Do you need a TV Licence?

The law is changing. From 1 September 2016 you'll need a TV Licence to watch or download BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. Find out more

You need a TV Licence if you watch or record live TV on any device.

What is live TV?

Any programme you watch or record as it’s being shown on TV or live on an online TV service. For example, live TV can be soaps, movies, series, documentaries and news shows as well as live events like football matches and concerts.

Do I need a TV Licence if don't use a TV?

No matter what device you use, you must be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record live TV. This includes:

  • TV sets
  • Laptops and desktop computers
  • Tablets, mobile phones, satnavs and other portable devices
  • Digital boxes (PVRs), satellite and cable, e.g. Freeview, Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, YouView, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire TV
  • Games consoles
  • DVD, Blu-ray and VHS recorders

What is an online TV service?

Any website, app or smart TV service that lets you watch live TV using the internet, such as BBC iPlayer, All 4, Sky Go, Virgin Media, Now TV, BT Vision, Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video or ITV Hub.

Find out more about watching live TV, watching online and on mobile devices.

No TV? Not watching TV on another device? Empty property?

Please tell us you don't need a TV Licence.

Still unsure if you need a licence?

If you’re still unsure if you need a licence for your home or business or organisation, please select one of the below categories.

For your home

For your business or organisation

You need a TV Licence if anyone on your premises watches or records live TV programmes on a TV that your business has provided. You may also need a licence if they watch or record on any other device. This applies to employees at their desks, in a canteen or staff area, and customers in waiting areas, shop floors or anywhere else.

Find out more about licensing your business or organisation.



If you still have questions take a look at TV Licensing FAQs where you can find all the answers in one place.