TV licences

Introduction

You must have a TV licence if you have a TV capable of receiving television broadcasts. An Post is responsible for issuing TV licences and collecting TV licence fees.

The annual fee for a TV licence is €160 for both homes and businesses. If you are over 70, you are entitled to a free TV licence under the Household Benefits package.

You can be fined up to €1,000 (or €2,000 for subsequent offences) if you do not have a TV licence.

Do I need a TV licence?

If you have a TV, or equipment capable of receiving a television signal (using an aerial, satellite dish, cable or other means), you must have a TV licence. This applies even if the TV is broken, as it is considered capable of being repaired.

You only need one TV licence per household, regardless of how many TVs you have in your home.

If you are living in an apartment or flat and have a TV, you need your own TV licence. A separate licence is required for each separate flat, apartment or other dwelling in a building.

Watching TV on your computer, phone or other device

You do not need a TV licence to watch television on your computer, phone or other device (for example, RTÉ Player or streaming services like Netflix).

However, the computer, phone or other device must not be capable of receiving a television signal by cable, satellite or aerial.

Living in rented accommodation

If you are living in rented accommodation and there is a TV in the premises, you must have a TV licence. This applies whether you or the landlord owns the TV.

Second homes

If you have a TV in your second home, or holiday home, you must get a separate licence for this household. This applies even if you already have a TV licence for your main residence.

Business premises

If you have TVs in your office or business premises, you need a TV licence. One TV licence covers all TVs at a single business premises. If you have more than one business premises, then you also need separate TV licences for each of these addresses.

Moving to Ireland from another country

If you have moved from another country to Ireland, you cannot transfer a TV licence from overseas and must buy a new licence here. This applies even if you are residing in Ireland for a short time. Each TV licence is only valid in Ireland and lasts for 1 year. If you leave the country before it expires, you cannot get a refund on the fee paid.

How do I get a TV licence?

You can buy a TV licence for the first time:

  • In person, at your local An Post office (using cash, cheque, credit or debit card or by using TV licence saving stamps)
  • Online, through TV Licence Online
  • By phone, on Lo-call 1890 228528 (for credit or debit card transactions only)
  • By direct debit, using forms available from your TV Licence Records Office – payments are by monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly instalments

The annual fee for a TV licence is €160 for both homes and businesses.

When you buy your first-time licence, it is valid until the end of the 11th month following the month it was issued. For example, if the licence was issued in the middle of April it is valid until the end of March the following year. When you renew it at the end of that period, the new licence is valid for 12 months.

Who qualifies for a free TV licence?

If you are aged over 70, you can get a TV licence free as part of the Household Benefits Package. Some people under 70 may also qualify for the Household Benefits Package and a free licence.

If you qualify, you become eligible for a free licence from the next renewal date of your existing licence. You must select the TV licence option on the form when you apply for the Household Benefits Package.

When you are awarded a free licence, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issues you with a licence and also notifies An Post of your entitlement to a free licence for as long as you are entitled to the Household Benefits Package.

You can find out more about the Household Benefits Package.

How do I renew my TV licence?

When your licence is due for renewal, you will receive a reminder by post or by email.

You can renew your TV licence:

  • In person, at your local An Post office (using cash, cheque, credit or debit card or by using TV licence saving stamps)
  • Online, through TV Licence Online
  • By phone, Lo-Call 1890 228528 (for credit or debit card transactions only)
  • By direct debit, using forms available from your TV Licence Records Office – payments are by monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly instalments

You need the following information to renew:

  • Post office: a reminder notice so that the barcode can be scanned at the counter
  • Online: the 17 digit TV reference number and 5 digit PIN so that you can log on
  • Phone: the TV reference number

Your new licence is valid from the date the old licence expires. This applies even if you paid for it later than the expiry date. For example, your licence expires on 31 January 2020 but you are late renewing and only pay for it on 1 March 2020. The new licence is valid from 1 February 2020 to 31 January 2021.

Where can I find my TV licence number?

Your TV licence number (or TV reference number) is a 17 digit number shown on your renewal notice, together with your 5 digit PIN. If you don’t have these details, you need to write to your local TV Records office. You will get a new PIN each year.

How do I change my personal details?

If you are moving house, you can transfer your existing TV licence to your new address.

To do this, you must bring your licence to your nearest An Post office, together with evidence of your new address (which can be a household utility bill or a bank statement). An Post will update your details and reissue the licence for free.

Alternatively, you can go online to update your TV licence records. You will need your TV licence number and PIN.

You can change other personal details in the same way - either online or at your nearest An Post office.

Your change of address or other personal details will be updated on the TV licence database within 10 working days.

What happens if I don’t pay my TV licence?

An Post keeps a database of every premises which should have a TV licence. The database is regularly updated.

If you have not paid your TV licence, you may receive a notice from An Post to warn you that you could be prosecuted if you fail to buy a TV licence. A TV inspector could visit your premises to verify if a TV.

If you cannot produce evidence of a TV licence to an inspector you may face a court appearance. If convicted, you could be fined €1,000 for a first offence and €2,000 for subsequent offences.

If you have been fined and you breach court orders directing you to pay their television licence, you can be imprisoned.

If you receive a TV licence notice but do not have a TV set in your home or business premises, you should fill out Statutory Declaration Form (PDF) and return it to your local TV Licence Records Office.

Where does the TV licence fee go?

An Post is the designated body, under the Broadcasting Act 2009, that issues TV licences and collects fees on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. The Department pays a commission from TV licence fee receipts to An Post for this work.

The Act also provides for 7% to be paid to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for the Broadcasting Fund. The Broadcasting Fund, also known as the Sound & Vision scheme, is used to support the production of:

  • High quality programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience, and
  • Programmes to improve adult literacy

The remaining revenue (approximately 85%) that is generated from the TV licence fees received goes to RTÉ to carry out its public service broadcasting commitments.

Further information

For general TV licence queries, contact your local TV Licence Records Office.

TV Licence Records Office

An Post

1-2 Upper O'Connell Street
Freepost
Dublin 1
Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)1 7058800

An Post

Consumer Services

G.P.O
FREEPOST
O'Connell Street
Dublin 1
Ireland

Tel: (01) 705 7600
Locall: Callsave 1850 575 859
Fax: (01) 809 0900

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

29-31 Adelaide Road
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353 1 678 2000
Locall: 1890 449 900
Fax: +353 1 678 2449
Page edited: 25 June 2020