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What about TV licenses?

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Make sure you’re correctly licensed

People who are not correctly licensed risk prosecution and a possible fine of up to £1,000.  TV Licensing understands, however, that some people find it hard to pay the annual fee of £145.50 for a colour TV Licence or £49 for a black and white licence in one go.  For this reason, there are a number of different ways to pay for a TV Licence, including a cash payment plan. The options are as follows:

Payment cards

TV Licensing payment cards make buying a TV Licence easier for those who struggle to pay in one lump sum by allowing them to spread the cost into weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.  They are open to everyone and payments can be made by cash or a debit/credit card at any one of nearly 20,000 PayPoint outlets nationwide or over the phone.

Anyone wishing to find out more about signing up for a cash payment plan should give TV Licensing a call on 0300 790 6078.

Savings card

The TV Licensing savings card is designed to help people save towards the cost of their next TV Licence in small, manageable amounts. People can make a payment at any time either online, by text, at any PayPoint outlet or over the phone. Call 0300 790 6078 for further information.

Using PayPoint

People wishing to pay or save for their TV Licence in person can use PayPoint’s growing network of outlets using cash or debit card payments.  PayPoint outlets can be found in newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets, petrol stations and other retailers. To find their nearest PayPoint, people can visit www.paypoint.co.uk/locator.htm. Alternatively they can call 0300 790 6078 for more information.

Other ways to pay

More people are choosing to pay by Direct Debit, now used by over 12 million licence fee payers, while others choose to pay via our website by using a debit or credit card over the phone or by putting a cheque in the post.

If you would like more information, or want to buy a TV Licence, please call 0300 790 6063 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk.

If you are aged 75 or over

Anyone aged 75 or over is entitled to a free TV Licence. The free licence is now issued and then automatically renewed twice before a further paper licence is sent – it is effectively a free, three year licence.

Although it is free, you do still need to apply for the licence by providing TV Licensing with your date of birth and national insurance number. Once these details are verified, the free licence will continue to be renewed automatically and you won’t need to apply for a new one when it expires. If you do not have a national insurance number, you can ring TV Licensing (0300 790 6073) to arrange other proof of your date of birth.

If your 75th birthday will fall in the year covered by the next licence, you can buy a short-term licence to cover you until your birthday, or you can claim a refund on an existing licence for the months since you reached the age of 75.

Blind concession

There is a 50% discount on the licence fee if you are blind or severely sight impaired (not partially sighted) – £72.75 for a colour TV, £24.50 for black and white.

When your licence is due for renewal, send your renewal form and a photocopy of the certificate from your local authority or ophthalmologist indicating that you are blind or severely sight impaired to Concessionary Licensing Centre, TV Licensing, Bristol BS98 1TL. For further enquiries ring 0300 790 6071.

You need a TV license to use any television receiving equipment, such as a TV set, set-top boxes, video or DVD recorders, computers to watch TV programmes as they are being broadcast. This applies even if you only receive or record programmes broadcast from outside the UK. So if you watch TV and are not covered by a valid TV licence you could be prosecuted and fined up to £1000 and you would still have to buy a licence.

If you do not have a television or any other television receiving equipment, you do not need a license but you must inform TV Licensing so they can update their records.

How much does a TV license cost?

A colour TV license currently costs £138.50 and a black and white TV licence costs £45.50.
If you or someone you lives with is aged 74 or over, you may be able to claim a Short Term TV Licence for 74 year olds or a free Over 75 TV licence.
To apply for a Short Term TV Licence for 74 year olds, or a free Over 75 TV Licence, call 0870 240 3423. You will need to provide your date of birth and National Insurance number. This can be found on your bank statement if your pension is paid directly into your bank account. If you do not have a National Insurance number, call to arrange an alternative proof of date of birth.
If you are registered blind, you can claim a 50% concession on the TV licence fee. You should provide a photocopy of the certificate from your local authority or ophthalmologist indicating that you are registered blind, along with your TV licence number and contact telephone number. Post this document, your details and your cheque payment to: TV Licensing Blind Concession Group, Bristol, BS98 1TL

How do I get a TV licence?

You can buy a TV licence:
• By Direct Debit - You need to have a bank or building society account that accepts Direct Debit. You can pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly. When you have chosen which of the following schemes suits you best, call 0870 240 3423 with your bank details or visit the TV Licensing website Please note that monthly and quarterly options are only available for a colour licence.
Yearly – Your bank or building society will automatically transfer the full licence fee once a year.
Quarterly – TV Licensing will split your licence fee into four equal payments which you pay every three months. A small premium of £1.25 will be added to each of the four payments.
Monthly – If you do not already have a TV licence, you will usually be able to pay for your first one in five equal monthly payments (although the number of months may vary slightly depending on when you apply).

After this you can start paying towards your second licence in 12 monthly instalments of about £11 per month. This means you will make six payments before your second licence begins and six payments afterwards. Once the Direct Debit is set up, future licences can continue to be paid for in this way. The payments will always add up to the same amount as the annual licence fee.
 
• By credit card or debit card – to use a card such as Maestro, Delta, Solo, Visa or MasterCard call 0870 240 3423 and give them your details.
• To pay online – you can pay online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk. You can choose to pay by Direct Debit, credit card or debit card.
• At any PayPoint outlet – you can pay for a full colour TV License by cash or debit card. This is the PayPoint symbol: 
• By Post – simply write a cheque for the full fee made payable to ‘TV Licensing’ with your name, address and licence number on the back and send it to: TV Licensing, Bristol, BS98 1TL.

Would you rather pay in weekly instalments?

If you need to spread the cost of your TV licence, the Cash Easy Entry Scheme lets you pay in weekly instalments from £5.50. Tel  0845 600 0797.

If you need help with TV licences, call TV Licensing on 0870 240 3423 or contact your local Citizens Advice Centre on http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

This information is taken from a leaflet produced by TV Licensing (GAL/03/07/E)