How to get a TV licence

You need to have a valid TV licence if you:

  • watch or record live TV programmes on any channel
  • download or watch programmes on BBC iPlayer.

Live TV means any programme you watch or record as it’s being shown on television – not just live events, such as sport or music.

Even if you don’t have a television, you may still need a TV licence for other viewing devices, such as a computer, laptop, tablet, digital box, games console or DVD recorder.

You can apply for a TV licence on the TV Licensing website or by post, phone or at any PayPoint. There are various ways to pay and you can spread the costs.

Free TV licence if you're 75 or over and getting Pension Credit

The free TV licence scheme for people aged 75 or over has changed. From 1 August 2020, the government is no longer funding free licences and you need to apply to the BBC.

Under the new scheme, you will be eligible to apply for a free TV licence if you’re aged 75 or over and getting Pension Credit. This can be Savings Credit or Guarantee Pension Credit. Pension Credit can be in your name or in your partner’s name if you’re a couple and living at the same address.  

How to apply

You can apply for a free licence online or by phone. You’ll also need to send proof that you - or your partner - are receiving Pension Credit. This could be a photocopy of one of the following:

  • your decision letter from the Department for Work and Pensions or the Pension Service
  • a bank statement showing your Pension Credit payment
  • a Warm Home Discount letter.

Any evidence should be dated within the last 12 months.

If you get a free TV licence, it covers you and anyone else you live with, no matter how old they are. If the household's licence is in someone else's name, you’ll need to give the current licence number when you apply for your free licence.

What happens if I already have a free TV licence?

If you or your partner are getting Pension Credit, you can apply for a free licence by signing into your account. The BBC will also send an application form through the post to all over-75 TV licence holders.

If you’re not receiving Pension Credit in your name or your partner’s, you’ll need to pay for your next TV licence. You should get a letter from the BBC explaining how you can pay.

To find out if you’re eligible for Pension Credit, use our benefits calculator or call our Helpline and arrange to speak to an adviser.

Other discounts

If you’re registered blind or severely sight-impaired, you can apply for a 50% discount on your TV licence. You can find out how to apply on the TV licensing website.

You’ll need to send a copy of one of the following:

  • a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI)
  • a BD8 certificate
  • a certificate or document from a local council showing that you’re registered as blind (severely sight impaired).

Your discounted licence will also cover anyone else who lives with you.

You won’t be able to get a discount if you’re partially sighted (sight-impaired).

If you need information in alternative formats, such as Braille or audio, or you need other adjustments because of a disability, contact TV licensing on 0300 790 6076.

Beware of TV licence scams

Scammers have been targeting TV licensing customers. You may receive emails telling you that your licence is about to expire or that you need to make an urgent payment, or you may be told you’re entitled to a refund. You may also be contacted by text or phone.

Scam emails can look very convincing. TV Licensing has advice on how to spot a TV licence scam, such as checking the sender’s email address and your customer number. They also have advice about scam texts and phone calls.

Visit our scams pages to find out more about how you can protect yourself and what to do if you have been scammed.

Next steps

For more information or to sign in to your TV licence, go to tvlicensing.co.uk

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