Mailing cremated remains with USPS – Revisions Dec 2013

With effect from December 26th 2013 the United States Postal Service has revised its procedures for the mailing of cremated remains.

USPS is now requiring customers to ONLY mail cremated remains via the Priority Mail Express Service.  Cremated remains will no longer be accepted to be mailed by the Registered Mail Service.  A receipt signature should be required for all human cremated remains shipments.

mailing-cremated-remainsLabel 139 should be adhered to all parcels containing cremated remains before they are shipped through the United States Postal System.  This helps USPS to clearly identify cremated remains through their tracking systems.  Although the label is not a requirement, it can greatly give reassurance to families that Postal workers will be aware of handling the sensitive nature of a package containing someone’s loved one’s ashes.

The label 139 for Cremated Remains can be purchased from the Postal Store at, enabling families or funeral homes to purchase the labels and affix it prior to taking a package to the Post Office.

This revision is effective immediately and will be updated in the Domestic Mail Manual [DMM] on January 26th 2014.

The cost to mail cremated remains is determined by the cost for Priority Mail Express Service and the weight of the consignment.  A package containing cremated remains generally costs between $25.00 and $75.00 to send by USPS.