What's on GOV.UK?
We all use public services. Now many of them, from the NHS to your local library, can be found online.
Most public service websites are available 24 hours a day so you can visit them when it's convenient with you, and get information or complete tasks without needing to wait on the phone or travel long distances to collect a form or pay a bill.
GOV.UK is the government's main website. You can find it by typing www.gov.uk into the address bar of your web browser or 'gov.uk' into an internet search engine.
You'll find details about most public services at GOV.UK. For example, you can find out about the following areas:
- Benefits (including the new Universal Credit)
- Driving and transport(including car tax, MOT and driving licences)
- Money and tax (including Self Assessment and income tax codes)
- Working, jobs and pensions (including apprenticeships and a job search)
- Crime, justice and the law (including legal processes and consumer rights)
- Passports, travel and living abroad (including travel advice by country)
There is also information and advice about other areas such as education, housing and disability. But if you can't see what you're looking for, you can type a question or subject into the search facility. The more information you can provide, the more useful the list of suggested web pages will be.
Every local council in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has its own website. You can find your local council's website by typing its name into an internet search engine.
Here you'll be able to access lots of information about services in your area. For example, you can find out about waste collection dates, the school admissions process, and how to pay your council tax.
You might also be able to see what leisure facilities there are in your area, search for (or renew) books at your local library, or perhaps find out how to apply for an allotment or funding for a community project.
Government forms and tools
Most government forms and applications are now also available online. This can be very useful if, for instance, you want to fill in a passport application form, renew your car tax, register to vote or book a driving test - to name just a few things.
Once you've found the service you need, you can complete a form online, download it, or you can request a hard copy (paper version) to be sent to you in the post.
You can also use online calculator tools on GOV.UK to estimate levels of benefits or entitlements that you are eligible for.
Safe online payments
If you want to make payments online, public service websites offer you a secure way to do this. You might wish to pay your council tax, VAT bill or Self Assessment tax bill in this way.
A secure website will have a small padlock symbol in the address bar (or elsewhere in your browser window) and the web address will begin with https:// (the s stands for 'secure'). Once you've checked that the site has those two features in place, you can be reassured that your transaction will be safely processed.