Almost everyone who watches live television must obtain a TV Licence to do so, however many of us have purchased a TV Licence when we don't need one.

Every household in the UK is legally required to have a TV licence if they watch or record live TV, regardless of what channel it is on.

But if you do not watch or record live television, then you do not need a TV Licence.

These are the occasions where you do not need a TV Licence.

Do I need a TV Licence?

You do not need a TV Licence to watch:

  • streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus
  • on-demand TV through services like All 4 and Amazon Prime Video
  • videos on websites like YouTube
  • videos or DVDs

You do need a TV Licence if you:

  • watch or record live TV on any channel or service
  • use BBC iPlayer

Are you eligible for a free TV Licence?

For those of us aged 75 or over who are in receipt of Pension Credit, the TV Licence can be obtained for free rather than costing £159.

Guidance from TV Licensing says: “Free TV Licences are only available if you’re 75 or over and you, or your partner living at the same address, are receiving Pension Credit.

“If you think you’re eligible for a free licence but can’t apply online, please call 0300 790 6117* and speak to one of our advisors to request an application form (our lines are open between 8.30am and 6.30pm, from Monday to Friday).

Tivyside Advertiser:

“Once we’ve received your application it may take a few weeks to process. If there are any problems we’ll write to let you know. We may also call you if you have given us your phone number.

“There are separate arrangements in place for over 75s on the Isle of Man, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey.”

How to get a refund on your TV Licence

Even if you do not meet the eligibility criteria for a free TV Licence you may be able to get some money back on yours, so long as it is no longer needed.

If you have already purchased a TV licence but do not watch or record live TV, or stream BBC iPlayer, you could be entitled to a refund worth £159.

Households across the UK can apply for a refund if you won’t need your licence again before it expires, and you have at least one complete month left on it or the licence fee for you expired less than two years ago.

You can apply for a refund online here.

The amount you will be due in a refund will be worked out by TV Licensing, the organisation that issues TV licences.

They explain how they work out the amount you will be due here: “Any refund due is calculated in unused months. You must have at least one complete month left on your licence that you won’t need before it expires.

“So, you could get a refund for between one and 11 months, depending on how long you have left on your licence.

“You won’t be eligible for a refund if there is less than one month between the cancellation date and the expiry date.