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Easing the red tape when someone dies

A new service being introduced throughout the United Kingdom between now and 2011 will make it easier to inform government when someone close to you dies.

Telling government about a death
When someone dies you usually have to tell many different government departments so they can update their records about the person who has died.

For example:

• the Passport Service to cancel a passport
• the Pension Service to cancel a State Pension
• DVLA to cancel a driving licence

The new service allows you to contact just the local authority in which the person who died was living.

The local authority will then contact all other the relevant government departments for you.

After that, the departments will be in direct contact with you about any changes made to the records held about the person who died.

How to use the service
When you register a death, the registrar will tell you whether the service is available. If it is, you will be given the choice of meeting someone at the authority, or using the national telephone number. The registrar will provide you with all the information you need to access the service.

TV film about the service 
A film about the service will be on TV this week.  The film shows it in action and includes an interview with someone who has used it to report a death.

You can see it during the Local Government Today programme on the Community Channel (Sky 539, Virgin TV 233 and Freeview 87) at 7pm on Monday 20, Wednesday 22 and Friday 24 September.

Registering a death

Registering a death in Scotland

Search for your local register office