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Cemetery & Funeral Services

Posted on
06 October 2014
  • Comments (2)

Opting for a private transfer of your loved one to a funeral home, crematorium or cemetery? If you have questions, here are some things you should know.

Written by  Tatiana

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Typically when we make funeral arrangements, we rely on a licensed funeral home to perform the services and the transportation of a departed loved one.  However, sometimes we get requests from individuals who wish to take personal responsibility for the transfer of remains of a loved one to a funeral home, crematorium or cemetery.  If you are considering the option of a private transfer, there are processes to follow to ensure the handling of the remains are done in a safe, dignified and respectful manner.

Obtain Permission for a Private Transfer:

Following a death, the remains must be transferred to their final destination as soon as possible.  Before the private transfer can occur our  Private Transfer Permit Application must first be submitted and approved by our office.  This application ensures that all proper procedures are followed including a burial permit being obtained.

Have the Paperwork in Place:

It is recommended that the legal representative of the deceased contact the cemetery or crematorium prior to the transfer occurring so the appropriate arrangements can be discussed and agreed upon.  If the deceased is being cremated, a cremation authorization form must be completed by the legal representative.  

Follow Requirements When Transferring the Deceased*:

During transportation, the deceased must be placed in an enclosed rigid container and not visible to the public.  Also, the person transferring the remains must be in the vehicle or it must be locked and secure at all times.

Consider Your Obligations if Transferring to Another Jurisdiction:

A private transfer permit is only valid while transferring a deceased within British Columbia.  If you are going outside of British Columbia, permits must also be obtained from the other jurisdictions. 

Know What is Required if Transferring to a Crematorium:

Not all crematoriums can receive private transfers.  Check with the crematorium to find out what is permissible.  Also, a physician or licensed embalmer must remove pacemakers or other radioactive or mechanical device prior to cremation.

A death can often result in many difficult decisions being made in a very short period of time.  By knowing your obligations beforehand, a private transfer allows family and friends options on how to bring a deceased to their final resting place.  To find out more about private transfers, visit this page on our website. 

To find out more about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to funeral and cemetery services in BC, please visit our website at  

*This information is addressed in Section 12 of the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act and sections 4 & 5 of the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Regulation.)

Last modified on 06 October 2014


Tatiana works in communications for Consumer Protection BC.  She is always talking about something our organization is doing and just between us, she can get pretty loud.



Rachel Parker

16 February 2017
Hi there,
This article says that remains must be transported in a "rigid container". IF you wanted to bury remains in a shroud for natural burial, would you also need a rigid container to transport?


17 February 2017
Hi there, thank you for posting your question. It's my understanding that anytime you are transporting a remain, it needs to be in a rigid container. We did write a blog post about green burials so take a look, the link is here ( If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at toll free 1-888-564-9963. Thank you, Rachel!

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