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Permission for cremation

In order to have a deceased person cremated, you must obtain the permission of the municipal authority.


You must submit a written application to the Civil Affairs Office (Dutch: Dienst Burgerzaken). Usually it is the funeral director who takes care of this application.

The application requires the following documents:

  • the application for cremation
  • a certificate from the doctor who has confirmed the death. This certificate indicates whether the death was natural, violent or suspicious:
    • If death by natural causes is determined, you will need a second report from a doctor appointed by the municipal authority.
    • If a death is found to be violent or suspicious, you will need authorisation from the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Permission for cremation is issued at the earliest 24 hours after the application has been submitted

Can I decide for myself whether I should be cremated?

Persons who wish to be cremated after their death can submit a last will and testament to the Civil Affairs Office during their lifetime.

For more information, please contact your municipality.


There is no legal framework yet for bio-cremation (resomation or water cremation).