UK pensioners face a £1,000 fine from today after TV licence rules were changed.
Free access for over-75s was revoked last year, however, a grace period was announced due to the pandemic, so anyone who couldn’t afford a TV licence would not get fined.
But the grace period ended at midnight on Saturday, meaning anyone watching TV without a licence can now be fined, The Mirror reports.
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At the end of June the BBC said 3.6 million of the 3.9 million over-75s who needed a licence had bought one, leaving around 300,000 still outstanding.
A standard colour TV licence costs £159 a year, or a black and white one is £53.50.
But if you do need a TV licence, you only need to pay for one per household - meaning you don't need to fork out money for each person in your home.
What can I watch with a TV licence?
You need a licence to watch or record live programmes on any channel, or if you're watching something live on a streaming service.
But you don't need one to watch content after it's been shown on television - for example on services such as, but not limited to, ITV Player, All 4, My5, Now TV, Netflix or Apple TV.
You can also watch video clips that aren't live through YouTube.
But you can't download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer without a licence – live, catch up or on demand.
How do I pay for a TV licence?
There are a couple of ways you can get your hands on one. For most, the quickest way is on the TV Licensing website.
However, you can also get a TV licence over the phone. This can be done by calling 0300 790 6096.
Can I still get a free TV licence?
One exemption is if you claim pension credit, in which case you can still watch BBC channels for free.
To claim pensions credit you need to live in England, Scotland or Wales and you and your partner - if you have one - need to be 65 or over.
If your income is less than £167.25 a week - that's £8,697 a year - the Government will top your income up to that level.
To get a free licence, either visit the TV Licensing website or call 0300 790 6165 with the following details to hand:
You can also get a 50% discount if you or someone you live with is blind or severely sight-impaired - but you'll need a medical certificate to back this up.
Or if you live in a residential care home or sheltered accommodation, you may be able to apply for an Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) Concessionary TV Licence to cover your room or flat.
This costs a significantly reduced £7.50 per room or flat.
Meanwhile, in some circumstances, students won’t have to pay the fee either.
TV Licencing says you may be covered by your parents' licence if your "out-of-term address" (your parents’ address) is covered by a TV licence.
You must also only use TV-receiving equipment that is powered by its own internal batteries – meaning it’s not connected to a mains supply.
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