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What You Need to Know Before You Obtain a Permit to Transport a Body in Georgia

The death of a loved one requires family members to designate a final resting place. Failing to make this decision in advance can complicate matters for those left behind.

Transporting the body may be required, and when it involves crossing state lines, the matter can become even more legally complicated. Obtaining a permit to transport the body is a step that you and your family need to consider during this difficult time. 

An experienced family law attorney can help you make the right decisions and comply with existing laws.

What to Consider Before Transporting a Deceased Loved One

Family members may want to send a deceased loved one back to their hometown or some other meaningful location. Transporting the body is a way to bring the deceased back home or closer to relatives.

If a family member dies at home, you must obtain permission to transport the body to another location to be buried or cremated. In other cases, the body may need to be transferred back to the home for care.

Permission must be granted by the medical professional who has signed the individual’s death certificate before the body can be transported. 

If you plan to transport the deceased out of state, obtaining a final disposition permit is required under Georgia law.

Beginning the Process of Transporting the Body in Georgia

Family members can begin the process of transporting the body by contacting reaching out to the funeral director in the destination where the body will be buried or cremated.

A funeral director located in the destination can coordinate with a local funeral director or medical professional to transport the body and make preparations in advance.

Local funeral homes must embalm the deceased prior to being transported, and the remaining preparations will be completed by the funeral home located at the designated destination.

The permit to transport the body includes information related to the cause of death as well as personal information of the deceased and surviving family members. It includes a release to allow for the transport of the body.

Arranging the Transport of the Body


The method of transport will depend on the distance required for travel. A body may be transported by car if the deceased is being moved a short distance. Mileage rates and other factors may need to be considered. 

Some funeral homes may offer air transportation. But you need to work with a funeral home that is experienced and has the resources to arrange for the transport of the body by air.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has guidelines in place that regulate the transport of bodies. Funeral homes that are designated as “known shippers” can work with major airlines to arrange transport by air.

Family members may choose to transport a loved one, but you need to understand and comply with regulations. A family law attorney can help you determine what rules to follow when choosing a shipping container and making sure it’s properly prepared for transport.

Transporting the body of a loved one can be one of the most difficult processes family members manage after a death. Acquiring the permit to transport the body is an essential step and can prevent unwanted legal issues.

Working with a family law attorney will help you determine the best options for you and your family as you bring your loved one to their final resting place. 

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