Tell Us Once

Coronavirus: Important information

Further to the Prime Minister's announcement of the national lockdown starting on 5 January 2021, death registrations will continue to be carried out by telephone appointment. If the death occurred in Surrey you can register the death over the telephone by making a death registration appointment.

The average bereaved family contacts central and local government seven or eight times following a bereavement. Tell Us Once is a service that allows you to tell multiple government agencies about a death, at the same time. This Tell Us Once service is offered free of charge.

How does Tell Us Once work?

When you register a death, the registrar will add the details of the deceased to the Tell Us Once national database.

Visit to find out what information or documents you will need to have when you complete the second part of the service - these include, for example, the deceased's passport, driving licence, national insurance number, benefit statement or tax reference.

Once registered, you are able to complete the second part of the service either:

Tell us once online

If you cannot complete online please call 0800 085 7308.

Who does Tell Us Once notify about the death?

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with tax and cancel benefits.
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to cancel benefits, e.g. Income Support.
  • Passport Office - to cancel a passport.
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence.
  • Your local council - to cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, a Blue Badge, inform council housing services and remove the person from the electoral register.
  • Public sector or armed forces pension schemes - to stop pension payments.

Can I use Tell Us Once if the coroner is conducting an inquest investigation?

Yes. Where the death is subject to a coroner's inquest investigation, you will have been issued with an interim death certificate from the coroner prior to the actual death registration being completed by the registrar. To allow us to register you for Tell Us Once, you will need to complete our Tell Us Once registration form for inquests with information from that interim certificate.

I am not able to find all the documents I need. Does this mean I cannot use the service?

If you are not able to find all of the documents you may need in one go, you can still complete the second part of Tell Us Once, but it may not be possible to inform all participating organisations. There is no provision to save any information for later and once you have completed the Tell Us Once second part, the details are locked and you will be unable to add to them later. Should you later find any missing documents, you would need to contact that organisation individually. If you do not know all of the answers to the questions asked, you can answer 'Don't know' which will mean that the organisation is notified anyway and they will check their records for you.

How will I know who has been told?

You will be able to print off a list (if you have used the online service) or you will be sent a letter (if you have used the telephone service) that details your reference number and which organisations have been notified on your behalf, together with contact details in case of any query. Those organisations may contact you separately to confirm that the relevant processing has been completed.

How is the information given to Tell Us Once treated?

All your information is treated securely. The organisations that receive your information will use it to update their records, but only as the law allows.

I used the Tell Us Once service but have not heard from all of the organisations notified. What should I do?

Tell Us Once will notify all parties of the bereavement, provided you have given the necessary consent. Organisations will not always make contact you, however you may contact the Tell Us Once telephone service with any further enquiry on 0800 085 7308.