane. Note that out of respect, TSA officials will not open the urn, even if you request that.

Note that different airlines may have specific rules concerning carrying cremains. Check with your airline before traveling to see if they have any additional tips or guidelines.

Mailing Cremains

You are legally allowed to mail cremains through the US Postal Service, but you have to follow a few regulations. Whether you are sending an entire urn or just a small amount of cremains to a loved one or an artisan, you need to use two containers. Both the inner and outer containers should be sift-proof, meaning they will not allow the cremains to escape during transit. To protect your shipment, you should use padding.

Send your mail through Priority Express and make sure to use a label that identifies the contents of the box. For domestic shipments, use Label 11-B, and for International shipments, use PS Form 2976-B.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be very challenging, and at Boston Cremation, we are here to help. If you want to talk about cremation services for a loved one or if you are looking for an urn, contact us today. We can answer your questions and help you navigate this difficult time.

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