Procedure descriptions

TV and radio licence contributions

You must pay a TV and radio licence contribution for every private dwelling. This no longer depends on whether you have receiver equipment or on the type of receiver equipment you have. The rule is: one dwelling - one fee.

The TV and radio licence contribution encompasses all

  • TVs and radios,
  • smartphones and
  • computers

in your dwelling and in the private cars of all persons living in your dwelling. If one person living in your dwelling pays the TV and radio licence contribution, this also covers the payment obligation of all other persons living in the dwelling.

This regulation applies to

  • families
  • persons sharing accommodation
  • unmarried couples.

Are you a student living in a hall of residence? If so, the licence payment obligation depends on the precise nature of your accommodation. You are obliged to pay a TV and radio licence contribution if you can reach your room through your own entrance directly

  • from the staircase,
  • from an ante-room,
  • or from outside.

You do not have to pay a fee if you can only reach your room via another dwelling.

Note: You must pay an additional TV and radio licence contribution if you have a second dwelling.

Disabled people and recipients of state benefits are entitled to relief.

Special rules apply to companies, institutions and self-employed persons.

Responsible department

ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio
50656 Köln

Service telephone: 01806 999 555 10*
Service fax: 01806 999 555 01*

Service telephone availability: Mon.-Fri. 7 am - 7 pm

* 20 cents/call from German landlines, 60 cents/call from German mobile phone networks



You must register with the TV and radio licence contribution service (Beitragsservice)

  • if you have reached the age of majority (18 years or older)
  • if you or another person do not already pay a TV and radio licence contribution for your dwelling.

No TV or radio licence contribution must be paid for empty dwellings. This is conditional on

  • there being nobody living in the dwelling
  • there being no tenancy agreement for the dwelling, and
  • no person being registered with the municipality as residing in the dwelling.


You must register your dwelling with the competent authority. You can do this

  • by sending informal written notification,
  • filling out a form, or
  • using an online service.

These forms are usually available for collection from your municipality. You can also download them from the internet.

Note: If you were previously paying a TV and radio licence fee, this will automatically be converted into a TV and radio licence contribution. You will normally receive a letter from the contribution service.

Tip: If you are not obliged to pay a TV and radio licence contribution, e.g. because it is already being paid by another person living in the dwelling, you can remove your registration with the contribution service.


Your obligation to pay a TV and radio licence contribution begins on the first of the month in which you first occupy the dwelling. This means you have to

  • be living there,
  • be registered there or
  • be named as the tenant in the tenancy agreement.

Required documents



On 1 April 2015, the TV and radio licence contribution was reduced by 48 cents from 17.98 euros.

Monthly cost for residents:

  • per apartment: EUR 17.50
  • per additional apartment: EUR 17.50

You must pay the TV and radio licence contribution for three months at a time. The contribution service will charge it in the middle of a three-month period.


The TV and radio licence contribution replaced the TV and radio licence fee on 1 January 2013.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Staatsministerium released it on 09.06.2017. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts. In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.