Ireland TV license: do you need it, how much does it cost and how to get one to avoid fines or even jail time?

If you have a TV, you must have a TV license. An Post is responsible for issuing TV licenses and collecting TV royalties.

However, there are situations in which you may not need a TV license – but you should check, because if you are caught without a license you can face huge fees or even a fine. jail if you don’t pay.

There have been reports of a big blitz planned by inspectors to make sure everyone has their license. TV license inspectors visit homes unexpectedly and without warning, so it’s easy to be caught off guard if you don’t have your license.

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Here’s everything you need to know about TV licensing.

Do I need a TV license?

If you have a television or equipment capable of receiving a television signal (via an antenna, satellite dish, cable or other means), you must have a TV license. This applies even if the TV is broken, as it is considered repairable.

You only need one TV license per household, even if you have multiple TVs in your home.

You don’t need a TV license to watch TV on your computer, phone or other device (such as RTE player or streaming services like Netflix).

However, the computer, telephone or other device must not be able to receive a cable, satellite or antenna television signal.

How to get a TV license?

You can purchase a TV license for the first time:

  • In person, at your local post office (cash, check, credit or debit card, or using TV license registration stamps)
  • Online, via Online TV License
  • By telephone, on (01) 705 8800 (only for credit or debit card transactions)
  • By direct debit, using the forms available from your TV Licensing Office – payments are made monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually

A TV license costs €160 for individuals and companies.

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

If you are over 70, you can benefit from a free TV license as part of the Household. Some people under the age of 70 can also benefit from Cleaning and a free license.

What happens if I don’t pay for my license?

If you haven’t paid for your TV license, you may receive a notice from An Post warning you that you could be sued if you don’t purchase a TV license. A TV inspector might visit your premises to check if you have a television.

If you don’t have a television license to show the inspector, you may face a court appearance. If convicted, you risk a fine of €1,000 for a first offense and €2,000 for repeat offences.

If you’ve been fined and violate court orders ordering you to pay their TV license, you could be jailed.

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