How to get a TV licence? How much does it cost? I am required to pay for it?
Whether you are a citizen, permanent resident, international student, or employed in the UK, these are important questions that you need an answer to.
If you are new to living in the country, you will definitely need this apart from your other essentials.
In this complete guide, we will discuss the television licensing in the United Kingdom.
Television Licensing in The United Kingdom
A TV licence is required for all households who are watching, streaming, and recording live television broadcasts whether through satellite, terrestrial, cable, and even the Internet.
This applies to the entire United Kingdom and its Crown dependencies as authorised by the Communications Act 2003.
Regardless of which device you are using – computer, cellular phone, game consoles, smart box — the rule remains the same.
Paying the fee is important because it provides you legal permission to access live TV, BBC programmes and the iPlayer and to watch and record channels at any time.
The collected fee helps finance different BBC services.
TV Licence for Businesses
TV Licence of business differs from the standard one for households.
For businesses, educational institutions, hospitals, and other corporations, securing it is a necessity to watch live TV and other broadcasts inside your premises.
Here are a few guidelines for television licensing in the United Kingdom for businesses:
You must comply with this if your business uses any device that streams, watches, and records BBC programmes, online and live TV, and other channels.
This will also allow you to download programmes within your business address. From staff rooms to waiting areas, the entire premises will be covered.
For those who own a single property, then you just need to pay for one license to cover all your devices and employee’s access to that specific address.
3. Having Many Properties
For those who own several properties, each of your property’s addresses needs to have a license.
How to Get a TV Licence – Steps Explained
Let us now learn how you can get the licence. It’s not rocket science, all you need is a little information and follow the rules in place.
Step 1. Determine the Type
First, identify which type of licence you need. If you want access to your residence, you only need one for each address and household.
The number of devices and members of the household do not count.
The same goes for a business one. However, if you have large scale operations or have multiple locations, you can get a Company Group TV licence instead.
This one can give access to all the devices used by your business.
Again, you need to secure this to be able to stream, record, watch both live and online TV programmes.
These include Amazon Prime, Now TV, ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, and almost all broadcast services in the country.
Step 2. Check Corresponding Conditions
Before paying, double check if you fall under special conditions.
For instance, those who are 75 and older and receive pension credit are qualified waived off the fee.
This gives them free access under their name or their spouse’s name as long as they reside in the same household.
For those who are blind and hearing impaired, you are eligible for the 50% concession. The only requirement is any valid proof of your impairment.
On the other hand, there are other cases where you are required to pay for multiple television licences. It is always helpful to be aware of the different conditions first.
Step 3. Pay the Fee
The next step is to pay the licensing fee. As of now, the annual fee for coloured licence costs £157.50 while the black and white costs £53 at the time of writing this article.
There are different methods of payment available such as Direct Debit, through credit card, Paypoint, Bank transfer, and more.
Direct Debit allows you to pay either annually, quarterly, and even monthly.
Once payment is processed, the licence you bought online can be viewed right away through logging in to the TV Licensing UK website.
Simply enter your credentials, postcode, and licence number to verify. You will also receive a confirmation email upon purchase.
Another option is to receive a physical copy of your television licence through the mail. Expect to receive it at your registered address after 10 business days.
How to Avoid Penalties?
You cannot evade the payment since there is a database that contains all the licensed and unlicensed registered addresses in the country.
If identified that you have illegal access to television broadcasts, a penalty will be fined. It can go as high as £1,000.
The UK government has appointed officers that can determine if you do not have a licence.
These officers have permission to visit your home or property for an interrogation. For users who claim that they do not need a television licence, a confirmation process will still take place.
Further, there are also detector vans on standby which can identify whether a receiving device is being used or not.
These vehicles can immediately go to the detected address.
How to Renew your Licence?
To continue your legal access to television broadcasts and BBC online streaming platforms, you need to renew your licence.
Initially, you will be informed of its expiry date after your purchase. A television licence is usually valid for one year. For instance, if you bought it on October 10, 2020, it will end at exactly October 10, 2021.
Which is why it is important to renew it as soon as it expires so you will be able to maximize the entire year.
Late payments will shorten the duration of your access.
How to get a TV licence for your household or business is not as complicated as you think.
It is a requirement for every household and business to access different channels and programmes in the country.
Make sure you also know the criteria and exceptions you are eligible to, if applicable.
Follow this ultimate guide and you will be on the right track!
Further Read: Know how the TV licence guys catch you and how to avoid them?