TV licence advice for pensioners – avoid the £1,000 Government fine

Last year, the government got rid of free TV licences for over 75s and this weekend the grace period is coming to an end.

The new change means that anyone over 75 must apply for a TV licence by 1 August, unless they claim pension credit – in which case they are exempt.

The TV licence costs £159 per year and you can pay for your TV licence annually or in instalments – typically this is done monthly via a direct debit.

Pensioners caught watching TV without a licence could be charged up to £1,000.

These rules already apply for younger viewers, but could mean a hefty charge for those pensioners unaware.

The licence covers:

  • TV sets
  • computers
  • laptops
  • tablets
  • mobile phones
  • any other device that can receive a TV signal

The BBC have released a statement, saying "in line with general policy, anyone who watches or records live TV programmes on any In channel, or downloads or watches BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, must be covered by a valid TV licence."

How do I get a TV licence?

You can apply for a TV licence either online or over the phone.

Many will want to use the government website.

However, it might be simpler for some to just call up and organise a licence over the phone.

This can be done by calling 0300 790 6096.

How to avoid a TV licence

If you are over 75 and receive pension credit, you are exempt. Call up 0300 790 6165 to avoid a charge.

If you are not exempt and still don't fancy paying, you can legally use the below without a licence:

  • non-BBC programmes on online catch-up services
  • videos or DVDs
  • clips on websites like YouTube
  • closed circuit television (CCTV)

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