Tell us once

The Tell Us Once service means you only need to tell government departments and some council services one time about a death.

During an appointment to register a death, the registrar will explain the service so you can use it after the death is registered. This service is optional and is free.

The registrar will take the information needed from you to produce a ‘Capture letter’ with a unique reference number for the Tell Us Once Service. You will then be able to contact Tell Us Once online or by phone to provide all the details for the relevant departments and services.

You can also use this service if the coroner has given you a coroner’s certificate of the fact of death, otherwise known as an interim death certificate.

Information you will need

You will need to know the following information about the person who has died:

  • their national insurance number and date of birth
  • details of benefits or services they were receiving
  • their driving licence or driving licence number 
  • their passport or passport number
  • their vehicle registration number
  • their next of kin
  • any surviving husband, wife or civil partner
  • the person dealing with their estate

Frequently asked questions

Can I use tells us once if I live in a different area?

Tell us once can only be accessed if the authority where the deceased person lived and the authority where the death is registered are both signed up to use the system.

If you register the death in North Yorkshire, the registrar can check if the other authority is also using tell us once and, if so, will enter the information you provide to notify government departments and local council services. Most local authorities are using this service but it is not required.

Can I use tell us once when someone dies abroad?

You can use tell us once when someone dies abroad (when visiting an EEA or Commonwealth country), but used public services in England, Scotland or Wales.

If I don't use tell us once when I register the death, can I use it later on?

Yes, but not through the registration office. You may access the service by telephone; the registrar will give you details. You will need the death certificate plus the information listed on this page. 

How will you treat the information I give you?

The information you give will be treated securely and confidentially. The organisations who are contacted will use the information to:

  • update records
  • end services, benefits and tax credits as appropriate
  • resolve any outstanding issues

They may use this information in other ways, but only as the law allows.

The information you provide will be used to update records and will not be used to start new claims. You must contact the relevant organisation if you want to make a new claim to any benefit.

Find out more about the Tell Us Once Service