Moving a Body from Mexico to Washington

Inquiry: My mom has been deceased for 18 years. She is in Mexico. I live in Washington and I was wondering if it would be possible to move her over here. Also, do you have any idea how much it costs?

Response: As to costs, take a look at the chart at the U.S. Embassy Mexico website. There is a drop down menu for costs.

As to transporting the body, on the Mexico side, a health permit issued by the local health authority would be required to transport your mother’s remains from Mexico to Washington. In order to export her remains, you will need an Official Death Certificate, Embalming Certificate, transportation information (plane, ship, bus, etc.), and information on final destination for the remains.

You must contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico to ensure that these documents are complete. They will issue a Consular Mortuary Certificate, which facilitates the entrance of the remains to the U.S. In order for your mother’s body to be transported out of Mexico, they must be embalmed or appropriately prepared, placed in a casket, and then encased in a certified crate.

On the Washington side, you must have a permit to bury your mother. RCW 70.58.230, RCW 70.58.250, RCW 70.58.260. Contact the registrar of the district in which you want to bury her. Tell the registrar that you want to move your mother’s body into Washington and it is your understanding that it is unlawful to transport or bury her in Washington unless she is accompanied by a transit permit issued in accordance with the law and health regulations in force where the death occurred, or unless a special permit for bringing her remains into Washington is obtained from the state registrar.

ADDITIONAL ARTICLE related to this topic

This article discusses legal information and principles, and is not to be considered legal advice.

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