Disinter - Reinter Permit

Disinter/reinter permits are required when a dead or stillborn human body is being removed from their place of interment and reinterred at a new location. A cemetery will not consent to the opening of a grave site and/or removal of a body without a disinter/reinter permit issued from Vital Statistics. For Vital Statistics purposes, the applications for these two permits are completed together in the form of an affidavit.

Note: A disinter/reinter permit is not required to disinter cremains or when the disinterment is part of an investigation by the Medical Examiner's office.

As some viruses and diseases may remain in an active state for decades after the death of an individual, Vital Statistics will review all applications and the cause of death to ensure that restrictions are closely followed.

A grave cannot be readily disinterred when the Medical Certificate of Death reflects the cause of death is one of the communicable diseases as defined in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Bodies of Deceased Persons Regulations:

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

  • African haemorrhagic fever

  • Anthrax

  • Argentinean haemorrhagic fever

  • Bolivian haemorrhagic fever

  • Hepatitis B

  • Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease

  • Lassa fever

  • Marburg virus disease

  • All forms of plague

  • Smallpox

An eligible applicant (please refer to Eligibility Relationship) must submit the Affidavit Disinter/Reinter Permit Application with all the required information. If the death occurred outside of Alberta, a Medical Certificate of Death or an equivalent document indicating the cause of death of the deceased must also be provided with the application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain a Medical Certificate of Death from the appropriate jurisdiction.

When making an application to Vital Statistics, the following particulars are required:

  • Full name of the person making the application

  • The relationship between the person making the application and the deceased person

  • Full return address and telephone number of the applicant

  • Signature of the person making the application

  • Date the application is being made

  • Last name of the deceased

  • Given names of the deceased, including the first and middle names

  • Sex of the deceased

  • Date of death

  • Place of death (indicate the city, town or village in Alberta where the death occurred)

  • Where the deceased is currently disintered

  • Where the deceased is to be reintered

  • Purpose for the request

Disinterment of a body shall not take place until an Application for Disinterment, together with the Medical Certificate of Death indicating the cause of death, is submitted to Vital Statistics. Forms may be obtained from Funeral Homes or the Vital Statistics office.

When the death occurred in Alberta, Vital Statistics will most often have the cause of death on record.

Additional Information

For more information or clarification on the disinter / reinter permit process, contact the Vital Statistics office.

Eligibility Relationship

  • A spouse of adult interdependent partner 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

  • An adult grandchild of the deceased

  • An adult brother or sister of the deceased

  • An adult nephew or niece of the deceased

  • An adult next of kin of the deceased

  • The Public Trustee

  • Personal representative designated in the will of the deceased

  • A guardian of the deceased under the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act or, if the deceased is a minor, under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act or the Family Law Act.

  • An adult person having some relationship with the deceased not based on blood ties or affinity