Key messages

  • In Victoria, bodily remains are interred in perpetuity.
  • An application for interment authorisation must be made using the prescribed form.
  • The permission of the holder of the right of interment is required before an interment can be authorised.

Application for interment authorisation

Prior to an interment taking place, an Application for interment authorisation (Form 1)  must be completed by the applicant seeking to make arrangements for the interment of human remains. The form can be completed by hand or completed online and printed for signature.

The application form is prescribed under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Regulations 2015 and should be submitted to the cemetery trust in a timely manner.

The trust should always satisfy itself that the person wishing to use the place of interment is the holder of the right of interment, or that they have the permission of the holder of the right of interment to inter remains in the place of interment.

Process for the interment of bodily remains

Step 1: Interment authorisation application

The funeral director (on behalf of the applicant) or the applicant completes the 'Application for interment authorisation' form.

The funeral director or applicant must submit this form to the cemetery trust together with a copy of the notice required under s. 37(2) of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (that is, a death certificate or other relevant documentation) or any other document specified under s.116(3)(a)-(e) of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act.

Note: The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has implemented an online system for medical practitioners to register a death and has updated its Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) and Medical Certificate of Cause of Perinatal Death (MCCPD) forms. Please read the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages new online system for registering MCCD/MCCPD forms issues for further information regarding which types of these forms and documentation a cemetery trust can accept for the purpose of approving an interment application.

Step 2: Consideration of application for interment authorisation

The cemetery trust receives application and checks the following:

  • that the person making the application has the appropriate authority to do so
  • that all required documents have been provided
  • whether the right of interment is exercised or unexercised
  • if the right of interment has been previously exercised, that the place of interment is deep enough to accommodate a subsequent interment in accordance with the minimum depth of burial requirements.

Step 3: Approval of application for interment authorisation

If the cemetery trust is satisfied with the application, they must grant an interment authorisation. An authorisation may be granted on any terms and conditions the trust considers appropriate.

Note that approval should be written. It is an offence to inter bodily remains without an interment authorisation, and is punishable by a maximum penalty of 600 penalty units or five years imprisonment or both.

The funeral director or other person arranging the funeral liaises with the cemetery trust to arrange a suitable time for interment and where applicable a funeral.

Note that any person responsible for the conduct of a funeral must comply with any directions issued by the cemetery trust and may not initiate unsolicited contact with another person for the purpose of commercial activities.

Step 4: Interment of remains

Interment takes place.

Note that the cemetery trust must ensure compliance with requirements in relation to enclosure of bodily remains, depth of burial, interment in concrete lined graves and interment in mausolea.

Step 5: Record keeping

Cemetery trusts are required to fulfil prescribed record keeping requirements relating to rights of interment, interments and places of interment.