Help & Advice First Steps

How to use the Tell Us Once service

Tell Us Once - service logo

If you’ve recently experienced the loss of a loved one, dealing with administrative tasks can be overwhelming. However, the government offers a helpful service called Tell Us Once to streamline this process and alleviate some of the burdens during this challenging time. Tell Us Once allows you to report a death to most government organisations in one process.

About the Tell Us Once Service:

When you register the death, the registrar will guide you through the service or provide a reference number for the Tell Us Once service. This optimal, free service allows you to report the death to multiple government organisations in a single process. Ensure you complete this within 28 days of registering the death.

The service is not mandatory, but it can be helpful and save time, letting you focus on other things.

If You Choose Not to use Tell Us Once:

If your local register office doesn’t offer the service or you opt out, you’ll need to notify the relevant organisations individually. The registrar will provide a letter and reference number to assist in this process.

Important Information:

  • The service is free to use
  • Applicable for residents of England, Scotland, or Wales
  • Not available for Northern Ireland
  • Contact HMRC separately for business taxes if the deceased was self-employed or a business owner.
  • No published phone number, instead you must use unique reference number when registering a death

Tell Us Once includes the following organisations:

  • HMRC
  • DWP
  • Passport Office
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  • Local Council
  • Veterans UK
  • Social Security Scotland
  • Public sector Pension Schemes

Using the Tell Us Once Service:

When someone has died, there are many things that need to be done, one of these is contacting government departments and local services.

The registrar can give the information to the Department of Work and Pensions via the Tell Us Once Service and they can pass on the information to a number of other government departments and local council services for you.

It is possible to report the death to the following organisations and services if you decide to use Tell Us Once:

  • Local Councils (Housing Benefit, Council Tax, libraries, etc.)
  • Department of Work and Pensions (Benefits, Overseas Health Team)
  • HM Revenue and Customs (Child Benefit, Tax Credits, Personal Taxation)
  • Electrical Services
  • Blue Badges
  • Identity and Passport Service
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  • Ministry of Service Personnel and Veterans’ Agency
  • War Pensions Scheme

Information required to use the service:

  • National Insurance number and date of birth
  • Details of benefits or services received
  • Driving License of License number
  • Passport or Passport number
  • Dates of recent hospital stays
  • Next of kin’s National Insurance number and/or date of birth (if applicable)

Contacting Tell Us Once:

When registering a death, the registrar will either complete the Tell Us Once form or provide a unique reference number. To use the service, you’ll need to provide specific details about the person who has died.

Information needed about the person who has died:

  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Driving license number
  • Passport number (If applicable)
  • Details of benefits or entitlements received
  • Next of kin’s details
  • Executor or administrator details (if applicable)

You’ll also need to know:

  • Any benefits or entitlements they were receiving, such as the State Pension
  • Any public sector or armed forces pensions they were getting
  • Any local council services they had access to, for example a Blue Badge or free public transport
  • Name and address of their next of kin
  • Name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as the ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’.

Before sharing with Tell Us Once, obtains permission from the next of kin, executor, administrator, or anyone claiming joint benefits.

Tell Us Once Notifications:

After submitting details, Tell Us Once will notify relevant organisations:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – for personal tax
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Passport Office
  • The local council: to cancel housing benefit, council tax benefit, Blue Badge, inform council
  • Housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
  • Public sector and armed formed pension schemes
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA): to cancel the person’s driving licence, but you’ll still need to send DVLA any registration certificates (V5C).

The following organisations are not included in the Tell Us Once service and you should notify them separately:

  • Financial (HMRC for business tax, banks, mortgage providers, credit cards, premium bond)
  • Domestic (insurance providers, utility companies, TV licensing, house, car)
  • Personal (employers, educational institutions, healthcare providers, charities)
  • Place of worship
  • Firearms license (contact local police station if applicable)

To find out more, visit’s webpage about Tell Us Once. There is also a free service called Life Ledger that can assist you in notifying some companies that Tell Us Once does not cover, such as banks, utilities, insurance providers and more.

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