Taking Ashes to the USA From the UK
To take ashes to the USA you will need the death certificate, the cremation certificate, the deceased’s original passport & a Funeral Director’s declaration.
We explain how to get everything in order to make this as easy as possible for you.
Can You Take Ashes to the USA?
Yes, you can take ashes to the USA. Travelling with ashes to the USA is a straightforward process – if you follow our guide, you should have a stress-free journey.
There are a few options available to you:
- Ashes can be taken in your carry-on or hold luggage on many airlines.
- Ashes can be transported from the UK to an international airport in the USA for collection.
- Ashes can be transported directly to an address in the USA by a funeral director (not a courier).
Paperwork you will need
You will need the following:
- Death certificate (in English).
- Cremation certificate.
- The deceased’s passport (can be expired). If they are dual nationality, take both passports.
- Funeral Director’s Declaration/Sealing certificate/ Customs sealing letter – This document is issued by a funeral director or crematorium and states the ashes container is hermetically sealed (airtight) and only contains the remains of the deceased named on the form. It also includes information on the deceased.
We Can Transport the Ashes for You
If you would like us to handle the paperwork and transportation, please fill in the form below for a free quote
Read our guide for more information about shipping ashes abroad
Restrictions / Things to Know
However you choose to transport the ashes, you must ensure that the container used is airtight and security-friendly – non-metallic and made from lightweight material that an x-ray can scan.
Plastic, wood, zinc, ceramic or glass are all feasible options for transporting ashes, and there are many urns available that are made from these materials. If you’re travelling with the ashes, you must ensure that your container is allowed under your airline’s policies before boarding. There’s no blanket rule for this; every airline is different, so do your research beforehand.
British Airways allows you to transport ashes in your carry-on or hold luggage, as long as you follow their protocols. They are the most popular airline from UK to the USA.
Scattering Ashes in the USA
There is no specific law governing scattering ashes across the USA. However, rules and regulations on the national, state and local level may impact scattering ashes.
In general, scattering ashes on private property is allowed when you have the permission of the owner, but when it comes to public property, the legality depends on the state. Some states have laws forbidding it, but many don’t have rules regarding scattering ashes. It’s legal to scatter ashes in some national parks, whereas others require permits.
Every state is different, so as part of your planning we strongly recommend checking local and state laws to ensure you don’t get fined.