TV Licence

A TV Licence is required in the UK if you watch or record live TV on any device, including a TV, mobile phone tablet or a computer.

LICENCE Name

TV Licence

AUTHORITY

TV Licensing

TIME TO GET LICENCED 3 days
COST £150
VALID FOR 12 months
ELIGIBILITY UK Citizen
QUALIFICATION(S) NEEDED N/A
STEPS
1 Apply for a new TV Licence
Visit - https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/
2 Renew an existing TV Licence
Visit - https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/
Get Licenced

Find Your Course

What is a TV Licence?

In the UK, you need to have a TV Licence to:

watch or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device as they’re broadcast

download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand

This could be on any device within the household, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.

The requirement to hold a TV Licence and to pay a fee for it is mandated by law under the Communications Act 2003 and the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004.

Since 1991, the BBC, in its role as the relevant licensing authority, has been responsible for collecting and enforcing the TV Licence fee. The billions of pounds generated by TV Licence holders in the UK goes towards all the BBC’s activities, including its family of TV channels, websites, BBC iPlayer and more.

How to apply

A standard TV Licence costs £150.50.

You can buy a TV licence online for the first time or renew an existing one on the TV licensing website using your credit or debit card. Alternatively, you can set up a direct debit which allows you to pay for your licence monthly, quarterly or annually.

To apply or to renew a TV Licence please visit the Official TV Licensing Website.

Who is exempt from paying the TV licence?

There are some sections of society who don’t have to pay the TV licence or maybe get a reduced fee, this includes:

People over the age of 75 - after your 75th birthday, you are entitled to a free TV Licence. It covers you as well as anyone you live with. To apply for a free TV Licence if you are over the age of 75 please click HERE.

Those who are blind or partially sighted – you can apply for a 50% concession if you are resisted blind or severely sight impaired. This will also cover anyone who lives with you. To apply for a blind TV license if you are resisted blind or severely sight impaired please click HERE.

People living in sheltered accommodation or care homes – As a resident of a residential care home, supported housing or sheltered accommodation you may be able to benefit from a concessionary TV Licence. This is known as an Accommodation for residential care (ARC) licence. To apply for a ARC licence please click HERE.

Fines and penalties

You could be prosecuted if you are found to have been watching, recording or downloading programmes illegally. The maximum penalty is a £1,000. This also includes any legal costs and compensation you may be ordered to pay.

FAQs

A TV Licence costs £150.50 for a colour and £50.50 for a black and white TV Licence.
A TV Licence lasts for 12 months from the time you purchase. You will need to renew it every 12v months. Further information on how to renew your TV licence can be found HERE.
If you do not have valid TV licence, you risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000. This also includes any legal costs and compensation you may be ordered to pay.
No. You cannot be imprisoned for TV licence evasion in itself, although you can be imprisoned for non-payment of a fine imposed by the court.
No, you do not need a TV Licence to own or possess a television set. However, you will need a TV Licence if you use that TV.
Yes, you still need a TV Licence, even if you do not watch any BBC channels. The licence fee is not a subscription to watch BBC programmes but mandated by law. Under the Communications Act 2003, the BBC in its role as the licensing authority has a duty to issue TV Licences and collect the licence fee.
No. You don’t need a TV Licence if you only use your TV for gaming. That’s as long as you never watch or record live TV on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. This applies to any device you use.
Yes, you still need a licence, even if you only watch or record programmes broadcast from outside the UK.
Yes. You are required to have a TV licence to watch BBC iPlayer.
Yes. If you subscribe to Sky you must have a TV licence to cover your home.
No, you do not need a TV licence if you only ever use services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime to watch on demand or catch-up programmes. However, if you watch BBC programmes on iPlayer then a TV licence will be required.
No. You only need a licence if you actually watch live TV or use BBC iPlayer. So, if you've got an aerial on your roof/satellite dish/TV with built-in Freeview but you do not actually watch live TV, then you will not need a TV Licence.
No. You don’t need to buy a TV licence if you only use your TV to watch DVDs, Blu-rays or videos,
If you only watch programmes via catch-up websites or apps on computers or tablet devices, then you do not need a TV Licence.
No. Watching videos on social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat do not require a TV Licence.