How to tell us you don't watch TV

If you don’t watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV, on any device, you don’t need a TV Licence. Here’s how you can let us know.

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A reminder of the law

The law states that you need to be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record television programmes, on any device, as they're being shown on TV. This includes TVs, computers, mobile phones, games consoles, digital boxes and Blu-ray/DVD/VHS recorders.

You don't need a licence if you don't use any of these devices to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV - for example, if you use your TV only to watch DVDs or play video games, or you only watch ‘catch up’ services like BBC iPlayer or 4oD.

Letting us know you don’t need a TV Licence

Once you are sure you will not watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV, using any device, then please let us know. This helps us to keep our database up to date and means you won't receive the letters we send to unlicensed addresses.

In most cases you just need to complete the online declaration form. But if you already have a TV Licence and think you may be entitled to a refund or are paying by Direct Debit or TV Licensing payment card follow the links below:

Refund of current TV Licence
If you have any quarters (3, 6 or 9 months) left on your TV Licence and you will not watch or record TV again before the licence expires you can apply for a refund. Please make it clear in your application that you will still be residing at the same address.
Cancel your Direct Debit or TV Licensing Payment Card first
If you have no quarters left on your licence and pay by Direct Debit or TV Licensing Payment Card, we will cancel your payment scheme and update our records to show you no longer need a TV Licence.

If you want to cancel a TV Licence for another reason, please visit our cancellations and refunds page.

If you have already told us you don't watch or record TV and your circumstances have now changed, please let us know.

If you think that you've already told us you don't need a licence, but you'd like to check, please fill in the online form.

What happens next

When we receive your declaration, we'll send you confirmation of the next steps.

If your declaration is for your home

Once our records have been updated, you won't receive any more letters or emails from us for almost two years. We'll then get in touch to check whether your circumstances have changed. As many people move home or change their circumstances we're not able to put a permanent stop on letters.

If your declaration is for your business or organisation

Once our records have been updated, you won't receive any further letters from us for almost three years. We'll then get in touch shortly before the end of the three year period to check whether your circumstances have changed.

If your declaration is for your student accommodation

Once our records have been updated, you won't receive any more letters from us until the beginning of the next academic year. We'll then get in touch to see if your circumstances have changed. As many people move at the end of the academic year, we're not able to put a permanent stop on letters.

In all cases, we may need a couple of minutes of your time

As it is our duty to ensure that everyone in the UK who needs a licence has one, we may visit your address to check that no licence is required. It's unfortunately necessary to do this, as when we make contact on these visits, almost one in five people are found to need a TV Licence. Please be assured that this is a routine visit, and will take no more than a few minutes. If we find during the visit that you do in fact need a licence, you'll need to pay the full licence fee, and you could risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

If your situation changes

If you move address

If you move home and still don't need a licence, please remember to tell us you've moved so we can update our records. You can give us your new details by using our contact us form. Please include both your old and new address details.

If you now want to watch TV

If you have told us that you don't need a TV Licence, but you do now want to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV, you must buy a licence. If you are not licensed when you should be, you may face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

You can choose to pay with a debit or credit card or by Direct Debit. Find out about different ways to pay for your licence.

A TV Licence costs £145.50 for colour, or £49.00 for black and white.

TV Licensing No Licence Needed Policy document

Our official No Licence Needed Policy document is available below:

  TV Licensing - No Licence Needed Policy (PDF - 64KB opens in a new window)

To view these documents, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is a piece of software you can download free.