What Happens If I Don't Pay My TV License?

What Happens If I Don’t Pay My TV License? – [Quick Answer!]

For watching “live TV” you have to pay for your TV license.

Not paying for a TV license will lead you to face a fine because it is a criminal act. In case if you are unable to pay a fine imposed by court then you will be imprisoned.

Additionally, there are some concessions in TV licenses for people of 75 years or more.

Non-paid TV licenses come with many penalties. If you want to know about the consequences of not paying your TV license then read this guide.

Outcomes Of Not Paying For My TV License:

If you don’t pay for a TV license, you may face fine and criminal records. To avoid any serious consequences you have to pay license fees on time.

If you watch TV without a license firstly the police give you a warning letter or an inspector may come to warn you.

example of tv license

One important thing is that legally police cannot enter your house. Because when police visit you for the first time they do not come with a warrant that needs to enter your home.

However, if you do not allow them to enter your house, next time they will come with a court order to legally enter your home because you are suspected of committing a crime.

After entering your home, police ask you for your TV set and search for evidence. Additionally, they can also write down your answers to conduct an honest and accurate investigation.

You have to face police investigations if you don’t pay your TV license because it’s the police job to conduct investigations and enforce law.

Concessions And Penalties Of TV License:

People who don’t pay for a TV license may have to face its consequences in the form of fines and imprisonment. Below we discuss some cases in which you get concessions and penalties for TV licenses.


You can apply for TV license concessions in some cases. There are some specific conditions to apply for concession like if you are older than 75 years and receive pension credit, or you are blind or severely sight impaired then you can apply for a free license.

You have to provide proper evidence, in this way you can get a 50% blind concession on TV license. Moreover, there won’t be any reduction for partially sighted viewers.


If you don’t pay for the TV license you may face a £1000 fine for it. If you watch “live TV” without any license then it is against the law.

The TV license department has enforced police officers that carry out checks. If they find you watching “live TV” without paying for a license, you may end up with a fine around £1000.

However, police cannot imprison you for not paying for a TV license. But you can be imprisoned for not paying the fine imposed by the officer.

Cost Of A TV License:

The cost of a TV license varied for every region.

The cost of a TV license for colored TV is £150.5/year. You can pay this amount monthly or in a lump sum. Additionally, you have to pay for black & white TVs which cost you around £50.50/year.

How Can The Police Check On You When You Don’t Pay Your TV License?


You will receive letters from TV Licensing for confirmation whether you do or do not have a TV license.

Then this court letter warns you that you have to face court if you don’t pay your fine. Meanwhile, enforcement officers keep visiting the suspect’s home.

In 2018, officers caught more than 240,000 people for not having a TV license.

Enforcement officers carry out multiple checks to find out suspects but they are not allowed to enter your home so they get a search warrant to enter your home.

For this purpose, officers can use high-technology detectors that can detect who is watching TV without a license.

If an officer caught you without a TV license you have to pay a fine. If you are unable to pay that fine then you will face imprisonment.

Who Is Exempt From Paying A TV License?

There is the only reason for exemption of not paying for a TV license if you are older than 75 years. People aged 75 or more will get a concession on TV licenses if they are visually impaired.

Additionally, people who live in residential care homes, and people who supervise a home can also get a concession on their behalf.


Paying for your TV license is very important. In case of non-paid TV licenses you will face penalties and criminal records.

It is a criminal act to watch “live TV” without a license. To avoid any serious consequences, be consistent in paying for your TV license. Enforcement officers keep checking on suspects and use detectors to check who is watching TV without a license.

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