A cemetery or mausoleum will not open a grave or remove a body without a Disinter/Reinter Permit.
You must get a Disinter/Reinter Permit:
- if you need to move a deceased or stillborn human body from its place of burial/interment in Alberta
- if you are opening a grave and you are unsure if the body is cremated or not
If you are burying a body or cremated body (cremains) in a grave where there is already a body buried, contact us via email to confirm if a Disinter/Reinter Permit is needed.
When you are opening a grave that only contains cremains (no body buried below), a Disinter/Reinter Permit is not needed.
You will need to provide a copy of a Medical Certificate of Death or Medical Certificate of Stillbirth (as applicable) with your application to reflect the cause of death or stillbirth. If the death or stillbirth occurred in Alberta the document is not needed.
When the cause of death or stillbirth is a communicable disease legislated in the Bodies of Deceased Persons Regulation, a Disinter/Reinter Permit may not be issued as some infectious diseases stay active for years after a body was buried/interred.
Persons in the following order of priority, may apply for a Disinter/Reinter Permit:
- an executor, personal representative or administrator of the deceased person’s estate
- a spouse or adult interdependent partner (a term that carries legal meanings similar to common law, but not the same) of the deceased who was living with the deceased at the time of death
- an adult child of the deceased
- a parent of the deceased/stillborn child
- a person who was, at the time of the deceased's death, a guardian of the deceased
- an adult grandchild of the deceased
- an adult sibling of the deceased/stillborn child
- an adult child of the sibling of the deceased
- a Public Trustee for the deceased
- an adult person having a particular interest in the deceased/stillborn child
All persons within this ranking system must agree to the proposed disinterment and reinterment.
- if a person who has a right to apply for a Disinter/Reinter Permit is unwilling to act, their interest is waived
- if a person within the highest eligible rank objects to the disinterment/reinterment of the body, a Disinter/Reinter Permit cannot be issued. A court order may be required.
Contact us via email if you have any questions.
How to apply
Step 1. Determine if a Disinter/Reinter Permit is needed
If you want to move a deceased human body that is currently interred, or open a grave where you are unsure if the grave has a deceased human body or cremains, a Disinter/Reinter Permit is needed.
- If you want to inter cremains or another body in a grave that currently contains a deceased human body, do not complete an Affidavit: Disinter/Reinter Permit Application form at this time. Contact us via email first and ask if a Disinter/Reinter Permit is needed.
Step 2. Complete the affidavit application form
You can get the Affidavit: Disinter/Reinter Permit Application form from Vital Statistics or a funeral home.
Do not sign the affidavit application form at this time.
Step 3. Go to a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths
Sign the affidavit application with the Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths, declaring there is no one of a higher rank than you and that all persons in your rank agree to the disinterment/reinterment.
Step 4. Get a copy of the medical certificate
If the death or stillbirth occurred within Alberta, you do not have to get a copy of the Medical Certificate of Death or Medical Certificate of Stillbirth. Vital Statistics will check its records for the document.
If the death or stillbirth occurred outside Alberta, you must get a Medical Certificate of Death or Medical Certificate of Stillbirth (or the equivalent) from the jurisdiction where the death or stillbirth occurred.
Step 5. Mail the affidavit application form
Mail the original, completed affidavit application form and medical certificate to Vital Statistics:
P.O. Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
Photocopies and faxes of the affidavit application document are not accepted.
After you apply
Vital Statistics will review your application and contact you, if more information is required.
Please allow at least one week to process a Disinter/Reinter Permit application. The permit and other documents are sent to you by regular postal service.
If your information is missing or there are any discrepancies in information, your application may be delayed.
For special arrangements or rush service options, contact us via email with Vital Statistics.
Connect with the Alberta Government Contact Centre
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013 (Edmonton and area)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
P.O. Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5C5