A TV licence is legally required in order to watch any television programme, on any channel, or stream any live television online.
But what if you decided you no longer watch live television, and don't need to keep paying for a TV licence?
How do I cancel my TV licence?
You can cancel your TV licence in several different ways.
You should use the contact form on the TV Licencing website if you pay in full or pay by Direct Debit.
You will have to explain why you are cancelling and state your current address.
You will also need to give your old address, if you have moved.
If you have paid by Direct Debit, you will then need to cancel this with your bank.
Alternatively, if you pay using a TV Licensing card, you should call 03005550286. Lines are open from 8:30am to 6:30pm, Monday to Friday.
It is important to check that you won't need your licence again before it expires.
Once it has expired, you will not be able to watch live TV, stream on services such as YouTube and Sky Go or watch or download from BBC iPlayer.
You will be breaking the law if you do any of this without a TV licence.
Can I cancel my TV licence online?
Yes and no – you can complete part of the process online.
You can apply to cancel by sending an email, but TV Licensing may get in touch with you on the phone or via letter to confirm.
At the moment, TV Licencing is running a reduced operation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This means you should allow for extra time in processing any applications. Phoning could be a quicker option.
Can I just cancel my direct debit for my TV licence?
No. You need to let TV Licensing know that you want to cancel, and they will then stop your Direct Debit for you.
If TV Licensing doesn't hear from you they will still send reminder letters to your address – as if it was unlicensed.
How do I ask for a refund?
People are eligible for a refund if they don't need their licence again, but still have at least one month left before it expires.
You need to fill in a short form to apply.
TV Licensing may also ask for additional, supporting documents.
Refund amounts are calculated using information such as when the licence was issued, its expiry date and when you can show you don't need it from.
Your application will then be assessed and, if successful, a refund will be offered.
But make sure you get the information correct the first time around. TV Licensing does not change refund amounts or reconsider claims once the application has been completed.
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