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.