Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.
When you register the death the registrar will:
- let you know if the service is available in your area
- give you the phone number
- give you a unique reference number to use the Tell Us Once service online or by phone
If you cannot register the death because an inquest is underway, you can still ask a registrar for a unique reference number. You’ll need to get an interim death certificate from the coroner holding the inquest first.
You must use the service within 84 days of getting your unique reference number.
Before you use Tell Us Once
You’ll need the following details of the person who died:
- date of birth
- National Insurance number
- driving licence number
- vehicle registration number
- passport number
You’ll also need:
- details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting - for example State Pension
- details of any local council services they were getting - for example Blue Badge
- name, address, telephone number and the National Insurance number or date of birth of any surviving spouse or civil partner
- name and address of their next of kin - if there is no surviving spouse or civil partner or their spouse or civil partner is not able to deal with their affairs
- name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’
- details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying in to
You need permission from any surviving spouse or civil partner, the next of kin, executor, administrator or anyone who was claiming joint benefits or entitlements with the person who died, before you give their details.
Organisations Tell Us Once will contact
Tell Us Once will notify:
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax (you need to contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to cancel benefits and entitlements, for example Universal Credit or State Pension
- Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a licence and remove the person as the keeper of up to 5 vehicles (contact DVLA separately if you keep or sell a vehicle)
- the local council - to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction (sometimes called Council Tax Support), a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register
- Veterans UK - to cancel Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you about the tax, benefits and entitlements of the person who died.
Tell Us Once will also contact some public sector pension schemes so that they cancel future pension payments. They’ll notify:
- My Civil Service Pension
- NHS Pension Scheme
- Armed Forces Pension Scheme
- pension schemes for NHS staff, teachers, police and firefighters in Scotland
- local authority pension schemes that participate in Tell Us Once
There’s a different process to update property records if the person who died owns land or property.
If Tell Us Once is not available
You’ll have to let the relevant organisations know about the death yourself if:
- your local register office does not offer the Tell Us Once service
- you choose not to use it
- the person died abroad the death has not been registered with the UK authorities
The Tell Us Once service is not available in Northern Ireland.
Banks and other financial organisations
Contact the person’s bank or mortgage, pension or insurance providers to close or change the details of their accounts.