Audiovisual Licence Fee

Information about the licence requirements for television and radio sets in Germany...

There is no audiovisual tax, but anyone owning a television set or radio must pay an annual licence fee. As of January 2013, one television and radio licence covers all of the devices in one property, and only one licence payer in each property should be registered. Failure to register may result in a fine.

The Beitragsservice (Fee Service) has replaced GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale) as the collector of the licence fee:

  • Beitragsservice
    At: ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice, 50656 Cologne
    Tel: 018 599 950 100 / 018 599 950 888
    Fax: 018 599 950 105

The fee is standardised, so the rate is the same for every household. People on income support (Arbeitslosengeld II or Grundsicherung) can apply for an exemption, as can those in receipt of a student loan (BAföG) or vocational training grant (Berufsausbildungsbeihilfe or Ausbildungsgeld). Disabled people may apply for a reduced rate.

Television and radio licence fees may be paid every three months. Payment is due at the mid-point of the three-month period. Thus, for May, June, July payment would be due on 15 June. Payment may also be made in advance on a quarterly, half-year or full-year basis by standing order (Lastschrift) or bank transfer (Ueberweisung).

The licence can be applied for online or via post.