Am I eligible for a free BBC TV license? How to apply

Published: December 7, 2023

Last Modified: February 7, 2024

Am I eligible for a free BBC TV license?

The BBC TV License fee will rise by £10.50 to £169.50 a year, the Culture Secretary has confirmed.

The household payment, which funds much of the corporation’s operations, had been frozen at £159 and was set to rise in line with inflation next year.

Though the expected 9% increase—which would have meant an increase of around £15 from April 2024—has been reduced, the government said.

However, you may not need to purchase a TV license. This is everything you need to know.

When do I need a BBC TV license?

You do not need a TV license to watch:

  • streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus.
  • on-demand TV through services like All 4 and Amazon Prime Video.
  • videos on websites like YouTube
  • videos or DVDs

You do need a TV license if you:

  • Watch or record live TV on any channel or service.
  • use BBC iPlayer

Am I eligible for a free TV License?

For those of us aged 75 or over who are in receipt of Pension Credit, the TV License can be obtained for free rather than costing £159.

Guidance from TV Licensing says: “Free TV Licenses are only available if you’re 75 or over and you, or your partner living at the same address, are receiving Pension Credit.

“If you think you’re eligible for a free license but can’t apply online, please call 0300 790 6117* and speak to one of our advisors to request an application form (our lines are open between 8.30am and 6.30pm, from Monday to Friday).

“Once we’ve received your application it may take a few weeks to process. If there are any problems we’ll write to let you know. We may also call you if you have given us your phone number.

“There are separate arrangements in place for over 75s on the Isle of Man, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey.”

How much is a BBC TV license?

In 2023, the BBC license fee will rise by £10.50 to £169.50 a year.

Why do I need a BBC TV License?

Why do I need a TV license? A TV license is a legal permission to install or use television receiving equipment to watch live on any channel, TV service, or streaming service, and to use BBC iPlayer*. On any device.

Can you watch BBC without a BBC TV License?

It is not legally possible to watch any BBC TV programmes or channels, or BBC iPlayer, without a valid TV licence.

How do I cancel my BBC TV license?

If you pay for your license with a TV Licensing payment card (cash plan), call 0300 555 0286*. If you pay for your license by Direct Debit, call 0300 790 0368*.

Why is BBC TV License so expensive?

In the UK the BBC doesn’t receive income from advertising, so 90% of the money from TV License payments is spent on BBC programming for TV and radio, as well as funding their website.

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