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Registering a death

Tell us once

Tell Us Once is a free service offered by HM Government.

When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them.

Tell Us Once is voluntary to use and very helpful. It enables you to report a death only once, telling central and local government services securely and confidentially without you having to inform them individually.

Many services can be notified and these include:

  • the local council - to update services such as Council Housing, Housing Benefit, Council Tax, Blue Badge and remove the person from the Electoral Register
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax and to update regarding Child Benefit and Tax Credits claims (contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to update benefits information for example: State Pension, Universal Credit
  • Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and to remove registered keeper details, possibly for up to five vehicles
  • Public Sector or Armed Forces Pension Schemes - to update pension records

How do I use the service?

After you have registered the death with the Registrar, you will be provided with a unique Tell Us Once reference number, which will enable you to access the service online at

It will help if you to have the following information where relevant about the person who has died when you use the service:

  • date of birth
  • address of the deceased
  • if you have it, their National Insurance number
  • their driving licence number
  • vehicle registration number
  • their passport number
  • details of any local council services they were receiving, for example Adult Social Services, Blue Badge
  • dates of any recent stays in hospital, a hospice or care home

We may also ask you for the contact details for:

  • their next of kin
  • a surviving husband, wife or civil partner
  • the person dealing with their estate

Next of Kin

If you are the next of kin (closest relative by blood or marriage/civil partnership to the deceased), your entitlement to benefits may change, so please have your own National Insurance number and/or date of birth with you when you contact us.

If you are not the next of kin, or the person who is dealing with the deceased’s estate (the person sorting out their property, belongings and money), you can still use the service as long as you have their permission to provide information about them and act on their behalf.

Important information

There is no need to follow-up contact after you have used Tell Us Once unless you don’t receive a confirmation from the relevant department after a reasonable period of time, in most cases a calendar month.

Once the various agencies informed by Tell Us Once have received notification of the death, they will make any further contact if necessary with the bereaved family.

Tell Us Once is not a claim to benefit, therefore contact Tell Us Once or the relevant department for advice.

Tell Us Once does not notify any commercial organisations of the death and cannot arrange for redirection of post.

A short information video which explains the Tell Us Once service is available below: