Understanding your TV Licence

The law has changed. Your TV Licence now also covers you to download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer. Find out more

You need a valid TV Licence if you use TV receiving equipment to watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV. ‘TV receiving equipment’ means any equipment which is used to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV. This includes a TV, computer, mobile phone, games console, digital box, DVD/VHS recorder or any other device.

If you don’t have a TV Licence, here’s some more information to help you check if you need one.

What your TV Licence covers

What your TV Licence covers

For a main home or business It covers the installation and use of TV receivers at the premises specified on the licence.
For a vehicle, boat or touring caravan used as your second home

It covers:

  • The current licence holder
  • Anyone who normally lives with them at the licensed premises
  • Anyone who normally works at the licensed premises (as long as the vehicle, boat or caravan is being used for business purposes)
For a static caravan, mobile home or moveable chalet used as your second home You’re covered by your main home’s TV Licence, as long as you or your family don’t watch TV in both premises at the same time.
At any location Any device powered solely by its own internal batteries (i.e. it is not connected to an aerial or plugged into the mains).


What your TV Licence doesn’t cover

Parts of your premises which are separate from the main premises.  This may include areas occupied by tenants, lodgers or paying guests. It may also include self-contained units on the premises.

A black and white TV Licence does not cover the use of colour TV receiving equipment, such as a digital box. The only exception is if it's only used with a black and white TV set and the equipment can’t record TV.

Conditions of your TV Licence

The licence fee must be paid (unless it is a free over 75 TV Licence) either in full or according to a payment plan agreed with TV Licensing.

We reserve the right to cancel or revoke a licence, or modify its conditions by publishing a notice. This notice may be published on the BBC's website or in other national communications.

Our officers may visit the licensed place at any time to check that our records are correct and inspect TV equipment. However, you don’t have to let them into your home or business.

You must not deliberately cause interference to any other radio or TV reception with your TV equipment.

Find out how long a licence lasts.

Find out more about TV Licence legislation and policy.

Your licence is issued on behalf of the BBC as the licensing authority under the Communications Act 2003.

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