Do students need a TV Licence?

Whether you’re a student, a parent or you provide student accommodation, find out when a TV Licence is needed and how much it costs.

Know The Facts

When you need a TV Licence

The law still applies to students. You must be covered by a TV Licence to:

This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.

A TV Licence costs £147 a year

You can pay in one go, or spread the cost weekly, monthly or quarterly. You can buy and manage your licence online. And if you don’t need your licence for a full 12 months, you could apply for a refund.

Are you already covered?

A halls communal licence won’t cover your room. But you may be covered by your parents’ licence. If you think you are, please check that all of the following are true before telling us you don’t need one:

  • Your out-of-term address (parents’ address) is covered by a TV Licence
  • AND you only use TV receiving equipment that is powered solely by its own internal batteries
  • AND you have not connected it to an aerial or plugged it into the mains.

If you don’t need a licence, you still need to tell us

Before you tell us you don’t need a TV Licence it’s worth checking carefully. We do make visits to confirm that a licence isn’t needed. This is necessary because we find almost 1 in 6 people who have told us they don’t need a licence actually do need one. If you are sure, tell us you don’t need a TV Licence.

Still have questions?

What if I live in a house or flat share?
  • If you have a separate tenancy agreement for your room, you’ll need your own TV Licence too.
  • If you have a joint tenancy agreement for an entire house or flat, you’ll probably need one licence to cover the whole property.

If you are still uncertain about the rules for tenancies, please check our advice for tenants and lodgers.

How do I ask for a refund?

If you are going home for the summer – and won’t need the licence you bought to cover you in term time – you may be able to get a refund. See if you’re eligible for a refund.

What if I move?

Your licence won’t automatically move with you. Once you know where you’re moving to, and when, update your details to stay covered.

What support do you offer halls managers?

Our collection of resources for halls managers includes imagery in handy formats to print and display in communal areas or for use in your emails, websites or social media.

I let to students. What do I need to know?

We offer detailed information and advice for residential landlords.

What happens if I don’t buy a licence?

You could be prosecuted if we find that you have been watching or recording live TV programmes on any channel or device, or downloading or watching BBC programmes on iPlayer, without being covered by a licence. The maximum penalty is a £1,000* fine plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay.

*The maximum fine is £2,000 in Guernsey and £500 in Jersey.

 

General information about TV Licensing is available in other languages: