The tell us once service

Tell Us Once is a service offered by most local authorities on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The service allows the bereaved person to inform central and local government services of the death at one time rather than having to write, telephone or even attend each service individually. The Tell Us Once service can save you a great deal of time and effort.

If the local authority offers the service you will be made aware of this either when you telephone to book an appointment to register the death or when you attend to register if there is no appointment system in place.  In most cases the registrar of death will offer you the Tell Us Once interview immediately after you have registered the death. The registrar will check with you which central and governement services need to be notified. The notification is sent through immediately and you will be given a confirmation letter.  In some cases the registrar will offer a telephone and online Tell Us Once service instead of the full face to face service and you can also choose this if you find it too difficult to complete the process in the same interview. In some cases you may be offered a separate appointment at a later date if you want to complete the process in a face to face interview. You may also choose to complete the process later if you do not have enough information about the deceased at the time of registering. To complete the telephone or online Tell Us Once service the registrar will give you the necessary contact details and a unique reference number. If you already have these you can access the online service by clicking here

It is essential to note that you must have registered the death and been given the unique Tell Us Once reference number before you can use the telephone or online service. 

The one exception is when a coroner has ordered an inquest into the death. Once you have the interim certificate of the fact of death from the coroner it may be possible for you to make an appointment with the local authority (usually the registrar) to carry out the Tell Us Once process. However not all authorities are able to do this so please call and check first.

It is important that you take all the relevant information to the Tell Us Once interview. What you will need (if appropriate) are:

  • National Insurance number and date of birth of the deceased
  • Their passport or passport number and town/country of birth
  • Driving licence or driving licence number
  • Details of state pensions and benefits
  • Blue Badge
  • Death certificate (if not completing Tell Us Once at the time of registration)

You may also be asked for contact details for:

  • The immediate next of kin
  • A surviving husband, wife or civil partner
  • The person dealing with the estate. 

Tell Us Once is completely voluntary but most people find it a very helpful service. If you use the Tell Us Once service you do not normally need to complete the reverse side of the Certificate of registration of notification of death (BD8) that you will be given by the registrar. Keep it in your filing of papers about the death just in case it may be needed at a later date.

If you are the next of kin (ie the closest relative by blood or marrriage to the deceased) your own entitlement to benefits may change so please do have your own National Insurance number and date of birth available when using the service.

If you are not the next of kin nor the person dealing with the deceased's estate, you may still use the Tell Us Once service providing you have permission from these people to act on their behalf and to provide information about them.

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

Please note that Tell Us Once does not notify any commercial organisations of the death and cannot arrange for redirection of post or suppression of direct mail.

Call Bereavement Advice Centre if you would like us to arrange direct mail suppression for you (i.e. advertising 'junk' mail).