Do you need a TV Licence?

Do you need a TV Licence?

The answer is Yes …and No

You do need a TV licence for the following

  • If you watch or record TV on any channel
  • Watch live streaming
  • Use BBC I Player

Do you need a TV Licence?

You do not need a TV licence for the following

  • You do not watch or record any TV on any channel via any TV Service
  • You do not watch any streaming services
  • You do not use BBC I Player
  • If your home is empty and no one is living there

Do you need a TV Licence for Netflix?

The good news is that you do not need a TV Licence if you only watch Nextflix  or other online TV Services to watch on demand or catch up. Except if you are going to watch BBC programmes on BBC I Player

How to cancel your TV Licence

If you decide to cancel your TV Licence you must contact the TV Licensing Team. There is no legal requirement to contact them if you do not want to. However they may still write to you or even visit you.

You can cancel your license by completing the refund and canellation request form from the TV Licensing Team.

Once they have received it your licence will be cancelled and any monies due to you will be refunded. While you do not need to cancel your Direct Debit (they will do that for you) it may be good ideal to cancel if you feel you need to.

You will be required to then complete a TV Declation Form as this covers people who do not need a TV licence.

You can fill out a no licence needed declation form and make sure you keep a record of this as evidence you have cancelled

Please be aware that a member of the TV LIcensing team could visit. It is stated that inspectors can visit up to one in five households. If they find that you do need a TV Licence you could be fined up to £1000 (£2000 in Guernsey) and you would also have to pay the full licence fee.


Many people think that Students do not need a TV Licence when they go to University. After all they think because their parents have a TV Licence then they will be covered when they move out to go to University. That is not the case

Students need a TV licence if the following apply

If wathing or streaming live TV as it is aired. This also includes using laptops, phone or tablet

If the student records live TV and watches it later

If any programmes are being watched on BBC or BBC I player

Students do not need a TV licence if the following apply

The student is only watching on demand or catch up channels including Netflix or NowTV

The student is watching live TV from a device that is powered by its own batteries and the parents have a TV licence at home – A good example of this if the student is watching TV on their phone or laptop when it is not plugged into a socket and currently charging


Do you need a TV Licence?

If you are on holiday in a Caravan and no one is at your main home watching TV then you do not need a second TV Licence. However if there is going to be someone at your home for example a House sitter who may watch the TV then you will need a second TV Licence.

Touring Caravans and motorhoes are covered by the TV Licenec at the holders home address.

Clarification on when you need a TV Licence and when you do not

What you can watch without a TV Licence

  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime (on demand)
  • Now TV
  • ITV Hub (on demand)
  • All4 (Catch up)
  • Any other on demand service or catch up including You Tube, My5 and Disney plus

When you need a TV Licence

  • You are watching or streaming programes that are big shown live on TV
  • Watching any BBC I Player programmes on any device
  • You have recorded live TV on any device and then watch it back

I hope this has proved useful and as you can see it can be very confusing and at least by knowing the right thing to do you will not face a fine and thus saving you money in the long term.


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