The Tell Us Once service

When mourning the loss of a loved one, the last thing many of us want to do is sift through paperwork and make calls to different organisations that have to be informed of the death.

However, the Tell Us Once service from the government has been designed to save families from the pressures of notifying every organisation during an already difficult time.

Section one

About the Tell Us Once service

Introduced in 2011, the Tell Us Once service from the government allows people to report the death of a loved one to multiple government departments at once as opposed to contacting each one individually.

Not only does this save time, it saves families from the upset of carrying out this upsetting task on multiple occasions. The Tell Us Once service is provided by most local authorities on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Section two

Using the Tell Us Once service

The Tell Us Once service covers many government departments including HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), public sector / armed forces pensions, Passport Office, local councils and the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Before using the Tell Us Once service, you will need information of the deceased. This can include but may not be limited to:

  • Date of birth
  • National insurance number
  • Name and address of their next of kin
  • Name and address of any surviving spouse
  • Details of any benefits they were receiving i.e. state pensions
  • Details of any council services they were receiving i.e. disabled badge
  • Driving license number (if applicable)
  • Vehicle registration number (is applicable)
  • Passport number (if applicable).

Section three

How does the Tell Us Once service work?

When your loved one passes away, you will be required to register the death at your local register office in England and Wales or at the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Scotland.

When the death has been registered, the registrar with let you know if the Tell Us Once service is available in your local area, and will provide you with a reference number to be used either online or over the phone.

Dependent on your local area, you may be given the opportunity to attend a Tell Us Once interview, whereby all information would be collected from you, to aid the completion of the service on your behalf.

Section four

Where is the Tell Us Once service available?

The Tell Us Once service is not available in every local authority and is also not available in Northern Ireland. More information on where the Tell Us Once service is available can be located on the government website.

If the Tell Us Once service is not available in your local area then unfortunately you will have to contact all government departments separately. If so, here is a useful bereavement checklist (PDF) from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council outlining who to contact and when.