Moving a Body from Georgia to Virginia

Inquiry:

We live in the state of Georgia and we have burial plots in the state of Virginia. We would like to know if we can carry the body in our own vehicle after getting all the permits that we need?

Response:

Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 31-10-20 requires a permit for removal of the body from the state. (If the body were coming from Virginia, Georgia law would require a disposition permit from Virginia.)

Virginia law, 32.1-265 requires a transit permit issued by the registrar of the district in which the death certificate was filed. (Note: This law specifically refers to the “person who first assumes custody” of a dead body.)

There is no Georgia or Virginia state law preventing you from transporting the body in your vehicle once you have the permits required. (Handling and storage of human remains is codified at Virginia law, 54.1-2811.1 and applies to a “funeral service establishment” and not a private person.)

For more information, contact the Georgia Department of Public Health at 404-679-4702; or the Virginia Department of Public Health at 804-662-6200.

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