Are you entitled to a free TV license?

Many people don’t realise that once you reach 75 you can get a free TV license. For others, the world of internet TV has changed the range of things you need a licence for – and it’s worth making sure that you are covered. A single household licence will mean you can use internet TV away from home.

Who needs a television licence?

You need a TV Licence to use any television-receiving equipment to watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on TV. These include programmes on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, cable and satellite television. Television-receiving equipment includes:

  • TV  sets
  • set-top  boxes
  • DVD  recorders
  • video  recorders
  • computers  and laptops
  • mobile phones or other battery-operated devices
  • games consoles.

You don’t need a television licence if a TV set cannot receive TV programmes and is used only:

  • for  close circuit monitoring
  • for watching pre-recorded videos or DVDs
  • as a  computer monitor
  • to  play computer games.

You don’t need a TV licence if you only ever watch catch-up services, like BBC i-Player, that let you watch programmes after they have been broadcast.

How much is a television licence?

There are set fees for colour and black and white television licences. The current fees are: 

Type    of licence
Black   and white television £49.00
Colour   television and/or video recorder £145.50

You’re entitled to a free TV licence when you turn 75. If you’re 74, you can apply for a short term license to cover you up to your 75th birthday. You will still need to apply for your free license, but will get a three year license. You will need your national insurance number, and can apply online at or by phoning 0300 790 6131.

You’re entitled to a 50% reduction in your TV license fee, if you’re certified as either blind or severely sight impaired

If you do get in to trouble for not getting a licence we can give you advice.

For help from Salford Citizens Advice visit your local bureau in Eccles, Irlam and Cadishead, SalfordCity, Swinton, Walkden or at Salford Royal.

Telephone our advice line: 0844 826 9695 (if calling from a landline or if calling from a mobile 0300 456 2554).

For more details of our service visit our website at:

Tom Togher.