You are required by law to have a television licence if you have a television set, or any other equipment that is able to receive television programmes such as using the BBCiPlayer online on a smart phone, tablet or computer; recording programmes on VCR; using a set-top box or a smart TV .
This section tries to answer any questions that you may have about your television licence. However, you may also find the TV Licensing website useful.
Free TV licenses and concessions
If you are aged 75 years old or over
Until 2020, everyone aged 75 years old and older is entitled to a free television licence. If you are aged 74 years old and need to renew your license before you turn 75, you can apply for a Short Term licence to cover the months between the expiry date of your current licence and your 75th birthday.
To apply for a Short Term or over 75 licence, call telephone number 0300 790 6071.
If you already have a Short Term licence, you will receive your free television licence automatically in the month of your 75th birthday and you do not need to apply.
This government funded free TV license scheme is coming to an end in 2020. From 2020, if anyone in your household receives Pension Credit you can get a free TV license. Help is available to check if you can claim Pension Credit.
If you are registered blind
If you, or someone you live with, is registered blind, you are entitled to a 50% concession on the cost of your television licence.
To qualify for this concession, you must provide a photocopy of the certificate from your City Council or ophthalmologist indicating that you are registered blind.
If you are not registered as blind but would like to do so, see our section on Visual impairments for information on how to do this.
If you live in a care home or in sheltered housing
People who live in a care home or in sheltered housing may be eligible for a concessionary Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence at an annual cost of £7.50. You should speak to your scheme manager to see if your accommodation is eligible.
- a colour TV Licence costs £154.50
- a black and white TV Licence costs £52
- a colour TV Licence with the blind concession costs £77.25
- a black and white TV Licence with the blind concession costs £26
- you can apply for a free TV licence when you turn 75 until 2020
- if you live in a care home you may qualify for a discounted TV Licence of £7.50. Residents, staff and residents’ families all need a separate licence for their own living area.
Ways to Pay
There are several ways that you can pay for your licence, but it is worth checking first to see if you are eligible for any concessions.
If you are paying for your TV Licence in one go, rather than spreading the cost, you can send a cheque in the post. Write your cheque for the full amount and make it payable to ‘TV Licensing‘. You should also write your name, address and TV Licence number (if renewing) on the back of the cheque.
Setting up a direct debit can be a convenient way to pay for your television licence and you can choose whether to pay in monthly, quarterly or annual instalments. You can set up a direct debit online.
Credit or Debit Card
The savings card has replaced the old television licence savings stamps. It is designed to help you to save towards your television licence in small amounts over the year. You can add to your savings as often as you like by telephoning to make a payment with your credit or debit card, or by taking your card to any PayPoint outlet.
The minimum amount per saving is £2, and you will be sent a quarterly statement to show your total savings, or you can call 0300 555 0281 to check your savings.
To apply for a savings card or to add to your savings by credit/debit card call telephone number 0300 555 0281.
PayPoint outlets are located in newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol stations. When using a PayPoint outlet to buy or to renew your television licence, you can pay by cash, debit card, or savings card.
Cash Payment Plan
The cash payment plan is a payment scheme which allows you to spread the cost of your TV Licence by making regular weekly or monthly payments by cash or credit or debit card via any PayPoint outlet.
Anyone buying a colour TV Licence can join the scheme, and once you’ve joined you will be sent a payment card and payment plan showing exactly how much you should pay towards your TV Licence and when.
If you prefer to pay over the phone, you can do so by credit or debit card. Initially, you will be asked to make payments on a weekly basis, so you’ll pay for your first TV Licence over six months in 26 weekly payments. After this, you can pay towards your next licence in fortnightly payments.
To join the plan telephone 0300 555 0286.
Information in Other Languages
The TV Licensing website has information in Welsh, Bengali, Gujarati, Turkish, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Greek, Punjabi, Arabic and Somali.
Other Useful Information
- LifeBook – Age UK free resource. It can be easy to mislay important documents and information. Record your details from, who insures your car, to where you put the TV licence. The LifeBook can help you to be more organised and could be invaluable to a family member or a friend if they need to locate important information about you in an emergency.
Last updated: August 6, 2019