Tell Us Once

Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.

The Tell Us Once service is not available in Northern Ireland. Find out who to tell about a death in Northern Ireland.

A registrar will explain the Tell Us Once service when you register the death. They will either:

  • complete the Tell Us Once service with you
  • give you a unique reference number so you can use the service yourself online or by phone

You must use the service within 84 days of getting your unique reference number.

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.

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.

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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 you do not use Tell Us Once

You must let the relevant organisations know about the death yourself if either:

Tell organisations about the death yourself.

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.

  1. Step 1 Register the death

    1. Register the death within 5 days

    Check what to do if:

    To stop or change benefits payments you can tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the death straight away.

  2. Step 2 Arrange the funeral

  3. Step 3 Tell government about the death

    The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

    1. You are currently viewing: Use the Tell Us Once service to tell government
    2. If Tell Us Once is not available in your area tell government yourself

    You'll also need to tell banks, utility companies, and landlords or housing associations yourself.

  4. Step 4 Check if you can get bereavement benefits

  5. and Deal with your own benefits, pension and taxes

    Your tax, benefit claims and pension might change depending on your relationship with the person who died.

    1. Manage your tax, pensions and benefits if your spouse has died
    2. Check how benefits are affected if a child dies
  6. and Check if you need to apply to stay in the UK

    If your right to live in the UK depends on your relationship with someone who died you might need to apply for a new visa.

    Check the rules if:

    1. Contact UKVI to check the rules for other visas
  7. Step 5 Deal with their estate

    You might have to deal with the will, money and property of the person who's died if you're a close friend or relative, or the executor of the will.

    1. Check if you need to apply for probate
    2. Value the estate
    3. Deal with the estate
    4. Update property records