How to get free TV licence – Are you eligible under new BBC rules?

Everything you need to know about the BBC's new free TV license scheme and whether you're eligible.

TV license

The BBC has announced that it will waive its TV license fee for households that include someone over-75 in receipt of Pension Credit, making them eligible under the new scheme.


The broadcaster has also promised that the implementation of the scheme will be “COVID-19 safe,” as no one needs to leave their home to claim for a free TV license.

Read on for everything you need to know about the scheme, and whether you or someone you know may be eligible.

Who’s eligible for free TV licenses?

The new scheme means households – which include someone aged over 75 who receives Pension Credit – will be eligible for a free, BBC-funded TV licence.

The BBC said in a statement that “around 1.5 million households could be eligible and 450,000 have already applied for a free licence”.

According to the BBC, the changes will come into effect on 1st August 2020. People aged 75 or over will remain fully covered by their existing free licence until 31st July.

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is extra money for pensioners whose weekly income is less than a minimum amount, which in the UK is £173.75 (for single people) or £265.20 (for couples).

To find out whether you’re eligible for Pension Credit, and to calculate how much money you’d be entitled to from the government, click here.

How to pay TV license fee

The BBC’s new free license plans will mean that some people who were previously eligible will now have to pay for their license. The broadcaster also announced that it has set up special call centres have been set up to help you navigate these changes.

The BBC says no one needs to take any immediate action or leave their home in order to claim their free TV license or pay for one.

TV Licensing will be writing to all over-75 license holders with information and guidance on how to proceed.

You now have a range of payment options if you’d prefer not to pay everything in one go, with the choice to pay in weekly, fortnightly and monthly instalments.

To pay for your license, you can visit TV License website.


To catch BBC programming, check out what’s on with our TV guide.