How To Transport a Body via Ground

The funeral home you are working with will be able to coordinate the transportation of the body, either within a city or between cities in the same state. In some states, you may be able to transport the body yourself.

Cost of transporting the body

Most funeral homes will charge a fee for forwarding remains to another funeral home, and also a fee for receiving remains from another funeral home. The fee for forwarding remains to another funeral home usually ranges from $1000.00 to $3000.00. The fee for receiving remains from another funeral home usually ranges from $800.00 to $2500.00. You will likely have to pay both of these fees, in addition to any other funeral home costs.

Preparing the body for transport

Be aware that some states require that a body be embalmed if it will leave the state, and some states require that a body be embalmed if it will enter the state. In addition, some states require that a body be embalmed if it will be transported via “common carrier,” such as a train, commercial bus, or trucking line. Embalming generally ranges in price from $500-$800.

Some religions, such as Judaism and Islam, have prohibitions against embalming. Theoretically, this would prevent Jews and Muslims from being transported to another city, state, or country after death. However, as religious laws are almost always trumped by federal laws, the family may have the option of choosing to transport the body even if that means embalming the body. If you are curious about your community's stance on this issue, reach out to your local religious leader or see our article Religious Perspectives on Embalming.

Transporting the body yourself

In some states you are able to transport the body yourself, without a licensed funeral director. If you are planning on personally transporting the body across state lines, you’ll need to figure out which states you’ll be traveling though and find out those states’ laws on body transport. You will also need to obtain any necessary documentation. In a few states, a transporter’s license is necessary to transport a body, which means that only a licensed funeral director will be able to handle the transportation.

To learn about transporting the body via air, see our article Transporting a Body via Air.

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