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Shipping Cremated Remains Via U.S. Mail

Posted: August 26, 2013

USPS_CR_StickerBeginning August 26, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will begin placing a special sticker on any cremated remains being mailed domestically or internationally. According to the USPS, the label will not be required but it is highly recommended to increase visibility during USPS processing and transportation.

Currently cremated remains are not identifiable in the mail stream. Today, if a package containing cremated remains cannot be located while in the Postal Service's possession, it can be upsetting to families. The new Label 139, Cremated Remains, will allow USPS to identify these packages during processing and transportation and ensure they are handled with care.

The label will only be applied by a USPS employee when a postal customer indicates the package contains cremated remains. The Cremated Remains label will soon be available for customers through the Postal Store at usps.com, enabling you to apply it prior to taking it to the post office. (As of August 27, 2013, the labels were not yet available in the online Postal Store; contunue to check the store, or consult your local post office branch, for its availability.)

Keep in mind this is just for visibility purposes for the USPS. All other regulations and rules apply for shipping domestically and internationally and this label does not guarantee shipment if other guidelines are not met.

If you have any questions, you may contact NFDA at 800-228-6332 or your local post office.


Additional Information

The following documents were provided to USPS employees; however, they contain insights that may be helpful to funeral professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions: Label 139, Cremated Remains

Retail Service Talk: Label 139, Cremated Remains