Any questions or concerns you have about the need for a TV licence can be easily answered by speaking to the dedicated TV licence team through the telephone number below. The TV Licence phone number is open Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM, and Saturday 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
TV Licensing Service Phone Number:
*Calls to 0844 numbers cost 7p/min + your phone company’s access charge. This is a call connection service, the official phone numbers can be found in the public domain at no cost or on the official website. We are not affiliated or associated with any of the government agencies or companies listed on the site, trademarks are property of their respective owners.
The team can help you set up a payment plan, make adjustments to your payment schedule or even offer advice on if you need a TV licence number.
As a nation, the UK is envied by the world for its strong public service broadcaster, the BBC. However, a company as diverse and as useful as the BBC doesn’t come without a price, and must rely on funding from the taxpayer to continue to produce entertaining, informative and engaging content. This includes content shown on television, and also on the radio and website.
History of the TV licence
The TV licence is a tax that was first introduced in 1946 after the Second World War to fund the service across the UK. At the time it went towards the BBC television service, a black and white channel that was the only television station on offer.
The BBC took control of the TV Licensing Authority in 1991 and took over responsibility of collecting and enforcing the licence fee. These powers are given to them under the Communications Act of 2003.
Do I need a TV licence?
Any household that watches or records live television transmissions as they are being broadcast, whether this is over the internet, satellite, terrestrial or cable, must hold a valid licence. This is also extended to businesses, schools, hospitals and a lot of other organisations throughout the UK.
How much is a TV licence?
A standard television licence in the UK, which will licence an entire household to watch or record live television as it is broadcast will cost £145.50 each year for full-colour televisions.
If you are still in possession of only a black and white TV, then the price of this drops to £49 per year for the entire household.
The price of a TV licence increases every few years, however it has been at the prices above since April 2010.
The price of a TV licence when it was first introduced in 1946 was £2. The modern day equivalent of this would be around £75.
What are the penalties for not having a TV licence?
If you do not own a valid TV licence, then you will receive a letter that will demand that you buy one immediately.
It is a criminal offence to watch or record programmes on TV live without a valid licence. This now extends to include games consoles, DVD players and computers.
If you are caught, you could be prosecuted and have to pay a fine of up to £1,000 in addition to any legal fees.
There are three ways that you can be discovered to be watching TV without a valid licence.
The TV Licensing Authority has a database of over 31 million addresses in the UK, that is up to date and lets them know which addresses do not have a valid TV licence.
All of this authority’s Enforcement Officers have access to this database and will perform regular checks to see whether or not newly inhabited properties are paying for their TV.
Sometimes you may get a visit from an officer and you may have to show your licence on demand. If you have told the TV Licensing Authority that you do not watch television, you may get a visit from an Enforcement Officer to check this.
The latest way that the TV Licensing Authority is checking that the licence fee is being paid is by using a fleet of high-tech vans, that are capable of picking an address and determining whether or not a TV is being used within the property in minutes. If you believe you are in violation then call TV licence phone number immediately to resolve this matter.
Who is exempt from having a TV licence?
You need a licence if anybody in your home or business premises watches or records live TV, regardless of the channel. You will also need it if anyone is watching downloaded shows on services such as BBC iPlayer.
You may not need a licence if you do not have a television, and you don’t use a computer to watch live TV on any channel. You also may not need a licence if you have two properties and you are covered by another licence.
If you are over the age of 74 then you can apply for a free TV licence, however while you don’t need to pay, you must still have a licence to watch TV.
There are two golden rules that if you follow, you won’t need a TV licence, you won’t need to pay anything and you won’t have any trouble from the authorities.
If you don’t watch live programmes – you have nothing to worry about.
If you don’t record live programmes or stream them online – there are no fees to pay.
TV licence loopholes
The TV Licensing Authority has hit the news in recent months over attempts to close the so-called ‘iPlayer loophole’. This loophole means that you can legitimately avoid paying for a TV licence, but still enjoy watching all of the BBC’s shows and channels through catch-up TV.
The reason for the loophole was that when the TV licence was first introduced, the idea of services such as Internet video on demand hadn’t even been conceived yet.
Services such as BBC iPlayer, All4 and ITV Player mean that you could watch your favourite TV shows just a couple of moments after they aired, without the need to have a licence. This is because the show isn’t being broadcast live, and you aren’t judged to have ‘recorded’ it as you are streaming the show from the internet.
The Department for Culture Media and Sport have closed the loophole this summer, and restricted the number of channels that you are able to ‘legally’ stream without needing a licence.
If you need any help deciding whether or not you need a TV licence, contact the TV Licence customer service number listed at the top of the page.