What is a TV licence and do I need one?

In the UK, you need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

a) watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, and

b) download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

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

What happens if I don’t have a TV licence?
If you do any of the above without a valid licence, you risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000*, plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay. You will also still have to buy a TV Licence if you need one.

Only watching non-UK satellite programmes?
You still need a licence, even if you only watch or record programmes broadcast from outside the UK.

How much does it cost?

A colour TV Licence costs £145.50 a year. You can pay in one go, or spread the cost weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly – whatever’s best for you.

Click here to find out the different ways to pay for a TV Licence.

We are unable to offer a discount or a shorter length TV Licence to students. But we do offer refunds. Find out if you are eligible for a refund here.

Don’t need a licence?

You don’t need a licence if you never watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV (or live on an online TV service) and you don’t watch or download BBC programmes on iPlayer.

Please let us know at tvlicensing.co.uk/noTV or by calling 0300 790 6044.

To read this information in a different language, click here.


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