A cemetery or mausoleum will not open a grave or remove a body without a Disinter and Reinter Permit.
You must get a Disinter and Reinter Permit:
- if you need to move a deceased or stillborn human body from its place of burial or interment in Alberta
- if you are opening a grave and you are unsure if the body is cremated or not
Contact us via email to confirm if a Disinter and Reinter Permit is needed when:
- you are burying a body, or an urn with cremains, in a grave where there is already a body buried
- you are removing an urn with cremains from a grave where there is already a body buried
A Disinter and Reinter Permit is not needed when you are opening a grave that only contains an urn with cremains (no body buried below).
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 and Reinter Permit may not be issued as some infectious diseases stay active for years after a body was buried or interred.
As per the Vital Statistics Ministerial Regulation, a person with the highest priority ranking possible must be the applicant for a Disinter and Reinter Permit.
All persons within the same ranking as the applicant must agree to the proposed disinterment and reinterment.
- if a person who has a right to apply for a Disinter and Reinter Permit is unwilling to act, their interest is waived
- if a person within the highest eligible rank objects to the disinterment and reinterment, a Disinter and Reinter Permit cannot be issued. A court order may be required.
- if a person in the same rank as the applicant objects to the disinterment/reinterment, a Disinter and Reinter Permit cannot be issued. A court order may be required.
Eligibility rankings to apply for a Disinter and Reinter Permit is as follows:
- 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 or 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 or 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 or stillborn child
Contact us via email if you have any questions.
How to apply
Step 1. Determine if a Disinter and 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 and 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 and Reinter Permit Application form at this time. Contact us via email first and ask if a Disinter and Reinter Permit is needed.
Step 2. Complete the affidavit application form
You can get the Affidavit: Disinter and 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 and 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 and Reinter Permit application. The permit and other documents are sent to you by regular postal service.
If 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.
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)
Email: [email protected]
P.O. Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5C5
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