Frequently Asked Questions
Is my loved one eligible for burial or inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery?
National Cemetery's eligibility requirements for burial and inurnment are
different from other national cemeteries that are maintained by the
Department of Veterans Affairs. Eligibility for in-ground
burial at Arlington National Cemetery is the most stringent of all U.S.
national cemeteries. However, most veterans who have at least one day of active
service (other than for training) and an honorable discharge are eligible
for above-ground inurnment. Eligibility is determined at the time of
need. For more information about eligibility,
How do I schedule a service?
The process to schedule a
burial at Arlington National Cemetery can be complex, and we handle each
family's request individually with the utmost care and professionalism. Each
request is unique. The length of time it takes for scheduling depends on many
factors, including the family's ability to provide all documents to
eligibility, the type of remains,
the military resources available and any special requests (such as
requests for the chapel located on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall).
the family or funeral home should call ANC’s customer service center at
877-907-8585. They will then be given a case number for
tracking purposes and asked to email or
all required documents for review. The cemetery staff will need to
establish and confirm that the service member is eligible for burial at
Arlington. We recommend that you have all of the required documentation
together before you call to schedule the service. Any documents requested by
cemetery staff can be emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org must include the case number provided by the customer service
Please Note: Arlington
National Cemetery will not respond to other inquiries via this email box.
For more information about
scheduling a service,
What documents are required?
The required documents are:
• DD214 (or service
honorable character of service,
to establish eligibility for the eligible service
• Death certificate, and cremation certificate, if applicable.
Succession documents for the person authorized
to direct disposition (PADD) to act on behalf of the primary next of kin
(PNOK), if applicable. Only the PNOK or PADD can sign the required documents.
Unmarried adult dependents require two
additional documents: A) a notarized statement from an individual who has
direct knowledge as to the marital status and degree of dependency of the
deceased person, the name of the decedent's parent, and the military
service from which the burial is being requested; and B) a certificate from the
attending physician regarding the nature and duration of the dependent's
physical and/or mental disability.
• Families will be required to validate that an urn contains 100
percent of the decedent's remains received from the crematorium or funeral home
before Arlington National Cemetery conducts the burial service.
It is the family's
responsibility to provide the service member's eligibility documents. A service
will not be scheduled until all required documents are received.
here for instructions on how to make an emergency records request.
Click here for more information on
How long is the wait time for a service?
Scheduling military funeral services at ANC is primarily influenced
by three factors: the type of remains, military resources available and
preferences of the individual family. We strive to communicate effectively with
families throughout each step of the process, in order to help them understand
the complexities of wait times and their options for scheduling a service.
The limited availability of
military personnel for funeral honors support, coupled with an operational
tempo of up to 30 funeral services per day, means that the wait time to
schedule the most resource-intensive services at ANC (such as military honors
services with funeral escort) has increased.
Services are scheduled in the
order that they are received. They are then placed into a queue based upon the
status of the deceased (active duty or veteran) and the nature of the remains
(casketed or cremated).
Active duty deaths and casketed
remains are prioritized in the scheduling process. Burials for
current-conflict, active-duty service members killed in action or who died of
wounds can be accommodated within two weeks of the date of death. Additionally,
ANC prioritizes casketed remains due to the health and safety factors involved
in storing these remains, as well as the cost to families. Services for
casketed remains are generally scheduled within three weeks of receiving the
request for burial. The service takes place when the military funeral honors
for which the veteran is eligible are available.
For cremated remains, wait
times average between
for a service
requiring military funeral honors with funeral escort, and up to seven to eight
months for a military funeral honors service without funeral escort, or for a
dependent honors service.
If an immediate burial is required, the
Department of Veterans Affairs maintains nearly 155 national cemeteries and 138
state, territorial and tribal veterans’ cemeteries across the nation. These are
wonderful alternatives, which allow families to be closer for visitation and
offer the same iconic look as ANC.
Whathappens at a typical
service? What types of military honors are available?
• Order of events for a funeral service at
Arlington National Cemetery
• Military funeral honors
• Sequence of events for military funeral
Does Arlington National Cemetery provide transportation for
Arlington National Cemetery does not provide
transportation to funerals. Attendees must provide their own transportation.
Can I order a particular type of headstone?
The U.S. government will
provide, at no cost to the estate of the deceased, an upright, white marble
headstone or white marble niche cover. Arlington National Cemetery staff will
place the order, which goes to the National Cemetery Administration (part of
the Department of Veterans Affairs). The order for the headstone or niche cover
will include the appropriate inscription and choice of an optional
emblem of belief. The next of kin will
review the proposed headstone or niche cover text template prior to the date of
interment, and the template will be finalized with cemetery staff
prior to or on the day of the interment.
Arlington National Cemetery no longer accepts requests
for new private (e.g. not government-provided) headstone markers, due to
extremely limited space and interment challenges such as growth of trees,
landscape and maintenance provisions, and safety concerns for families and
How can I find a grave or visit a loved one’s place of burial or
find a grave by
downloading our ANC Explorer app, or using the web version.
family passes is available here.
What are your policies on gravesite floral tributes and wreaths?
• Fresh cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time.
ANC provides portable temporary cones for flowers that the public may use.
These cones can be found
throughout the cemetery in centralized containers.
• Artificial flowers may be placed on gravesites from
October 10 through April 15.
• Flowers may be placed at the bottom of a column at the
niche wall or in the columbarium.
• Permanent flower
containers and planting of flowers and shrubs are prohibited.
• Wreaths are
permitted during the holiday season (December 1 through January 31).
Potted plants are permitted seven days before and seven days after
For more information, click here.