Overview

You will need a Disinter/Reinter Permit if you need to move a deceased or stillborn human body from its place of burial/interment in Alberta. A cemetery or mausoleum will not open a grave or remove a body without this permit.

You do not need a Disinter/Reinter Permit to disinter a cremated body (cremains). When unsure if a body is cremated, this permit is required.

You will need to provide a copy of a Medical Certificate of Death or Medical Certificate of Stillbirth (as is applicable) with your application to reflect the cause of death or stillbirth.

Communicable diseases

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.

Eligibility

People in the following ranks, in the following order of priority, may apply for a Disinter/Reinter Permit:

  1. an executor, personal representative or administrator of the deceased person’s estate
  2. 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
  3. an adult child of the deceased
  4. a parent of the deceased/stillborn child
  5. a person who was, at the time of the deceased's death, a guardian of the deceased
  6. an adult grandchild of the deceased
  7. an adult sibling of the deceased/stillborn child
  8. an adult child of the sibling of the deceased
  9. a Public Trustee for the deceased
  10. an adult person having a particular interest in the deceased/stillborn child

All persons within a rank must agree to the proposed disinterment and reinterment.

  • If a person who has the 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 Vital Statistics if you have any questions.

How to apply

Step 1. 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 2. Go to a Notary Public or Commissioner for Oaths

Take the completed affidavit application 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 3. 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 4. Mail the affidavit application form

Mail the original completed affidavit application form and medical certificate to Vital Statistics at:

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7

Photocopies and faxes 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 mail.

If information is missing or there are any discrepancies in information, your application may be delayed.

Contact

To connect with Vital Statistics:

Hours: 8:15 am - 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
TTY: 780-427-9999
Toll free TTY: 1-800-232-7215 (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-4225

Email: vsregistries@gov.ab.ca

Mail:
Vital Statistics
Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7

Courier:
Vital Statistics
Document Reception
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W7