If you have a TV, you must have a TV licence.
A TV licence costs €160 a year 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 when you need one.
Do I need a TV licence?
If you have a TV, you must have a TV licence. This applies even if the TV is broken, as it is capable of being fixed. If you have other equipment capable of receiving TV signals (for example by using an aerial, satellite dish or cable), you must also have a TV licence.
You only need one TV licence for your whole house, even if you have multiple TVs 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 or apartment.
I have a Smart TV
You need a TV licence if you have a Smart TV, even if you only use the TV for streaming. This is because the TV is capable of receiving TV signals.
Watching TV on your computer, phone or other device
You don’t 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 TV signal by cable, satellite or aerial.
Living in rented accommodation
If you are renting and there is a TV, you must have a TV licence. This applies whether you or the landlord owns the TV.
If you have a TV in your second home, or holiday home, you must get a separate licence for this house. This is the case even if you already have a TV licence for your main home.
If you have TVs in your office or business premises, you need a TV licence. One TV licence covers all TVs at your business premises. If you have more than one business premises, then you also need separate TV licences for each address.
Moving to Ireland from another country
If you have moved to Ireland, you can’t transfer a TV licence from overseas. You must buy a new licence here. This is the case even if you are living 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.
Getting your first time 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 (01) 705 8800 (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
A TV licence costs €160 a year for both homes and businesses.
Your first TV licence 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, the new licence is valid for 12 months.
Who qualifies for a free TV licence?
If you are 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.
You must select the TV licence option on the form when you apply for the Household Benefits Package.
If you qualify, you become eligible for a free licence from the next renewal date of your existing licence.
The Department of Social Protection issues you with your free licence and also tells An Post you are entitled to a free licence for as long as you are entitled to the Household Benefits Package.
Renewing your 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). Bring your reminder notice so that the barcode can be scanned at the counter
- Online, through TV Licence Online. You need the 17 digit TV reference number and 5 digit PIN so that you can log on.
- By phone, on (01) 705 8800 (for credit or debit card transactions only). You need the 17 digit TV reference number.
How long is the licence valid?
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 2022 but you are late renewing and only pay for it on 1 March 2022. The new licence is valid from 1 February 2022 to 31 January 2023.
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 or email your local TV Records office. You will get a new PIN each year.
Changing your personal details
If you are moving house, you can transfer your TV licence to your new address.
Bring your licence to your nearest An Post office, with evidence of your new address (for example a household utility bill or a bank statement). An Post will update your details and reissue the licence for free.
You can also 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.
If you don’t pay your TV licence
If you have not paid your TV licence, you can get a notice from An Post to warn you that you could be prosecuted if you don't buy a TV licence.
A TV licence inspector can visit your home to check if you have a TV.
If you don't have a TV licence to show the inspector, you could 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.
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.
7% of revenue from the TV licence fees is paid to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for the Broadcasting Fund. It is used to support the production of programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience and programmes to improve adult literacy.
The remaining revenue (approximately 85%) from TV licence fees goes to RTÉ to carry out its public service broadcasting commitments.
For general TV licence queries, contact your local TV Licence Records Office.